Living well on a budget, without being truly cheap.

Around The World Is Now Around The Corner


Worldwide Favorites Lineup

Photo Gallery

McDonald’s Worldwide Favorites Menu is Cleared for Landing in the U.S.

This Summer, U.S. Customers Can Get Their Hands on Four Global Menu Items

It’s for real, or as our friends in the Netherlands would say, “Het is echt!” Pack your taste buds and save room in your travel itinerary for a journey to the nearest McDonald’s next month. We are bringing some of our most popular global menu items to participating restaurants nationwide.

Our food is at the heart of what we do and it connects us to our millions of customers that we serve around the world each day. Beginning June 5, McDonald’s Worldwide Favorites will be touching down at participating U.S. restaurants nationwide for a limited time.

“We know our U.S. customers are curious about McDonald’s international menu items. Because we are always innovating our menu, we are thrilled to leverage our global scale and offer popular flavors from around the world next month,” said Linda VanGosen, McDonald’s Vice President of Menu Innovation. “We are committed to creating everyday feel-good moments for customers no matter what McDonald’s restaurant they walk into anywhere in the world.”

Our American customers will have their pick of four craveable and delicious menu items from several of our international menus including:

Stroopwafel McFlurry (The Netherlands): Our creamy vanilla soft serve, mixed with a rich caramel swirl, featuring authentic chopped Dutch Daelmans Stroopwafel caramel waffle cookie pieces. Cookies and soft serve? Yes please.

Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger (Spain): A quarter pound* of 100 percent fresh beef** topped with thick cut Applewood smoked bacon, smoky McBacon Sauce, real Gouda cheese and slivered onions served on a freshly toasted sesame seed bun.

Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich (Canada): Made with a grilled or crispy all white meat, juicy and tender chicken, the Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich is topped with tomato & herb sauce, creamy mozzarella cheese, slivered onions, fresh lettuce and sliced Roma tomatoes served on a freshly toasted artisan roll.

Cheesy Bacon Fries (Australia): Look familiar? That’s right, Cheesy Bacon Fries are back! After such a positive customer reaction to Australia’s Cheesy Bacon Fries in the U.S., they’re taking a victory lap. Don’t miss our World Famous Fries topped with real cheddar cheese sauce and chopped Applewood Smoked bacon.

While rotating favorites from around the world are on the menu at McDonald’s global headquarters restaurant in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, this marks the first time Worldwide Favorites are featured on U.S. menus nationwide at participating restaurants.

These limited time additions are the latest step in continuing to build a better McDonald’s for our customers. We can’t wait to show customers more of the international celebration we have in store this summer! No passport required.

To learn more about our international offerings, check out our infographic below or download it here.

Worldwide Favorites Infographic

*Weight before cooking 4 oz.

**Available at most restaurants in contiguous US. Not available in Alaska, Hawaii and US Territories.

About McDonald’s USA 
McDonald's USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Ninety-five percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook

Food Review: Lime flavored tortilla chips suck

By Mike Thayer

Craving some nachos one night, I stopped at my neighborhood grocery store to pick up some chips and cheese to make one of my all time favorite snacks.

20190414_180000By accident, I picked up a bag of "Lime" flavored tortilla chips.......   Mistake!

Always looking to save a buck or two, I usually buy store brand stuff, in this case Kroger, and they make quality food products.  Don't get me wrong, the quality of these chips were there, they were crispy, good sized chips with minimal breakage in the bag.....  It's just that flavor of lime in the chip, YUCK!

Lime flavored chips and nacho cheese do NOT go together, it's a TERRIBLE combination.  So after eating a few "lime" flavored nachos and hating it.  I broke out the salsa.....  The lime flavored chips were OK with the salsa, it was an improvement over the nacho cheese combo.   But still not satisfied with that, I broke out the knife, sliced open an avocado and whipped up a quick guacamole.

Tortilla Chips
Specs of "lime" flavoring

This was best flavor combo using the lime chips - with guacamole - and in my humble opinion the ONLY way to have lime chips IF you have to eat them.  I'd much rather have plain tortilla chips.  I really didn't even care for the chips without any pairing either, just eating the chips by themselves was unappealing, that lime flavor is just so artificial and "off" putting.

