save thousands eat at home chicken burgers

Day 5 – Cashed Up Christmas – homemade McChicken burgers

save thousands eat at home chicken burgers

Friday is the night that I like to relax at the end of the week. A former colleague had a particular routine that consisted of take-away meals and rented DVDs (these days it would be Netflix).  The fridge is probably bare at the end of the week and you need a break, right?  And those fast food deals are so cheap there is no way you could make it yourself for that price. May as well treat yourself.

But have you ever stopped to consider how much it really costs? Last week we had a homemade ‘McChicken’ style burger, courtesy of my new man and our new BBQ.  I was blown away with how cheap and easy it was to assemble, so it was an unexpected inspiration for this post.

We don’t usually eat fast food style meals at home, but this was a special treat for my boys.  The ingredients we bought for this were enough to feed six, so I am costing it out on that basis (making the assumption that, just like at the real Golden Arches or similar chains, you will probably eat more than just one burger).

There is an assumption that eating out is quicker and easier. It depends.  Sometimes it is far nicer, I find, to just head home and eat something simple than go out and deal with the hassle of ordering and waiting for food. Yes, I know that drive-throughs are convenient and quick – but only if it is on your way home and there isn’t a queue.  In the same time that you might line up for a chicken burger, fries and a drink you could probably head to ALDI and buy the ingredients for this.  Plus it is always such a hassle to balance things on your lap after you bought them, worry about the drinks spilling and then the burgers getting cold.

Cost of a McChicken burger:

  • Driving to the restaurant – $3 petrol
  • Six McChicken burgers @ $5.40 – $32.40
  • Six McChicken meals with chips and a drink @ $9.20 – $55.20

Cost of DIY (based on ALDI prices)

  • Frozen chicken tenderloins – $3.49
  • Six pack of hot dog rolls – $1.69
  • Lettuce (gifted) – free
  • Cucumber (ALDI 7 day special) – 99c (30c used)
  • Squeezy mayonnaise 425g – $2.39 (20c used)
  • Cowbelle light processed cheese 24 slices (note: this one Bronze at the 2017 Sydney Royal Show) – $3.29 (82c used)
  • Frozen chips – $2 ($1 used)
  • 1.25l soft drink – 69c (note: I usually make my own occasional treats of softdrinks with homemade cordial and soda stream, which costs less)


$6.50 for six burgers, or $1.09 each – a saving of $25.80
$8.19 for six burger chip and drink meals – a saving of $47.01.

Over the course of a year, I could (and do) save AT LEAST $25 a week or $1,300 a year by not having takeaways on Friday nights.


  1. Cut up the salad items and put aside.
  2. Heat an outdoor grill or fry pan, add some oil and fry the chicken tenderloins until cooked.
  3. To assemble add some mayo on the bun, place the hot chicken tenderloin on top then top with salad items.
  4. Chips can be either cooked in the oven or cooked in oil (note I often make my own from potatoes, which are often but not always cheaper).

Do you enjoy relaxing on a Friday night?  Do you have any DIY take-away options?  What do you and your family enjoy eating as a special at-home treat?

Cashed Up Christmas savings tally:

Wants versus needs – estimate $300 just on Christmas
Kogans mobile $167 plan 365 days
Growing your own herbs $182 a year
NBN savings:  $294.99
Weekly eat at home savings (estimated over a year):  $1,300

Total:  $2,243.99


  1. My takeaway meal cheat is to buy the COSTCO 1 kg bag of battered whiting fillets ($15) and a bag of beer battered chips from ALDI (about $3). I usually get three meals out of the fish alone.

  2. This is all very timely, I was just thinking about what to arrange for dinner tomorrow after a kids’ sport game. It’s amazing just how much you can save on things like food, and how much those little splurges add up. We don’t get takeaway that often but find it convenient when driving to Sydney etc. Last trip we had our lunches packed for us by a helpful grandma, plus a thermos of coffee from home, and it made a big difference.

  3. Agree, eating out can be very expensive and we try not to do it. But once a month we treat ourselves to a meal outside. I am not a fan of chicken burgers but a DIY beef burger might do the trick for a Friday night at our home.

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