How Not To Spend $28 At Taco Bell For Lunch

There is no way one person can eat $28 worth of Taco Bell in the middle of the day. Or is there?

Fox Business contributor Scott Martin made an appearance on the TV network this morning and uttered one of the most absurd claims I've ever heard. He was making a point about inflation and the economy—but to illustrate that point, he referenced a recent lunch he had at Taco Bell. Now you have my attention.

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"You want to know how bad inflation is?" Martin says in the video above. "Yesterday, yes, I had a nice lunch at Taco Bell. Cost me about $28! At Taco Bell, for lunch!"

All due credit to Eric Kleefeld, senior writer at Media Matters For America, who posted the clip to Twitter and allowed us all to bask in its strangeness.

Twenty-eight dollars? At Taco Bell? For lunch? The internet's first guess was that Martin was exaggerating, though plenty of people joked about exactly how stoned they'd have to be to order that much food in the middle of the day. Shockingly, though, Martin provided the receipts, and he really did spend the amount he said he did:

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The total rundown is as follows:

  • 1 Burrito Supreme with added Guacamole ($6.09)
  • 1 Nachos BellGrande with added Jalapenos ($7.14)
  • 1 Large MTN DEW Baja Blast Freeze ($3.79)
  • 1 Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme ($3.19)
  • 1 Nacho Cheese Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch ($5.19)
  • The total listed is $25.40, but we can assume some tax and/or tip brought the total up to around $28, as Martin says.

    While it's true that inflation is causing the country actual financial pain, the price tag on Martin's lunch is hardly a fitting illustration of the issue—because very few people order lunches quite this robust.

How to get the most bang for your buck at Taco Bell

Martin's a financial guy, so we can assume he'd appreciate that we have thoughts about getting a more budget-friendly meal at Taco Bell.

Right now, the best bang for your buck is Taco Bell's My Cravings Box, which you can access by using the mobile app. For $5, you get the following:

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  • A specialty item (like a Crunchwrap Supreme, a Chalupa Supreme, or a Cheesy Gordita Crunch)
  • A classic item (like a taco, a Beefy 5-Layer Burrito, or a bean burrito)
  • A side (chips and nacho cheese, Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, or Cinnamon Twists)
  • A medium-sized drink
  • Not too shabby, right? In the past we've combed through the components of the Cravings Box, comparing them against the a la carte offerings, and figured out the best Cravings Box order to stretch your money. Your best bet is a Crunchwrap Supreme, a Beefy 5-Layer Burrito, your choice of side, and any drink you'd like, provided it's not a specialty one like a Baja Blast Freeze, which costs more.

    Considering that all this food only costs $5 when bundled, you can order five of those meals for $25, or the approximate amount Martin spent on his order. For the same money, Martin could have received five Crunchwrap Supremes, five Beefy 5-Layer Burritos, two orders of chips and nacho cheese, Cinnamon Twists, two orders of Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, and five fountain sodas. This, this is why everyone on Twitter assumed Martin's $28 claim had to be a lie or a mistake—because us real ones know just how much Taco Bell food you can get when you take advantage of a good deal.

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    The order doesn't just illustrate that Martin has a big appetite at lunch, though. It demonstrates the sometimes stark differences in price at one Taco Bell location versus another. We can't make too many assumptions here, but Martin is a contributor to one of the nation's leading TV networks and is an executive at a wealth management firm. Both of those things tell me that he might very well have gone to a downtown Taco Bell location in a major metropolitan area (say, Chicago or NYC), and the prices at those locations have to reflect the real estate to some degree.

    Fox Business host Neil Cavuto didn't quite believe Martin's claim in the moment, either.

    "Wait a minute," he said, incredulous, "You spent $28 at Taco Bell for just yourself?"

    "For lunch, yeah," replied Martin. "It's true."

    "That's a lot of Chalupas!" says another contributor, laughing. It sure is—or rather, it could have been. But the $28 receipt just shows a breadcrumb trail of missed opportunities for real value. Mr. Martin, if you're reading this, I'll be happy to show you the ropes next time you head to Taco Bell.

     

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