Taco Bell Adds $7 Value Meal to Menu — Here's Why It's Still a Better Deal Than McDonald's $5 Meal

Fast food chains woo customers back with affordable meal deals.

Taco Bell store exterior
Updated July 18, 2024
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Skipping fast food became easy for many families when menu prices skyrocketed, and now fast food chains hope value meals will bring customers back to the drive-thru lines. Taco Bell is trying out a new limited-time-only Luxe Cravings Box for $7 — and it's packed with food. 

The Luxe Cravings Box includes a Chalupa Supreme, Beefy 5-Layer Burrito, Double Stacked Taco, chips with nacho cheese sauce, and a medium drink. The chain touts this combo meal as less than half the cost of ordering the items individually. 

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McDonald's value meals

Courtesy of McDonald's McDonald's value meal

McDonald's rolled out a $5 meal deal this week, offering customers the choice of a McDouble or McChicken, a four-piece Chicken McNuggets, small fries, and a small soft drink. That may seem like a comparable offer on paper to Taco Bell's new Luxe Cravings Box, but there is a huge difference in the food portions. 

Taco Bell vs. McDonald's

Kristina Blokhin Fast food highway sign

McDonald's $5 value meal essentially repackages the dollar menu items and then charges an additional dollar — leaving customers who can do math squinting suspiciously at the "deal." 

Taco Bell, on the other hand, genuinely discounts the bundled food. 

  • Chalupa Supreme : $4.99
  • Beefy 5-Layer Burrito: $3.79 
  • Double Stacked Taco: $1.99 
  • Chips and nacho cheese sauce: $2.19
  • Medium fountain drink: $2.49

That's $15.45 worth of food for just $7. 

Other value meal options

Courtesy of Wendy's Wendy's breakfast meal

Other fast food chains are trying to cash in on value meals minus the value, seeming to hope consumers won't notice. Burger King recently began offering a $5 Your Way Meal to compete with McDonald's, including a burger (three different options), chicken nuggets, fries, and a drink. 

Wendy's countered with a breakfast option for $3, including an English muffin and a side of seasoned potatoes.

Taco Bell has several different meal options, some of which are available for a limited time, but all of which pack more food for your dollar than competitors. 

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Bottom line

Tada Images Taco Bell store exterior

Consumers crave fast and affordable food options, and Taco Bell is the fast food chain pivoting to meet those needs by offering actual value rather than just trying to make it look like value. 

This makes it the first choice for families on a budget looking for a quick meal during vacations, adventures, and other family outings that make the most of the summer season. 

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Author Details

Cassandra Yorgey

Cassandra Yorgey is a journalist with more than 15 years of experience covering a multitude of topics ranging from science-fiction and fantasy genre reviews to the impacts of sociological developments on the political landscape. She champions financial literacy and consumer protections that value human life over monetary profits. She has been featured in both online and print publications, including AOL, Examiner, MSN, Exemplore, Yellowbook, and Wealth of Geeks.