I paid around $2.50 for the bag of Kroger Tortilla Chips with a "Kick of Lime" and they are NOT a repeat buy.  They absolutely suck paired with cheese, they're "eh" paired with salsa and they're just OK with guacamole.  I'll look more closely at the bag to make sure it's simply a plain bag of tortilla chips I'm grabbing next time, because these lime flavored chips get just 1 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.   Lime flavored tortilla chips SUCK!

1 star


Wendy's Three New Chicken Sandwiches are Seriously Made to Crave

Wendy's ChickenDUBLIN, Ohio, -- Wendy's recently released the Made to Crave menu – a sandwich line dedicated to unlocking a whole new world of flavors. Now, Wendy's Made to Crave menu is bringing you a new chicken lineup guaranteed to satisfy those craveable taste buds. Introducing three new chicken sandwiches to Wendy's chicken menu: Avocado BLT, S'Awesome Bacon Chicken and Barbecue Chicken.

Made to Crave Chicken sandwiches takes Wendy's core menu that much further, driving more flavor variety to your go-to chicken sandwiches while never sacrificing quality. The best part? The Made to Crave Chicken lineup features each of Wendy's different fillets. We're talking the lightly breaded and specially seasoned homestyle, grilled and for when you want to raise the temperature a bit – spicy. Each sandwich is made with all white meat chicken with no artificial flavors, preservatives or colors from artificial sources.

"After seeing the customer response to our Made to Crave Hamburger lineup, we knew we had to continue the excitement and flavor creativity with chicken," said Kurt Kane, Wendy's Executive Vice President, Chief Concept and Marketing Officer.  "So why settle for basic when you can satisfy your cravings with any undeniably good, every day flavor from our lineup of new Made to Crave Chicken sandwiches."

In 2017, Wendy's made a significant investment in chicken quality which resulted in more tender, juicy and consistently delicious chicken. Building on that, the Avocado BLT, S'Awesome Bacon Chicken and Barbecue Chicken sandwiches are individually crafted and frankly, anything but basic – because let's face it, everyone deserves an upgrade.

  • Avocado BLT: Wendy's is introducing a creamy, fresh and crunchy take on the classic BLT. Made with a grilled chicken fillet, a slice of melted muenster cheese, three strips of Applewood smoked bacon, crisp lettuce, greenhouse-grown tomatoes, creamy avocado, lathered in a buttermilk ranch sauce, all in between a warm and fluffy premium bun. Purchase the Avocado BLT for $5.99.**
  • S'Awesome Bacon Chicken: Reminiscent of its burger counterpart, this sandwich brings those familiar flavors you love to satisfy that chicken craving within. Made with a lightly breaded and specially seasoned Homestyle chicken fillet, a slice of melted muenster cheese, three strips of sizzling Applewood smoked bacon, iceberg lettuce, greenhouse-grown tomatoes, and of course, Wendy's Side of S'Awesome™ sauce, all in between a warm and fluffy premium bun. Purchase the S'Awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich for $5.49.**
  • Barbecue Chicken: Wendy's has long understood what makes barbecue taste so great, and now, those barbecue flavors have made its way to chicken. The sandwich is complete with a slice of melted muenster cheese, crispy fried onions, three juicy pickles and a spicy chicken fillet to crank that temperature up a notch. To top it off, it's smothered in a sweet and smoky Kansas City-style barbecue sauce that delivers familiar and comforting flavors, making it a top-contender for craveability. Purchase the Barbecue Chicken Sandwich for $5.49.**

To learn more about Wendy's new Made to Crave Chicken line, visit the Square Deal Blog.

About Wendy's

Wendy's® was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas in Columbus, Ohio. Dave built his business on the premise, "Quality is our Recipe®," which remains the guidepost of the Wendy's system. Wendy's is best known for its made-to-order square hamburgers, using fresh, never frozen beef*, freshly-prepared salads with hand-chopped lettuce, and other signature items like chili, baked potatoes and the Frosty® dessert. The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN) is committed to doing the right thing and making a positive difference in the lives of others. This is most visible through the Company's support of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® and its signature Wendy's Wonderful Kids® program, which seeks to find every child in the North American foster care system a loving, forever home. Today, Wendy's and its franchisees employ hundreds of thousands of people across more than 6,700 restaurants worldwide with a vision of becoming the world's most thriving and beloved restaurant brand. For details on franchising, connect with us at Visit and for more information and connect with us on Twitter and Instagram using @wendys, and on Facebook at

*Fresh beef available in the contiguous U.S., Alaska, and Canada
**Recommended Pricing; Participation may vary.


