Steak 'n Shake
Charleston P./Yelp

The Best Value Meal Deals at 28 Chains Across the Country

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Steak 'n Shake
Charleston P./Yelp

Deals On Meals

Fast food restaurants have been quietly axing their dollar menus over the past few years in favor of meal deals. You pay more money, but you get multiple items of food at a discount from the regular menu price. Family-friendly restaurant chains, too, are cutting back on the coupons and specials as the economy continues to take a blow from the pandemic.


But there are still great offers to be had out there, whether you're going to the drive-thru, ordering pizza delivery, or heading out for burgers with your family. Here are some of the value meal deals you can take advantage of at your favorite chains, but remember that many are only offered for a limited time.


Note: Prices and availability may vary by location. Due to the pandemic, many locations are offering take-out, drive-thru, or delivery options only.


Related:
The Best Fast Food Deals to Grab This Month

Burger King
Burger King by yum9me (CC BY-NC-ND)

Burger King

The home of the Whopper always has a ton of meal deals available that change often, so navigate to the "Offers" section of their website or the app to see what's good.


Value Meal Deals

  • $5 Whopper Meal

  • $5 Croissan'wich Meal for Two
  • 2 for $5 Mix n' Match
  • $5 Two Original Chicken Sandwich and two small fries

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Wendy’s
Henry C./Yelp

Wendy’s

Square burger patties? You bet. But they're more well known for their spicy chicken sandwiches and nuggets now, not to mention a cult following for their chili and frosties.


Value Meal Deals

  • $5 Crispy Chicken Biggie Bag 
  • $5 Bacon Double Stack Biggie Bag
  • Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger Four for $4 Meal
  • Jr. Cheeseburger Four for $4 Meal
  • Crispy Chicken Sandwich Four for $4 Meal

Related: We Tasted All 9 Wendy's Breakfast Sandwiches and This Is the Best

Jack in the Box
Cheapism

Jack in the Box

Fans of Jack in the Box love their 2-for-$1 tacos, especially late at night since the restaurant is open 24/7.


Value Meal Deals

  • $5 Triple Bonus Jack combo
Taco Bell
Kathy S./Yelp

Taco Bell

Though fans of Taco Bell are angry about recent menu reductions, you can still grab some cheap meal deals, even late night.


Value Meal Deals

  • $5 Breakfast Crunchwrap Combo
  • $5 Grande Toasted Breakfast Burrito Combo
  • $5 My Cravings Box
  • $5 Chalupa Cravings Box
  • $5.79 Three Crunchy Tacos Combo
  • $5.79 Three Soft Tacos Combo
  • $6 Quesalupa Combo
  • $6.49 Burrito Supreme Combo
  • $6.69 Nachos BellGrande Combo
  • $6.89 Crunchwrap Supreme Combo
  • $6.89 Chicken Quesadilla Combo
  • $7 3 Doritos Locos Tacos Combo

Related: Live Más: 20 Spicy Secrets Behind Taco Bell's Success

Pizza Pizza Pie
Pizza Pizza Pie by Nadir Hashmi (CC BY-NC-ND)

Domino's

One of the big pizza chains, Domino's has some of the best long-running deals and shows no sign of letting up.


Value Meal Deals

  • $6 Mix and Match Deal with options of: Medium 2-Topping Pizza, Bread Twists, Salad, Marbled Cookie Brownie, Specialty Chicken, Oven Baked Sandwich, Stuffed Cheesy Bread, 8-Piece Boneless Chicken, or Pasta in a Dish
  • $8 Carryout Deal: All 3-topping large pizzas or 10-piece wings
Kentucky Fried Chicken
pjohnson1/istockphoto

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Though the 11 herbs and spices in the seasoning are still a mystery, it's no secret that KFC is one of the go-to fast food restaurants for fried chicken.


Value Meal Deals

  • $5 Fill Up with a pot pie or Famous Bowl
  • $6 3-piece tenders Fill Up
  • $5.49 Drum-and-thigh Fill Up
  • $6 Popcorn nuggets combo
  • $6 3-piece Nashville hot tenders combo
  • $6 Chicken sandwich combo
  • $6.19 Chicken Little combo
  • $7 4-piece tenders combo
  • $8 5-piece tenders combo


Papa John's papadia
©TripAdvisor

Papa John's

The things that make Papa John's pizza so good are the extras you get in the box: creamy garlic sauce to dip the crust in, and the tangy pepperoncini peppers.


Value Meal Deals

  • $6 Papadia
  • $16 Epic Stuffed Crust Combo

 Popeyes
Cindy C./Yelp

Popeyes

Popeyes created a phenomenon when it released its chicken sandwich, but the restaurant's classic fried chicken pieces are still the star of the show.


