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Grocery Store Prices: KFC's Smash'd Potato Bowl vs. Shopping at the grocery store

The Bachelor on the Cheap Smashed Potato Bowl
The Bachelor on the Cheap Smashed Potato Bowl

It's a Fast Food vs. Grocery Shopping Challenge!

The typical Friday means eating out for a lot of folks, it's time to unwind after a long work week, and unwinding includes spending a few bucks on some take-out, or the drive-thru.

It's all too easy to fall into such a routine, but those takeout and drive-thru costs every week can start to add up.

This week's Fast Food vs. Grocery Shopping Challenge features KFC's new Smash'd Potato Bowl, introduced nationwide on January 29, 2024.

It's a tasty bowl of seasoned french fries and mashed potatoes covered in melted cheese and topped with bacon crumbles.  Priced at $3.49, it's delightful on its own, but according to the KFC media hype, you can make a meal of it by adding chicken nuggets for a few dollars more. 

Main ingredients for the bowl
Purchased at Aldi for $11.61

That's what I did in sampling KFC's new menu item, and it was quite enjoyable.  So enjoyable, it was deemed worthy of doing a grocery shop comparison and bonus:  A copycat recipe!

The KFC Smash'd Potato Bowl, kicked up with nuggets and a drink (making it a combo deal) cost me $8.59.  So how much can you buy at the grocery store for about that kind of money?  Shopping at Aldi, I focused on purchasing the ingredients I needed to make a copycat Smash'd Potato Bowl, selecting items I didn't already have in my pantry and fridge.

Spending $11.61, I bought seasoned french fries, chicken nuggets, and a block of Velveeta-style cheese.  Everything else I needed to create the 'bowl' I had at home in my pantry and fridge.  I did spend $3.02 more than I spent at KFC, but I will have quite a few additional eats with this shop.

Copycat Smash'd Potato Bowl
Seasoned fries, creamy mashed potatoes, a blend of melted cheese, bacon bits, chicken nuggets......

In crafting the bowl, I prepared some instant mashed potatoes per the package instructions, adding some garlic powder and onion powder to kick up the flavor profile.  The seasoned fries and chicken nuggets were done in the air fryer.  For the melted cheese, I cubed up about 3 ounces of the Clancy's CheeseMelt, combining it with about 2 ounces of shredded Colby Jack cheese, a dash of onion powder, a dash of garlic powder, and a healthy splash of whole milk in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stirring constantly, I had a nice cheese sauce in less than five minutes.  In serving up the bowl I put the seasoned fries in first, hitting them with a sprinkle of Koser salt.  On top of the fries went a healthy scoop of the mashed potato, which was topped with the melted cheese.  I chopped up some leftover bacon (reheated in the microwave) to finish the dish, along with some chopped green onion and some shredded Parmesan cheese.

Being able to customize the bowl like that made for a delightful result!

Cost Comparison

  • KFC Smash'd Potato Bowl w/nuggets and a drink - $8.59, one serving
  • Grocery Shopping at Aldi - $11.61, can make several bowls, plus create sides for other meals

For just $3.02 more, I have the flexibility to make more Smash'd Potato Bowls, and/or create a bunch of side dishes for other meals.  I made too much cheese sauce for the copycat recipe for example, so now I've got a nice cheese sauce to go with my eggs for breakfast tomorrow.  Thinking ahead, that brick of Velveeta-style cheese is going to come in handy as a nice base for an awesome queso dip and chips appetizer!  Melt that cheese along with some diced tomato, green chilies, and a few other ingredients...  It's Another Dose of YUM!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related: KFC's new Smash'd Potato Bowl is a MUST TRY




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