Product Review: Athletic Works Water Shoes

By Mike Thayer

20190501_200310-1Water shoes, a.k.a., aqua socks....  They're great for fishing, they beat any other foot gear when it comes to launching a boat or even if just bank fishing.  If you're stuck on the shoreline, water shoes give you the confident ability to wade out from the bank a bit and extend your casting range.  There's no fear of slipping on rocks and your feet won't feel like two anchors once you step out of the water because water shoes drain and dry so well.

So what kind of water shoes should you buy?

Last year, when taking a fishing vacation, I went cheap and while the shoes I purchased did the job intended, the quality was less-than-stellar.  What I bought amounted to a disposable pair of water shoes.  You can read that review here.

This year I spent a few more bucks and my focus was on buying a pair of shoes with a much thicker sole and hopefully, improved tread life.

I bought a pair of water shoes made by Athletic Works at Walmart for $10.

20190504_072015Athletic Works Water Shoes are easy to slip on and take off, they include a Velcro fastener for a nice, snug fit and most importantly, they're comfortable.  The mesh breathes and dries well and the tread held up nicely to three days of bank fishing, walking on rocky shoreline, on gravel paths, sandy beaches, through some muddy/grassy areas and side trips to town for gas and munchies.   Traction on multiple surfaces was never a concern with these shoes, they're solid.

Athletic Works Water Shoes gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  They're priced right at $10, comfortable, dry well, and the tread holds up.  This is a quality water shoe at a low price.

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Building Planter Containers on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Asphalt Garden
The pallet look

So I live in an apartment, I like to garden and I do have a patio where I do some container gardening, but it's ground level and it's asphalt.  That means it gets REALLY hot....  When it's 90 degrees out in the summer, add another 10 degrees to that temp because that dark asphalt absorbs all that sun and radiates.

Hot temps + hot asphalt = unhappy plant roots.  The first year in my apartment, I just did pots directly on the asphalt patio....  Oooopppsss!  No matter how often I watered, conditions just weren't good for most of my plants.  My plants were always too hot and too dry.  In the second season of patio container gardening, I went with pallets, lining my fenceline with them, separating my pots from the asphalt.  While that was a very practical and economical solution to the heat problem that my patio garden plants appreciated, it was a bit unsightly.  The cheap plastic containers I typically buy are easily faded by the sun in one season and pallets just aren't sexy at all, so this year, I gave my patio garden a makeover.

Enter, corrugated metal and cedar planter containers

Asphalt Garden
Under Construction

After looking for planter ideas online, in seed catalogs and gardening magazines, I really got to liking the corrugated metal and cedar look.  What I decided on are raised bed planters designed to put garden soil directly in the planter, but given my patio setting, that's not an option.  What I could do, I thought to myself, was build the raised beds, and prop my containers up on the pallets inside.  A "window dressing" if you will, there would be a lot of downsizing and custom cutting of those pallets involved, but the raised garden planter look would really dress the patio up and I could do such a project far cheaper than buying a bunch of big, ornate, clay pots.

Cedar wood can be expensive, but a top finish board isn't needed for a garden setting, a rustic look and rough cut boards is perfect for this project.  I went with cedar fence pickets, they're cheap - less that $2 a picket - easy to cut, drill and secure in place with wood screws.  The corrugated metal is also cheap, with 2' x 8 ' panels costing about $15 each.  Measuring about 6 feet long by 24 inches deep and about 25 inches tall, these planters cost me about $40 per planter to build.  The pallets, which I already had on hand, cost me nothing.  

This project was fun and fairly easy to do.  The only tools needed really was a saw, tape measure, some tin snips for the corrugated metal and a drill to secure everything in place with screws.

If you're looking to upgrade your container garden, don't think new, expensive pots, think corrugated metal and cedar wood to dress up what you already have.

Container Gardening
A container garden makeover

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Drink Review: Jim Beam Red Stag

By Mike Thayer

Jim Beam Red Stag
Best used in a mixed drink

Blended and flavored whiskeys are red hot right now, consumer demand for brown spirits continues to rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Yukon Jack Jacapple.

Getting a recommendation from a friend and STILL not finding any liquor store around with Royal Crown Peach in stock, for this tasting I opted for Jim Beam Red Stag, their traditional 4-year-old oak aged whiskey infused with black cherry.  This is an 80 proof whiskey, giving it a little more kick.  Most flavored whiskeys are 70 proof.

