Frugal Fridays- Avoid the "Happy" Meal

  I would like to pretend that I always cook nutritious homemade meals for my children and that they have never seen the inside of a McDonald’s. I would also like to pretend that my children can’t spot the golden arches from miles away. While we’re at it, I would also like to pretend that I am still a size 2 and that I have fabulously perky breasts. Work with me here.

Anyway, as a first time mom taking Lily to McDonald’s or any other similar restaurant I always got the Happy Meal. Cause that is what you do for your kids. You get them a small meal and some crappy toy that you will step on for a few weeks until you can finally throw it away while they sleep, praying that they don’t notice.

Baby #2 comes along and mommy gets wiser. Sorry baby #2, but there are distinct disadvantages to being born second. I am sure my brother could rattle off a long list of reasons why (ha, sucks to be you non-first borns). Anyway now I just get the 10 piece nuggets and split them between the 2 of them (which actually gives them one more a piece), throw in an apple dipper from the dollar menu and call it a day. If the toys happens to be something really spectacular that my children absolutely can’t live without, McDonald’s (and I have a feeling most others) will let you buy it for like $1 or something.

Kids still feel like they got a treat and I avoid a pile up of annoyingly cheap and meaningless toys. Win-win!!

For more frugal tips, head over to Biblical Womanhood.


  1. Can we pretend I’m a size 2 also?

    And you’re right, most of the time the happy meal toys are anything but happy. If all three of my kids don’t get the same toy there is whining and pouting. If they do get the same toy, then princess wonders where her girly stuff is.

    And it isn’t long before an unsuspecting visitor has sat upon the toy . . . and well, it just never ends.

    jubilees last blog post..Things I love About Autumn

  2. We do the same thing. With 3 kids it gets too expensive to get 3 Happy Meals. If you really do want the toy you can buy it for $1- some of them make great stocking stuffers.

    Candace (Mama Mia)s last blog post..Things I Love Thursday- Enell Sports Bra

  3. I must say, though, that the current toy is pretty fabulous! It is Madame Alexander dolls portraying the Wizard of Oz characters. I don’t know why I even bother to buy Happy Meals EVER. Here’s what happens:
    *I order chicken nugget happy meal with apple dippers and apple juice.
    *2-y-o daughter downs apple juice.
    *Said daughter begs me for fries.
    *She then eats her apples and more of my precious fries.
    *She refuses to eat chicken nuggets after eating her apples and almost ALL of my fries.
    *I cannot live without the fries, so I buy more.

    Why not buy a huge fry and some apples? So healthy…….


    Devons last blog post..A brief update before the silence

  4. that’s bizzare – i wore my size 2 dress today also! ;)

    also – you can get a double cheese burger, small fries, and a small drink off the dollar menu (i use to get happy meals for myself thinking they were cheaper). no need to pay for the toy!

    Brookes last blog post..Frugal Friday – Green Wedding Ideas

  5. heck, I’ll take a size 6!!

    Since we have the one kid-o right now, I usually just share a meal with him. Like get the 2 cheeseburger meal…share the fries, each have a burger, and then just buy him a milk. We rarely do the Happy Meal thing too. CPT’s (crappy plastic toys) are my nemesis.

    Katis last blog post..Boo on you Sony Ericsson

  6. I concur Devon – When I peeked in my dd’s Happy meal yesterday and saw the Wizard of Oz Dorothy doll (complete with basket and Toto) – I gasped because I thought it was so nice lol!

    Frans last blog post..Welcome Skywatch

  7. Jen@BigBinder says:

    That’s how we roll too. My kids don’t know about Happy Meals, or that kids have a french fry option (when Mommy is involved anyway. Daddy throws the whole gig off).

  8. Great tip! I have missed reading your blog. I am still without power but I am at a friends house now!=0)

    Shellies last blog post..Let the Blessings Rain Down

  9. can’t stand those toys (but sure remember loving them when when i was their age!)

    elizabeth koproskis last blog post..emergency

  10. With five kids I don’t allow them to order from anything but the $ menu! I’m mean. :)

    Polka Dot Mommys last blog post..Nothing

  11. HeatherY says:

    Good tips! I love any little way to save money! We had playgroup at McD’s this week and I fed my 2 year old before we got there. I wanted her to play but wasn’t in the mood to buy the grease. lol!

    HeatherYs last blog post..Home Sweet Home

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