I stuck to a $10 budget at McDonald’s and Burger King, and I was able to get more food from the larger chain

Burger king double cheeseburger and mcdonalds chicken nugget dipped in ranch
A double cheeseburger from Burger King and a McDonald’s chicken nugget. Erin McDowell/Insider
  • After trying the same meals from different fast-food chains, I found some chains are pricier than others.
  • I decided to try similar meals from McDonald’s and Burger King without spending over $US10 ($AU14), before tax, to compare the value.
  • With my strict budget, I was able to get more food from McDonald’s.

I ordered a triple cheeseburger, small fry, four-piece chicken nugget, small drink, and ranch dipping sauce from McDonald’s.
Mcdonalds meal
My meal from McDonald’s. Erin McDowell/Insider
In my bid to see how much food I could get from each chain for $US10 ($AU14) and compare its value, it seemed fairest to buy similar items: one filling burger, at least one side, and a drink.

The total cost of the meal from McDonald’s came to $US9.96 ($AU14), before taxes and fees. Most of the official meal combos at McDonald’s ran over my $US10 ($AU14) budget, so I found that ordering individual items got me the most food for my money.

I ordered the most expensive burger I could afford within the budget at McDonald’s, while still having money left over for at least one side.
Mcdonalds triple cheeseburger
McDonald’s triple cheeseburger. Erin McDowell/Insider
I decided to order the triple cheeseburger — for only $US3.89 ($AU5), the burger seemed like a really good deal. It comes with three beef patties, two slices of American cheese, chopped onions, pickles, ketchup, and mustard.
Each patty came coated in gooey cheese, while pickles, onions, ketchup, and mustard added even more flavor to the burger.
Mcdonalds triple cheeseburger
McDonald’s triple cheeseburger. Erin McDowell/Insider
I enjoyed the fluffy bun, and although the burger came with three servings of meat, I found all of the flavors to be well-balanced.

I was impressed with how much food I was able to receive for such a small amount of money.

I was also able to order a four-piece chicken nugget from McDonald’s and not go over budget.
Mcdonalds chicken nuggets
A four-piece chicken nugget from McDonald’s. Erin McDowell/Insider
Excluding taxes and fees, the nuggets came to just $US1.59 ($AU2).

When I later ordered from Burger King, I wasn’t able to fit the same item into my budget. Of course, they do sell nuggets — and I could have gotten a 10-piece instead of a four-piece — but I would have gone over my $US10 ($AU14) budget by about a dollar.

I ordered ranch dipping sauce for the nuggets.
Mcdonalds chicken nugget dipped in ranch sauce
McDonald’s chicken nugget dipped in ranch. Erin McDowell/Insider
They were perfectly crispy and the meat inside was juicy.

The dipping sauce was free with the meal.

I was also able to order a small fry from McDonald’s, and it was a surprisingly generous serving.
Mcdonalds fries
McDonald’s fries. Erin McDowell/Insider
For only $US2.69 ($AU4), I thought this was a pretty good deal. The fries were well-seasoned and crispy, just like the many other times I’ve had McDonald’s fries.
I attempted to order a similar meal from Burger King.
Burger king meal
My meal from Burger King. Erin McDowell/Insider
I wanted to buy another ample burger, like I had from McDonald’s, and I ended up choosing the bacon double stack cheeseburger. I also bought a medium order of french fries and a medium drink — neither was available in a smaller size, so I ended up having to cap my order there due to the budget. At McDonald’s, I was able to get a small in both of these items, allowing me to add some chicken nuggets too.

The three items at Burger King came to $US9.02 ($AU12), so I wasn’t able to order chicken nuggets as I did with the other chain.

Just like at McDonald’s, I ordered the most expensive burger I could, given my budget.
Burger king double cheeseburger
Burger King bacon double cheeseburger. Erin McDowell/Insider
The Burger King bacon double cheeseburger came to $US3.09 ($AU4), not including taxes and fees, so it was a little less than the burger I went for at McDonald’s.
The flame-grilled bacon double cheeseburger had a distinct smoky flavor.
Burger king double cheeseburger
Burger King bacon double cheeseburger. Erin McDowell/Insider
The flame-grilled taste really came through, setting it apart from the McDonald’s burger. However, while I did enjoy the toppings and smokier flavor of the Burger King sandwich, I thought the beef patties were slightly dry.
I also ordered a medium fry, which came with a generous portion.
Burger king fries
Burger King fries. Erin McDowell/Insider
The medium fries cost $US3.19 ($AU4). Despite the generous serving, I did find them to be a touch bland on their own. They could have used a sprinkling of salt or a sauce on the side to make this item worth ordering again, in my opinion.
Both the McDonald’s and Burger King burgers were filling for the price, but I preferred the one from McDonald’s.
Mcdonalds triple cheeseburger burger king double cheeseburger
McDonald’s and Burger King burgers. Erin McDowell/Insider
It came with more meat and I felt it was overall a better eating experience compared to the slightly dry burger patties of the Burger King cheeseburger.
I also preferred the fries from McDonald’s.
Mcdonalds and burger king fries
McDonald’s and Burger King fries. Erin McDowell/Insider
I preferred the crispier, well-salted fries to the more potato-like ones from Burger King, but I thought both items were an excellent deal for the portion size.

The fries from McDonald’s were also 50 cents ($0.68) cheaper. Plus, even though the McDonald’s fries were a size small, I received a generous portion that ended up being the same amount of food as the Burger King fries. However, I did find that the Burger King fries were more filling because they were thicker.

Overall, I thought the McDonald’s meal was the better way to spend $US10 ($AU14).
Mcdonalds meal
Finished McDonald’s meal. Erin McDowell/Insider
Not only did I get a filling burger, fries, and a drink, but I was also able to add another side of chicken nuggets. In terms of value and taste, the meal simply couldn’t be topped.