Value Meal Deals

  • $6 Three Tenders Combo
  • $7 Two-piece signature chicken combo
  • $9 2 Can Dine with five pieces of chicken or 6 tenders


Related: Fast Food Deals to Feed the Whole Family

Little Caesars
©TripAdvisor

Little Caesars

Headquartered in Detroit, Little Caesars is well known for inexpensive pizza around the country that's always hot and ready to be picked up.


Value Meal Deals

  • $5 Classic cheese, pepperoni, or sausage pizza
  • $6 Extra Most Bestest cheese, pepperoni or sausage pizza
  • $6 Slices-n-Stix pizza
  • $6.49 Extra Most Bestest Thin Crust pepperoni
  • $7 Pepperoni Cheeser! Cheeser! pizza
  • $9 Deep!Deep! Dish cheese pizza

Denny's
Gee L./Yelp

Denny's

Everyone ends up at Denny's at some point, especially when they need to fill their stomachs with hot coffee and a Grand Slam breakfast at 3 a.m.


Value Meal Deals

  • $4 Wings and Rings
  • $5 Biscuit and Gravy Breakfast
  • $5 Everyday Value Slam
  • $7 Classic Burger
  • $8 Triple Play Breakfast
  • $9 Cowboy Chopped Steak 
Panera
Kim T./Yelp

Panera

Panera has made a name for itself with fresh breads and bakery items, sandwiches, coffee shop beverages and great soups.


Value Meal Deals

  • $6 Value Duets with soup and select salads and half sandwiches

Related: Secret Menu Items at Your Favorite Family Restaurants

Olive Garden
©TripAdvisor

Olive Garden

Probably America's favorite Italian chain, Olive Garden has been dishing up pastas, salad, and those famous breadsticks for decades.


Value Meal Deals

  • $8 Lunch Favorites Monday through Friday before 3 p.m.: fettuccine alfredo, spaghetti, eggplant parmesan, and soup, salad and breadsticks
  • $9 Lunch Favorites Monday through Friday before 3 p.m.: spaghetti and meatballs, cheese ravioli and five cheese ziti al forno
  • $10 Lunch Favorites Monday through Friday before 3 p.m.: chicken parmigiana, shrimp scampi and lasagna classic

Related:  The Craziest Appetizers at Popular Restaurant Chains

Applebee's
Miori I./Yelp

Applebee's

One of the most popular sit-down chains, Applebee's is well known for their inexpensive deals like $1 cocktails and late night app specials.


Value Meal Deals

  • $20 for two select entrees and one select appetizer

Chili's
Torya M./Yelp

Chili's

Tex-Mex is king at this casual sit-down chain with a chili pepper in its logo. Chips and salsa, queso dip and barbecue ribs are favorite menu items.


Value Meal Deals

  • $8 Lunch Combos 
  • $10 pick 3 meal include a non-alcoholic beverage, select entree, and select appetizer
  • $25 Meal for 2 with a starter, two select entrees, and a dessert
Dairy Queen
©TripAdvisor

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen isn't just for soft serve and Blizzards, especially in rural areas where there's a DQ in practically every town.


Value Meal Deals

  • $4 Two for $4 Super Snack
  • $6 Meal Deal with ⅓-pound double with cheese, 3-piece chicken strips, or bacon cheeseburger

Related: Best Soft Serve Ice Cream Shops in America

Del Taco
Daniel K./Yelp

Del Taco

Found mostly in the western United States, Del Taco is another reliable bet for cheap, fast Mexican eats.


Value Meal Deals

  • $1.49 Three Value Tacos on Tuesdays 3-11 p.m.
  • $2.49 Three Grilled Chicken Tacos Thursdays 3-11 p.m.
  • $6 Fresh Faves Triple Chicken Box
  • $6 Fresh Faves Sampler Combo Box
Red Lobster
Alla G./Yelp

Red Lobster

Almost everyone has celebrated a special event at Red Lobster, a seafood chain that's as good for families as it is date night.


Value Meal Deals

  • $18 Ultimate Endless Shrimp on Mondays
  • $50 for two lobster, shrimp and salmon feasts on Tuesdays
  • $20 Steak and lobster meal on Wednesdays
  • $13 Walt's Favorite Shrimp and a beverage on Thursdays
  • $12 Fish Fry on Fridays

Hardee's/Carl's Jr.
©TripAdvisor

Hardee's/Carl's Jr.

Though it's got two names depending on which part of the country you're in, Hardee's/Carl's Jr. is known for decadent and hearty breakfasts and burgers.


