McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Wendy’s debuting cheap menu items amid fast-food price wars

McDonald’s may have rolled out a brand-new version of its long-gone Dollar Menu on Thursday, but Mickey D’s isn’t the only fast-food franchise gearing up for a price war in 2018.

Taco Bell, which previously announced plans to debut 20 different $1 items to its menu in 2018, announced on Wednesday that its new $1 Nacho Fries will be available starting on Jan. 25.

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The fries, which come dusted with “Mexican seasoning” and a side of nacho cheese sauce, will also be available in both Supreme and Bell Grande versions (i.e., with additional toppings such as beef, sour cream or pico de gallo) for $2.49 and $3.49 respectively, per a press release. The Tex-Mex chain had previously hinted about adding fries to its menu during an October Twitter exchange with Mark Hoppus of Blink 182.

Taco Bell's new $1 Nacho Fries will be available starting on Jan. 25. Customers can also order "Supreme" or "Bell Grande" versions for an additional fee.

Taco Bell's new $1 Nacho Fries will be available starting on Jan. 25. Customers can also order "Supreme" or "Bell Grande" versions for an additional fee. (Taco Bell)

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Wendy’s, not to be outdone, also expanded its “4 for $4” menu on Wednesday, and now allows customers to choose from eight different entrée choices including its Double Stack, Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Grilled Go-Wrap, Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, Crispy Chicken BLT, Jr. Cheeseburger, Spicy Go-Wrap or Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe. Like before, each entrée can be paired with chicken nuggets, french fries and a drink for just $4.

McDonald’s, meanwhile, had simply revamped one of its older, more popular promotions — the Dollar Menu — to create its new “$1 $2 $3 Menu,” which is available as of Jan. 4. While the original incarnation of this pricing model hadn’t been included on the menu since 2013, customers can now order sausage burritos, cheeseburgers, soft drinks or McChicken sandwiches for $1; McGriddles, Buttermilk Crispy Tenders, Bacon McDoubles or small McCafe drinks for $2; and triple cheeseburgers, Sausage McMuffins, Happy Meals and a newly-added fried chicken sandwich for $3.

Wendy's expanded its "4 for $4" menu to include eight different entrees, each of which can be paired with fries, nuggets and a drink for $4.

Wendy's expanded its "4 for $4" menu to include eight different entrees, each of which can be paired with fries, nuggets and a drink for $4. (Wendy's)

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The recent price wars may have even prompted fast-food restaurants to introduce new items to their standard permanent menus: In-N-Out, which hadn’t added a new item to its menu in over a decade, is once again serving hot cocoa ($1.60) after the drink disappeared from the menu over 50 years ago.