This page is roughly patterned after the "Davis" Cheap Food localwiki here: https://localwiki.org/davis/Cheap_Food
Any restaurant that has a store in the Salt Lake City area and has cheap food options should be added. Specifically, list good deals in general.
Many of these prices fluctuate from restaurant to restaurant, so don't be surprised if prices have changed. Instead, please update this list if you notice a price change.
Remember that just because it's cheap, doesn't make it a good deal. Many "cheap" options are luxuries compared with a reasonable alternative.
For example, soft drinks, coffee or tea at any restaurant will always cost more than an equal amount of water, and it's better for you anyway.
This applies even more for more expensive drinks that don't have refills like juice or alcohol.
If you're worried about water cups being much smaller than regular cups, such as while on a road trip with more space between destinations, many fast food locations provide "large waters" that range from free to $0.25 or so.
Similarly, the difference between a cheeseburger and a hamburger can mean you're paying up to $0.20 for a single slice of cheese.
Remember that desserts are not a necessity--they are a luxury.
If you're prone to impulse buys, consider having someone else buy the food after you make a list for them. Impulse buys are never a good deal.
Don't shop hungry. You are more prone to buying things you don't need, or buying more than you need.
Grocery Stores are almost always cheaper than fast food if you're willing to do a little more work.
Kids meals are always a ripoff. "Numbered" menu items are almost always a ripoff too. The more prominently it is displayed, the less likely it's a good deal for you.
Sit-down restaurants don't include tax or tip in listed prices and fast food doesn't include tax. At time of checking, the tax in SLC is 7.85%
This means that a $10.00 sit down dinner becomes $10.79 with tax and nearly $12.95 with a 20% tip or 12.41 with a 15% tip.
For sit down, think this way $10->$13, $20->$26, $30->$39, $40->$52
For fast food think this way, $1->$1.10, $2->$2.20, $5->$5.40 $10->$11
Those are approximate and rounded up, but easier to remember.
Costco has their famous free samples.
Many restaurant chains will give you a free meal on your birthday. (Most require signup beforehand and will send you an email with the details.)
Many restaurants have a food challenge where you can get it free if you complete it. (Look for wing challenges or burger challenges)
Water is free at most places. :) Bottled water is a ripoff. Especially in SLC where we have delicious tap water!
Many Mexican restaurants will give you free chips and salsa, though they expect you to also purchase something.
$1 or less per item (plus tax)
Del Taco - (Arguably the best place for cheap fast food, especially if you don't like burgers)
Tuesdays: 3 value tacos for $1.29 or 43 cents each.
Thursdays: 3 grilled chicken tacos for $2.29 or about 77 cents each.
"Buck and under" menu here
$1 items include:
"Cheeseburger","Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger", "BBQ Ranch Burger", "Value Parfait", "Value Cone", "Hash Browns", "Apple Pie",
Small drinks, and Sometimes other size drinks too: (Including sweet tea and soft drinks)
Cookies - $0.39 or 3 for $1
Small Coffee - $0.90
Hamburger - Varies from location to location, but always less than the cheeseburger. Sometimes as low as $0.79.
$1 items include:
"Hamburger", "Cheeseburger", "Crispy Chicken Jr.", "Spicy Crispy Chicken Jr.", "Rodeo Crispy Chicken", "Rodeo Burger", "Soft Serve Cup or Cone",
(During breakfast hours):"Small Hash Browns", "Sausage Biscuit", "3pc French Toast Sticks"
Cookies - 2 for $1.
$0.99 items include:
"Jr. Cheeseburger", "Crispy Chicken Sandwich", "4pc nuggets (Regular or spicy)", "Value Fries", "Value Soft Drink", "Small Frosty", "Regular Coffee", "Regular Tea"
Wendy's doesn't have any notable <$1 items, but they do have a frosty keytag you can buy for $2 that will get you a free Jr. Frosty every time you buy something.
They are good for one year, and as long as you use it at least 3 times in the year, your total Jr. Frosty price is less than $0.67 per Jr. Frosty. (Usually $0.79)
Not a restaurant, but the dollar tree deserves special mention here, as most Dollar Trees have food sections where everything is $1.
While there are plenty of meal options, you can also find a plethora of cheap snacky items here, from pudding packs to goldfish cracker knockoffs, and tuna cracker kits.
This one is especially good if you have kids with you, as you can let them pick their favorite items knowing they can't be drawn to expensive choices.
More than $1 (But still a good deal)
$5 Hot and Ready Cheese Pizza or Pepperoni Pizza
Papa Murphy's Take and Bake
$5 "Faves" Take and Bake Pizza (Cheese, Pepperoni, or Sausage)
$5 classic cheesy bread. (Be careful here. They have two cheese bread options. The good deal one is basically a cheese pizza with a hole in the middle with maranara dipping sauce.)