As usual, I served this up in a straight shot and on the rocks.  You definitely get the cherry sweetness in the nose, but in the swirl and swallow this whiskey came off as a little medicinal for me, a.k.a., cough drop flavored.  You do get the warm base bourbon in the finish but I think this whiskey is best used in a cocktail such as a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned.  I'd rather have a different flavored whiskey in a chilled shot or on the rocks.

Costing me about $17 for a 750ml bottle, the price is reasonable and this whiskey is a borderline repeat buy, as a mixer only.  Jim Beam Red Stag gets 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.

3 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


What to do with leftover ham - make HamDawgs

Mike's HamDawgsHave some leftover ham from Easter?  Here's a fun and VERY TASTY recipe.

Mike's HamDawgs from
Stuffed hot dawgs


  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked ham
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 package of all beef hot dogs
  • 8 to 10 slices of bacon
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Louisiana Hot Sauce (optional)


Mix the first six or seven ingredients.  Slit the hot dogs, cutting them almost end-to-end and about ¾ the way through.  Stuff with the ham mixture.  Wrap the stuffed hot dogs with bacon and secure with tooth picks on each end.  Grill over hot coals, giving them ¼ turns and brushing them with BBQ sauce (and optional BBQ/Louisiana Hot Sauce blend) until the bacon is crisp.  Serve in toasted garlic buttered hot dog buns.

What to do with leftover ham

By Mike Thayer

Mac and cheese w hamSo you've got a bunch of ham leftover from the Easter dinner you made, or ham you were given to take home....  You can't just keep slicing a big thick slice of it off and eating it as is.....  Well, you can, but there's no variety in that.

What else can you do with it?


There's the obvious, make a sandwich.  Some ham, Swiss cheese, a little mustard between a couple slices of bread or in a bun....  It's another dose of YUM!

You could grab a box of scalloped potatoes from your pantry, make the potatoes per the box instructions, chunk up some of that ham, throw that in before popping those taters in the oven and boom!  Dinner.  To add a little kick, finely dice up some jalapeno pepper to include in the mix.  TASTY!

You could do a similar thing by grabbing that box of mac & cheese from the pantry and in about 10 minutes, you'll have another lunch or dinner.

Dice some ham up and put it in the fridge for later use.  You can quickly grab that diced ham for a number of dishes.....  Diced ham and scrambled eggs for breakfast; Diced ham on a salad;  Ham fried rice; Ham & beans in the crock pot; Grab some tortillas to make ham & cheese quesadillas; open up a tube of crescent rolls and bake them up with ham and green onion.

There's all kinds of things you can do with leftover ham, have fun with it!

Here's a quick recipe for the grill - Ham Kabobs.


  • 1 can of pineapple chunks
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • a splash of orange juice
  • one medium green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • leftover ham, cut into cubes


Fire up the grill.  While the 'outdoor stove' is getting warm and ready to receive, drain the pineapple, saving the juice for a marinade.  Mix that pineapple juice, yellow mustard, clove and orange juice in a small bowl, set aside.  Put the pineapple chunks, green pepper and ham on wooden skewers (you soaked them in water for about 30 minutes, right?).   Grill for about 5-8 minutes over direct heat, basting the kabobs with the marinade and rotating frequently until cooked through.  Makes a great appetizer or side dish!

Food Review: Firehouse Subs New "Firehouse Pairs"

By Mike Thayer

Firehouse PairsFirehouse Subs recently announced a new promo, calling it "Firehouse Pairs" which is pairing any small sub with one of their signature sides for $7.79.

Here's their description from the initial promo:  Introducing Firehouse Pairs now available at U.S. locations. Pair any Small Sub with a Signature Side, like a small Hook & Ladder with our new Five-Cheese Mac & Cheese, elbow macaroni in a rich white five cheese sauce made with White Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Parmesan, Romano and Asiago cheeses with real cream and butter and a toasted bread crumb topping.

Sounds great right?  So that's what I went with, the Hook & Ladder and Five-Cheese Mac & Cheese.

Firehouse mac and cheeseWhat comes on the Hook & Ladder Sub you ask?  Smoked turkey breast, Virginia honey ham, and melted Monterey Jack, served Fully Involved® which in Firehouse speak means – Loaded complete with mayo, deli mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a kosher dill pickle on the side.

