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What will $11 Get You at Taco Bell?

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Throughout the past season, and maybe longer, there has been several in depth discussions about spending $11 at Taco Bell  (to the tune of at least 54 comments).  I took it upon myself to find how far $11 will go at Taco Bell.

Step 1.  I went to the local Taco Bell in Mulvane, KS and got the prices.

Step 2.  I went to the Taco Bell website and downloaded their nutrition information.

Step 3.  Calculated the Calories/Dollar value for each item.  Here is a chart of the leading and lagging items (food items only, no drinks for this chart):

Item Cost Calories Calories/Dollar Total Fat Sodium
Beefy 5-Layer Burrito 0.99 560 566 22 1470
Volcano Burrito 1.99 790 397 41 1770
Bean Burrito 0.99 370 374 10 1150
Cheesy Double Beef Burrito 1.29 470 364 20 1460
Fresco Bean Burrito 0.99 350 354 8 1170
Caramel Apple Empanada 0.89 310 348 15 310

Gordita Nacho Cheese - Chicken 2.69 270 100 10 760
Gordita Supreme® - Chicken 2.69 270 100 10 630
Gordita Supreme® - Steak 2.69 270 100 11 550
Gordita Nacho Cheese - Steak 2.69 260 97 11 690
Fresco Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco 1.99 170 85 4 680
Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco 1.99 160 80 4.5 550

The Beefy 5-Layer Burrito is the king of calories per dollar spent at Taco Bell.  I love how the Fresco Bean Burrito, a part of the Drive Thru Diet, is one of the worst items per dollar.

Step 4.  I had to figure out how much money the state will take in this endevor.   The tax rate in Sedgwick County Kansas is 7.9% or on $11, $0.80.  I was left with only 10.20 to work with.

Step 5.  Setting the rules.  I decided to look at 6 different meals:

  • Highest possible calories, no drink or duplicates
  • Highest possible calories, a drink, no duplicates
  • Highest possible calorieswith duplicates
  • Lowest possible calories, no drink or duplicates
  • Lowest possible calories, a drink,no duplicates
  • Lowest possible calories with duplicates

I figured these options would give me a nice range of values for people to make their choices from.

Step 6.  Setting the nutritional standard.  Here are the FDA's recomended daily intake of the nutrional values I collected.

Calories 2000
Total Fat 65 g
Sodium 2300 mg


Meal Cost (with Tax)
Calories Grams of Fat mg of Sodium Meal
Highest, no drink or duplicates $10.42 3065 158 9110 Beefy 5-Layer Burrito,Volcano Burrito, Bean Burrito, Cheesy Double Beef, Burrito, Fresco Bean Burrito, Caramel Apple Empanada, Nachos, Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito
Highest, a drink, no duplicates $10.82 3027 137 8025 Beefy 5-Layer Burrito, Volcano Burrito, Bean Burrito, Cheesy Double Beef Burrito, Fresco Bean Burrito, Caramel Apple Empanada, Nachos and a Mountain Dew (40 oz)
Highest with duplicates $10.70 5600 220 14700 10 Beefy 5-Layer Burritos

Lowest, no drink or duplicates $10.16 860 31 2470 Gordita Supreme® - Steak, Gordita Nacho Cheese - Steak, Fresco Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco, Fresco Grilled Steak and Soft Taco
Lowest, a drink, no duplicates $10.85 820 20 2025 Strawberry Frutista Freeze® 16 oz, Gordita Nacho Cheese - Steak, Diet Pepsi 16 oz, Fresco Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco and Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco
Lowest with Duplicates $10.25 0 0 625 5 Diet Pepsis 40 oz

I expected the calories for the top meals to actually be worse, but damn look at the fat.


Holy cow, 158 gram of fat in the highest calorie meal(no drink or duplicates).  That is the equivalent of 14 tablespoons of butter, or almost 2 whole sticks.  That meal has most the same of amount of sodium as two tablespoons of salt.  Talk about bloated.

Alright Royals Review, now we know what $11 at Taco Bell will bring you and knowing is half the battle.  The other half is being drunk or stoned enough to actually try to eat that much Taco Bell.