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Do Fast Food Retailers Really Offer Value Meals?

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Fast food may be both convenient and delicious, but it's not the deal you think it is. Here, we compare the costs of dining at a popular fast food chains versus cooking your own meals at home.

In general, a meal costs $5 to $7 at a fast food restaurant, but the cost of cooking at home averages out to $1.50 to $3 per person. That's a 40-79 percent savings for healthier, homemade food.

For instance, burgers, fries and drinks at McDonald's costs $28 for family of four. For the same amount of money, you can make a full meal at home with twice as much food, and have money left over for dessert. Plus, when cooking at home, you're able to control what ingredients are going into your entrees, and your kids' bodies.

If you're a fan of chicken, skip KFC where it costs about $20 for four value meals. For $14, you can buy an entire roast chicken from the supermarket, and make sides and a salad that will feed four to six people for $6 less. Include your children in the cooking process and it can be fun and educational, too.

So, the next time you think about pulling up to the drive-thru, consider heading to the supermarket instead. You can prepare nutritious meals for less, while keeping your whole brood pleased.

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