I ordered the sub on wheat bread and went over to the drink area to pour myself a soda.  I was now in "Hurry up and wait" mode, but it was well worth it.

I dug into the mac & cheese first.  The mac & cheese was outstanding, the pasta was perfectly cooked and surprisingly Al dente, not mushy as I had feared with visions of school cafeteria mac & cheese slop running through my head.  The sauce though is what puts this mac & cheese over the top, you get all those cheeses in every bite and the bread crumb topping was toasty crisp.  This mac & cheese delivers on the description hype with every spoonful.

Firehouse Hook and LadderThe Hook & Ladder Sub was equally good, I found myself alternating between the sandwich and the side.  There's so much flavor packed into the Hook & Ladder and it was prepared perfectly.  My sub had a generous portion of meats, the cheese was melted perfectly, the bread was soft and warm and the "Fully Involved" was spot on.  Firehouse cranks out some great sandwiches, I've had their Hero Sub and their Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket - I don't think getting a sub that disappoints is possible at Firehouse.

5 starsThis meal was totally satisfying and with a drink cost me $10.41.  It was almost, I say almost, too much food!  Firehouse Subs and their Firehouse Pair of the Hook & Ladder Sub and Five-Cheese Mac & Cheese gets 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.

Along with a great lineup of subs, other sides in the Firehouse Pairs include Firehouse Chili, Loaded Potato Soup and Side Salad.

I'm trying that Loaded Potato Soup next time!

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Taco Bell fights calendar inequality so fans can boldly celebrate tacos any day of the week with Party Packs, now available for delivery from participating locations

Taco Bell Taco TuesdayIrvine, Calif. - In an open letter, Taco Bell is challenging the long standing tradition of eating tacos on a predetermined day of the week: Tuesday. Should any one day have all the taco glory just because it makes for a good hashtag? No. Times are changing and so are societal food norms. Which is why Taco Bell wants fans to reBELL against this alliteration and enjoy every taco day like it’s Tuesday. It’s time to elevate tacos, and Taco Bell Party Packs, to their rightful place as the go-to party food on their rightful day: any day.

Taco Bell is bringing this taco liberation to life in its newest campaign, “Taco reBELLion,” that encourages fans to break away from Tuesday customs and enjoy tacos with their crew any night of the week. Launching on 4/21, the :60 second spot shows three taco gangs (the Hard Shells, the Soft Shells and Los Locos) coming together to rebel against the tradition of tacos on Tuesdays and together they fight, in the form of an epic dance-off, for tacos any night.

Chief Global Brand Officer Marisa Thalberg has a rallying message for taco fans everywhere: “Of course we love that there is a day of the week dedicated to tacos, but we believe it’s time to challenge societal norms and for our fans and their friends to feel empowered to enjoy tacos without limits. When you think of tacos, you should think of getting together with friends any day, not just one day of the week.”

To further empower squads to join the taco uprising, Taco Bell is also launching a new line of reBELLious merchandise. Available on the Taco Shop, the new shirts and patches allow taco nonconformists to show off their taco pride and pledge their support for “Taco Any Day.” Because every rally needs fuel, Taco Bell is offering 15% off one Party Pack when you order online or on the app through June 8. Valid for in-store pick up only at participating locations*. It’s time to reBELL and empower groups to party with tacos from Taco Monday to Taco Sunday.

Whether fans like them crunchy, soft, or locos (Doritos® Locos Tacos to be exact), Taco Bell is breaking the monotony of at-home party food with a taco offering too good to get delivered just on Tuesdays. No matter the occasion or who’s in your crew, Taco Bell Party Packs offer the ultimate taco customization, including vegetarian and vegan options, making it the go-to food for gatherings. Feed your pack of reBELLs with any or all five Taco Bell Party Packs (Taco, Supreme® Taco, Variety, Supreme® Variety and Grande Meal) which can include Crunchy Tacos, Soft Tacos, Crunchy and/or Soft Tacos Supreme®, Doritos® Locos Tacos, Doritos® Locos Tacos Supreme® and even Bean Burritos. Be sure to visit or the Grubhub app for Party Packs pricing, which varies (tax extra).

* For more details on the 15% off offer, click here.

About Taco Bell Corp.
For information about Taco Bell, visit or find us on social media. Like: -- Follow: @TacoBell and @TacoBellNews (Twitter), tacobell(Instagram) and tacobell (Snapchat) -- Subscribe: – Explore: