I always tell my friends that I'm broke, but I'm never too broke for food. Food is by far the most important thing for me to spend money on. After taking a look at my spending, however, I realized I needed a reality check. I started paying attention to what I spent on my food — hence, menu hacks. Here are some easy restaurant menu hacks you can use so you won't break the bank.


1. Order half of one meat and half of another. You will almost always get more than half of each and end up with nearly 1.5x the protein in your burrito or bowl for the price of a normal portion — HOLLA. 

2. Order a bean and cheese burrito for only $2.18!

3. Skip the chips and ask for hard taco shells on the side of your bowl — they're free! Then, break them up into "chips."

4. Order a bowl with double everything and get tortillas on the side. This will make two burritos.

5. Extra rice, beans, and fajita veggies are always free for any order.

Taco Bell

1. Ask for your quesadilla to be double-grilled. This will ensure that the cheese will be perfectly melted and the tortilla will have that extra crunch to it. 

2. Try the Incredible Hulk, Taco Bell's five-layer burrito. To mix it up, try substituting the nacho cheese sauce with guac, and add diced onions and pico.

3. Make your own Lava Sauce! Taco Bell use to have this on the menu, but they discontinued it, much to our chagrin. For a DIY version, grab a couple of fire sauces and order a side of nacho cheese. Mix them all together and voilà!


1. Order TWO four-piece McNuggets instead of one six-piece. It’s cheaper and you get two extra nuggets, as well as more sauces. Score!

2. Order a McDouble without ketchup and mustard, but with lettuce and Big Mac sauce. You'll pay for the Big Mac taste for the price of a McDouble.

3. Order a Sausage McMuffin from the dollar menu, but substitute the sausage with egg, this gives you more protein and less fat.

4. Ask for your sandwich to be made with a round egg instead of a folded egg. This will require them to crack a fresh egg for your breakfast sandwich. 


1. Get a small drink because it'll grant you free refills, so there's no need to pay extra. Sadly, this only works for soft drinks and not those scrumptious smoothies.

2. Place your order using the convenient self-service kiosks and you may get a free cookie!

3. You can substitute avocado for meat on your salads or sandwiches for free.

4. You can get any breakfast sandwich on any bagel flavor if you just ask. 

While on a college student budget, I personally plan on trying most, if not all of these. When it comes to free food, I will do almost anything for it. Even if these hacks require just a bit more effort to save a few bucks, it all adds up and those saved bucks could equal one fancy af meal. So hop on the bandwagon, you won't be sorry.