McDonald's customer's epic Happy Meal hack saves $2: 'So cool'

Ever wondered why some McDonald’s meals are different prices but contain the same food?

One curious customer decided to ask just that, with her puzzling question sparking a flurry of comments.

“​​Does anyone know why a Maccas Happy Meal is cheaper than a small cheeseburger meal?? I mean the Happy Meal is exactly the same meal, but has the 'added bonus' of a toy,” the customer asked on social media.

A McDonald’s Cheeseburger Happy Meal costs $4.95 and comes with a toy.

Meanwhile, a small Cheeseburger Meal comes with exactly the same amount of food, no toy, and less packaging, for $6.95.

McDonald's small cheeseburger meal with fries and coke.
A McDonald's customer was left perplexed after realizing the price difference between two meals with exactly the same amount of food. Photo: Getty Images

How to hack your Happy Meal

An ex-McDonald’s employee confirmed the price difference had existed for years.

“I used to work at Maccas over a decade ago; it's always been cheaper to buy the happy meal," the person shared.

"No idea why, it just is. I save the toys for nieces or just leave them on tables for other kids."

While some didn’t realise the Happy Meal hack, others said they had known for “years” and revealed how they used the saving to their advantage.

“If you want a double cheeseburger meal, just ask for an extra cheese and extra patty on your happy meal burger,” one pointed out.

“Yep, I worked this out too! And you can make your drink a small coffee and it’s still the same price,” shared another.

Close-up of McDonalds outdoor sign with  typical rounded yellow M letter against cloudless blue sky. Sign is positioned on the left side of image.
Customers are sharing hacks to get the best value under the golden arches. Photo: Getty

“I realised this years ago and it’s my fav order. I also change the drink to a vanilla shake and it’s no extra,” added a third.

Another purchased a cheeseburger happy meal and add an iced chocolate for the small drink, for an extra 70 cents.


It works with other meals too

The hack not only works on Cheeseburger Happy Meals, but on Chicken McNugget Happy Meals.

One customer confirmed by sharing a picture of pricing in the McDonald’s app with a six-piece Chicken McNugget Happy meal costing $8.95 and a small six-piece Chicken McNugget meal costing $10.60.

Others shared how they used the Happy Meal hack to create a bigger meal for less money.

“I get two three nugget happy meals and make one drink a thick shake (no extra cost) then u have six nuggets, two small fries, a coke - plus a thick shake for dessert for $9.90,” one person proudly suggested.

“If you want a frozen coke in your meal. It's cheaper to order your meal with a coke then ask for frozen coke. You save an extra $2,” added another.

McDonalds Happy Meal in a bright red and yellow box with a smile and the golden arches, plus a small drink cup and straw.
One woman's realisation about the price of a McDonald's Happy Meal has sparked a huge reaction from others online.

More hacks to make you happy

That’s not the only strange price difference, with another customer revealing a burger on its own was almost the same price as a meal.

“I figured this ages ago, it also only costs an extra dollar to get the meal as opposed to getting the cheeseburger by itself,” she said.

Those who lived in Queensland also shared they had double the value for money on a Tuesday when McDonald’s offers two-for-one Happy Meals.

“Here we have 2-for-1 happy meals on Tuesdays. Also, for like $1.50 or something, you can upgrade your drink to the chocolate frappe … the drink is normally $5 on its own, so you are basically getting fries and a cheeseburger for $1,” a customer from Bundaberg shared.

Who knew there were so many ways to save at Maccas?

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.

Or if you have a story idea, email us at