What’s more American than hamburgers? Not much. Most of the world considers the humble burger THE typical American meal. Sure, it’s not haute cuisine, but I’d wager that half the world (excluding India) enjoys a good burger now and then. Well, if the hamburger is an indication of Americanness, my son might be Captain America because he LOVES hamburgers.
This post is about how we stay on the path of frugal living while feeding his burger addiction. (Note of interest: his love does not extend to cheeseburgers. While he’ll eat pizza occasionally, a cheese slice on his burger is a nonstarter. Strange, he must get that from his Mom.)
Our Current Hamburger Supplier, Burger King
I could post dozens of pictures of a smiling Eduardito in the vicinity of a hamburger. Here in Mérida, Mexico we try to go out for a hamburger about once a week. Fortunately for us, we live within walking distance of a Burger King. While we seldom eat at B.K. in the U.S., it has become a nice treat for us these days.
The food tastes pretty much the same as it does at all B.K restaurants in the States, but there is one main difference. For the most part, eating out in Mexico is viewed as a treat or special occasion, so almost all B.K. customers look like they’re happy to be at the restaurant: the parents like the burgers and the kids love the kid’s meals, ice cream cones, and the playground.
There is always a happy/positive vibe at our local B.K. (Contrast that to fast food restaurants in the U.S. where many people quickly choke down their meal because they have to rush off to their next obligation.)
The prices at B.K. are on par with the prices in the U.S. Usually, I don’t like getting combo meals in the States because they double the calories and the price. That’s true here in Mexico too…if you buy three combo meals, you’re going to pay at least $5-7 bucks a person, but you’ll get unlimited corn syrup at the drink station!
Since I’m always frugal and wasn’t about to pay $15-20 for fast food, I wasn’t sure how to order on our first B.K. visit. That’s when I noticed this menu promotion:
— Millionaire Educator (@Ed_Mills_) September 18, 2017
Instead of ordering individually, I decided to order the family meal, the Family King, for the low price of $189 pesos. The menu included enough burgers, fries, drinks, and ice cream cones for all three of us for…drum roll please…$11! (With a slight devaluation of the peso recently, the price has fallen to $10 U.S. Full disclosure: my wife and I split a drink and an ice cream cone.) The only complaint came from Edwina who got stuck with the Whopper Jr. which was a pretty wimpy burger, very light on the beef.
About a week later we made another B.K. trip. This time I ordered Edwina a 20 peso hamburger from the value menu; it was better than the scrawny Whopper Jr. (that burger might be vegan approved). Eduardito was happy because he then had two burgers for dinner…I told you that boy really does love burgers. That brought our total bill to 209 pesos (189 + 20) which was about $11 U.S. Yes, you read that right…three people eating at B.K. for $11; that certainly is a bargain. However, while waiting for our order, I began reading my receipt and learned of a potential…
On the back of the receipt I saw this:
For those of you who can’t read Spanish, it was an offer to take a quick survey in exchange for a free Whopper or chicken sandwich. The offer required the purchase of a “regular” fry and drink at normal price. Later that evening, I went online and completed the survey in about 3 minutes. At the end of the survey, I received the validation code for my free sandwich.
The next time we visited B.K. I ordered and paid for the family meal, and asked about using the free Whopper coupon. The cashier said no problem and rang up another order. Here’s the receipt:
For 34 pesos we were able to buy a Whopper meal for $1.79 U.S…not bad! Currently, I have six more coupons ready to go, so that should result in three meals for a grand total of 102 pesos (34 * 3) or about $5.37 U.S. Previously, we paid $209 pesos for our family meal (plus the better burger for Edwina), but we burger hacked our way to a bill of 102 pesos.
The Big Finish
Did my blog just sink to a new low? For real, did I just write a post about using a free burger coupon to hack a discounted meal in Mexico? Why yes I did! Okay, maybe this post won’t make you a millionaire, but frugal living should be a part of your overall wealth-building plan. When you’re able to keep your living costs low, it’s easier to keep your savings rate high. Now I just hope Eduardito doesn’t expect me to break out 10 pesos for an ice cream cone. After all, pesos don’t grow on trees.
Yours in Grease and Corn Syrup,