Value Meal Deals

  • $4 Hotcakes Breakfast Platter
  • $5 All Star Meal with 3-piece chicken tenders
  • $5 All Star Meal with double cheeseburger and spicy chicken sandwich
BJ'S Brewhouse
Joel Christian A./Yelp

BJ'S Brewhouse

BJ's gets its Brewhouse moniker from the microbreweries some locations have, but every location of this casual sit-down chain has a menu of pizza and homestyle favorites.


Value Meal Deals

  • Half off large pizzas on Mondays
  • $3 Pizookies on Tuesdays
  • $10 Loaded Burgers on Wednesdays
  • $15 Slow-roasted Specials on Thursdays
Steak 'n Shake
Charleston P./Yelp

Steak 'n Shake

Prices at Steak 'n Shake won't break the bank, but it can't hurt to get there from 2 to 5 p.m. on weekdays for happy hour when all drinks and shakes are half price


Value Meal Deals

  • $4 Chicken fingers and fries
  • $4 Original Double 'n Cheese Steakburger and fries
  • $4 Triple Steakburger and fries
  • $4 Bacon 'n Cheese Single Steakburger and fries

Related: Kids Eat Free Deals: 45 Restaurants Food Deals for Children

potbelly's
wdstock/istockphoto

Potbelly

Based in Chicago, this sandwich chain toasts all of their subs on soft sub buns. Don't skip the signature hot giardiniera pepper mix, which you can purchase by the jar if you like.


Value Meal Deals

  • $5 Small turkey sandwich and a bag of chips

El Pollo Loco
Maria P./Yelp

El Pollo Loco

Found mainly in the Southwest, El Pollo Loco is the place to indulge in Mexican favorites based around savory grilled chicken, including grilled chicken breasts.


Value Meal Deals

  • $5 Classic Chicken Burrito Combo
  • $5 Chicken Tacos al Carbon Combo
  • $5 Original Pollo Bowl Combo
  • $5 Chicken Nachos Combo

Bob Evans
Emil C./Yelp

Bob Evans

Dating all the way back to 1948, Bob Evans serves up hearty comfort food in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic in a country living-themed atmosphere. 


Value Meal Deals

  • $8 Dinner Bell Plates
Long John Silver's
Viktoria F./Yelp

Long John Silver's

Seafood is usually an afterthought at fast food chains, so Long John Silver's fills a niche for fried fish and shrimp lovers.


Value Meal Deals

  • $10 15-piece Shrimp Sea-Share
  • $10 Nine-piece Chicken Sea-Share
  • $10 Six-piece Fish Sea-Share
  • $10 Six Crab Cakes Sea-Share
#239 White Castle Sack meal 1
#239 White Castle Sack meal 1 by Like_the_Grand_Canyon (CC BY-NC)

White Castle

Cooking up sliders since 1921, White Castle is often credited as the first fast food burger chain. Now it can be found in 13 states, mostly in the Midwest.


Value Meal Deals

  • $7 Original Slider Combo
  • $7 Chicken Ring Sandwich Combo
  • $16 Castle Pack with 10 Sliders, two fries and two drinks

Related: 30 Things You Didn’t Know About White Castle

Quaker Steak and Lube
Patrick P./Yelp

Quaker Steak and Lube

Decorated with old cars and gas station memorabilia, Quaker Steak and Lube is well known for their wings and other bar favorites.


Value Meal Deals

  • $10 Entree and side on Tuesdays, including top sirloin steak, half rack baby back ribs, 20 boneless wings, 20 fried shrimp and 10 bone-in wings

Huddle House
Jonathan B./Yelp

Huddle House

Named after the football huddle, Huddle House is a 24-hour family restaurant that was founded in the 1960s and is concentrated in the Southeast.


Value Meal Deals

  • $5 BLT Down Home Combo
  • $5 Sausage or Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit Down Home Combo
  • $5 Farmhouse Burger Down Home Combo
  • $5 Cheeseburger Down Home Combo
  • $5 Bacon, Egg & Cheese Melt Down Home Combo
  • $5 Chicken Tender Toaster Down Home Combo
  • $5 Hashbrowns All the Way Down Home Combo
  • $5 Open-faced Sausage Biscuit & Gravy Down Home Combo
Fazoli's
Aizelle C./Yelp

Fazoli's

Spaghetti, lasagna and garlic breadsticks are crowd pleasers, so it's no surprise this Italian restaurant chain is a hit with families.


Value Meal Deals

  • $5 Small spaghetti with marinara and breadsticks
  • $5 Small spaghetti with meat sauce and breadsticks
  • $5 Small fettuccine alfredo and breadsticks
  • $5 Chicken parm pasta duo
  • $5 Parmesan crusted alfredo bake