Remember when you could pull up to any fast food restaurant, and order any number of items from burgers to fries to drinks for just 99 cents?
For 2013, the dollar deals at lunchtime are getting slimmer.
Wendy's Makes Big Changes
Drive up to many Wendy's now, and the 99 cent menu is gone.
In its place a "Right Price, Right Size" menu, featuring a Junior Cheeseburger or Value Fries still at 99 cents.
But some former dollar items are now higher: The Junior Cheeseburger Deluxe (with lettuce and tomato) is now $1.19, and the small Chili continues rising in price, now up to $1.49 in many areas.
Frequent Wendy's customer Jason Wilson has noticed, saying "it's not really worth it anymore."
Dollar Menus Shrinking
USA Today agrees, saying the shrinking dollar item is the newest trend at fast food restaurants.
It says Wendy's now gives 4 chicken nuggets for 99 cents, instead of 5.
Laurie Bogart said "that's true, everything's gotten more expensive and smaller. It's a fact of life."
USA Today says McDonalds is doing much the same thing, last year replacing its dollar menu with a new "Extra Value Menu," with higher prices.
Customers Unhappy With Changes
The report, however, says customers were so angered by the change, McDonald's has decided to keep its somewhat smaller dollar menu for now, where you can still get a McDouble or McChicken for $1.
A report on MSN, meantime, says restaurants need to keep some items at $1, just to bring in customers.
But it says they don't make money on dollar items, so their goal these days is to get you to buy something more expensive instead.
Bottom line: Fast food prices aren't getting any lower, especially as beef and chicken prices continue to rise as a result of last year's drought.
As always don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps co.
"Like" John Matarese on Facebook
Follow John on Twitter (@DWYM)