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Fast-food menu hacks: McDonalds, Nandos & more

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

These little-known, simple menu hacks will change how you order forever.

Craving a Big Mac? Hankering for a Nando's? Sometimes nothing hits the spot like a fast-food feast. From extra food to free sauces, know what you're doing in your favourite fast-food hotspot and you can optimise your meal like a pro - and save a few quid. 

Everyone has a favourite fast-food chain they turn to when in need of a treat, so we've rounded up the internet's favourite menu hacks from McDonald's, Nando's and Burger King - plus a few more thrown in for good measure.

Nando's - bigger portions, free PERinaise & 20% off

1. On a cheeky date? If you're both ordering meals with fries, get a large portion to share instead of two regular. You might think this will be fewer fries, but MoneySavingExpert checked and the large portion had 20% more fries than two regular

2. Butterfly chicken always your go-to? You might want to reconsider. If you're not bothered about bones, going for half a chicken is actually cheaper (£7.75 vs £8.25) - and you get much more chicken to eat

3. Make your own PERinaise - if your local Nando's has plain mayo, ask for some of this and add your preferred Nando's spices. It won't taste exactly the same but will save you 60p per pot.

4. Are two of you ordering half a chicken each and two regular sides? If so, have a look at the platters to see if you can save a few quid for something similar - or occasionally the EXACT same food. The sharing platters are good value and will generally be cheaper than individual portions. Top picks include:

  • 'Full Platter' (a whole chicken, 2 large or 4 regular sides) for £21.95 vs 2x individual meals (Half Chicken + 2 sides) for £23.50. 

5. Not so much a hack, but well worth being aware of in case it applies to you - Nando's offer a 20% discount to all Police, Fire Services, Ambulance service and NHS staff. You just need to show your photocard ID before ordering and you'll get 20% off orders up to the value of £20. There's also a Military (Army, Navy, RAF) discount that works the same way.

McDonald's - discounted Big Macs, extra McFlurry toppings & fresh-to-order fries

1. For a half price Big Mac (and other deals), check your receipt from your last visit! McDonald's often have an option to fill in a survey online and receive a discount on your next order - including 50% off a Big Mac. Make sure you always check the back of your receipt and keep in your wallet for next time.

2. Sometimes all you have to do is ask, right? We've heard on the grapevine that you can just ask for extra McFlurry toppings - and you'll get them at the very reasonable price of 20p. 

3. How to get fresh-off-the-grill food at Mcdonalds: ask for a burger with something missing (gherkin, sauce, tomato) or unsalted fries, this is a sure-fire way to get the item made fresh

4. Is a £3.19 McChicken Sandwich always your go-to? Try the Saver Menu 99p Mayo Chicken - it's the same ingredients but with a slightly smaller chicken portion. At less than a third of the price, you could eat two Mayo Chicken burgers and still save money. 

5. Fancy a make-your-own Big Mac for half the usual price? Instead of the £3.19 classic Big Mac, order a Double Cheeseburger and swap the existing sauce for Big Mac sauce and shredded lettuce. The taste is pretty similar, but you won't have that extra slice of bread in the middle. Note - if they won't give you Big Mac sauce, mustard and mayonnaise is a good alternative.

Burger King - half price bacon cheeseburger & a secret menu 

1. Apparently, you can order the unpleasantly named Suicide Burger, an off-the-menu special from Burger King containing 4x beef patties, 4x slices of cheese, bacon and a secret special sauce. Not for the faint-hearted, this is a LOT of food and will set you back about £10 including a drink and fries.

2. Always have trouble picking between onion rings and fries? But you'll never manage a whole portion of each? Fret no more, we've heard that you can ask for a box of half-and-half. Dilemma solved.

3. The £3.99 Bacon Cheeseburger is a tasty treat - but we think you can recreate this for under £2.47, here's how: order a plain double cheeseburger off the King Saver menu (£1.49) and add two sides of bacon (98p) as part of Burger King's prepared-to-order HAVE IT YOUR WAY® initiative. 

4. Burger King is famous for its signature sandwich - The Whopper, but this is traditionally a meat-filled feast. You can actually ask for The Whopper with the meat patty swapped for a veggie patty, so vegetarians don't miss out on the classic Whopper goodness.

Try asking for different buns on your burger for a whole new taste. We've heard asking for the double cheeseburger on a brioche bun is the way to go.

3 bonus hacks - our top tips:

1. Standard ketchup a bit boring? Fill your pot with ketchup then sprinkle lots of black pepper on top and mix it in (you can use a french fry!). It creates a whole new peppery tomato sauce and takes away the sweetness of standard ketchup.

2. Check the combos and saver menus everywhere you go - these are made for customers to save money, so always scan them before you order individual meals. They'll nearly always end up being better value, so if they suit your preferences, this is the way to go.

3. Want more in your fizzy drink cup? Order a drink without ice (or with just a little bit) and they'll likely still fill your cup up meaning you have more drink than if your cup was half filled with ice already.

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

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