McDonalds Per Dollar – Calorie and Protein Per Dollar At The Largest Fast Food Chain

Cheapest McDonalds Food


With over 35,000 locations, this one will probably end up coming in handy.

How To Use

Select higher items that are similar – You get 50% more buying a Jr. Mac instead of a Big Mac. Not sure how picky you are, but some items are simply better deals.

Remove things you wouldn’t have ordered anyway – If you are a repeat customer, eliminate the over-the-top expensive items you weren’t a fan of. I never really liked their Fillet-o-Fish much anyway.

Fill up when desperate on Cheese Burgers – The protein + calories is going to be the best you are going to get. Consider purchasing a preferable item and one cheese burger for calories.

Should you get a drink? Drinks are technically Infinity Calories Per Dollar. Is it ethical to buy a soda pop and use McDonalds as a wifi hub all day? I can imagine drinking a lot of Calories, Caffeine and getting some work done.

McDonald’s Calories Per Dollar

If you frequent a specific location and want your customized data, download the list and enter your prices. The orders, calories, and protein servings are there for you. Also included in the excel file is Protein/Calorie and a dimensionless weighing system. Prices were similar enough between restaurants to make Efficient decisions.

New functionality! Click on a unit to sort

Menu Item Before Tax Price Calories Per Dollar Protein Per Dollar Cost If Eaten All Year Calories Protein
Sausage Buscuit $1.00 490.0 12.0 $1,489.80 490 12
Chocolate Cookie $0.39 435.9 5.1 $1,674.71 170 2
2 Apple Pies $1.29 356.6 3.1 $2,047.17 460 4
McChicken $1.00 350.0 15.0 $2,085.71 350 15
Fresh Baked muffin $1.49 302.0 4.7 $2,417.11 450 7
Sausage Burrito $1.00 300.0 12.0 $2,433.33 300 12
Cheeseburger $1.00 300.0 15.0 $2,433.33 300 15
Chocolate Shake $2.89 290.7 6.6 $2,511.55 840 19
Vanilla Shake $2.89 276.8 6.2 $2,637.13 800 18
Strawberry Shake $2.89 276.8 6.6 $2,637.13 800 19
Apple Pie $0.89 258.4 2.2 $2,824.78 230 2
McDouble $1.49 255.0 15.4 $2,862.37 380 23
Fudge Sundae $1.49 255.0 6.7 $2,862.37 380 10
Caramel sundae $1.49 255.0 6.0 $2,862.37 380 9
Big breakfast with hotcakes $5.49 245.9 6.4 $2,968.67 1350 35
Double Cheeseburger $1.79 240.2 14.0 $3,038.84 430 25
Oreo Mcflurry w/ candies $2.69 234.2 4.8 $3,116.98 630 13
Bacon McDouble $2.00 225.0 14.0 $3,244.44 450 28
Sausage McGriddles $2.00 215.0 5.5 $3,395.35 430 11
Strawberry Sundae $1.49 214.8 5.4 $3,399.06 320 8
Large Fries $2.39 213.4 2.9 $3,420.98 510 7
Sausage McMuffin $1.99 201.0 7.0 $3,631.75 400 14
Tripple Cheeseburger $3.00 173.3 10.7 $4,211.54 520 32
20 Pc. McNugget $5.19 171.5 9.4 $4,256.97 890 49
Classic Chicken Sandwich $3.00 170.0 8.3 $4,294.12 510 25
Sausage Buscuit with Egg $3.49 151.9 4.9 $4,806.98 530 17
Sweet BBQ Bacon crispy chicken $5.49 151.2 7.7 $4,828.55 830 42
Hot Caramel Macchiato $2.79 143.4 4.7 $5,091.75 400 13
Sausage,Egg & Cheese McGriddles $3.89 141.4 5.1 $5,163.09 550 20
Sweet BBQ Bacon burger $5.49 140.3 7.7 $5,204.81 770 42
Sausage biscuit with egg $3.79 139.8 4.5 $5,220.19 530 17
Pico Guacamole crispy chicken $5.19 138.7 6.4 $5,262.08 720 33
Snack Wrap $2.19 137.0 9.6 $5,329.00 300 21
2 Snack Wraps $4.38 137.0 9.6 $5,329.00 600 42
Garlic White Chedder crispy chicken $5.19 134.9 6.4 $5,412.43 700 33
Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles $4.09 134.5 4.4 $5,428.55 550 18
Vanilla cone $1.49 134.2 3.4 $5,438.50 200 5
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit $3.59 133.7 5.3 $5,459.79 480 19
Sausage McMuffin with Egg $3.59 130.9 5.8 $5,575.96 470 21
Fruit & Mapple oatmeal $2.40 129.2 2.5 $5,651.61 310 6
10 Pc. Buttermilk Crispy Tenders $9.69 129.0 10.1 $5,658.96 1250 98
Double Quarter Pounder $5.99 128.5 8.5 $5,678.83 770 51
Pico Guacamole burger $5.19 127.2 6.6 $5,740.45 660 34
2 Pc. Buttermilk Crispy Tenders $2.00 125.0 10.0 $5,840.00 250 20
Garlic White Chedder burger $5.19 123.3 6.4 $5,919.84 640 33
Sweet BBQ Bacon grilled chicken $5.49 122.0 9.1 $5,981.64 670 50
Mocha $2.79 121.9 3.2 $5,990.29 340 9
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Bagel $4.55 120.9 5.7 $6,039.09 550 26
Hash Browns $1.29 116.3 0.8 $6,278.00 150 1
Bacon, Egg & Cheese biscuit $3.89 115.7 4.6 $6,310.44 450 18
Quarter Pounder $4.59 115.5 6.8 $6,322.08 530 31
Big mac $4.69 115.1 5.3 $6,340.19 540 25
Steak, Egg & Cheese Bagel $4.85 113.4 5.2 $6,437.27 550 25
Southwest buttermilk chicken salad $4.79 108.6 5.8 $6,724.42 520 28
Bacon, Egg & Cheese McGriddles $3.89 108.0 4.6 $6,761.19 420 18
Buttermilk Crispy Chicken $5.29 107.8 5.3 $6,774.91 570 28
Bacon Ranch salad w/ buttermilk chicken $4.59 106.8 7.2 $6,838.16 490 33
Mango Pineapple smoothie $3.19 106.6 1.3 $6,849.12 340 4
Pico Guacamole grilled chicken $5.19 106.0 8.1 $6,888.55 550 42
Iced Mocha $2.79 103.9 2.5 $7,023.10 290 7
Strawberry Banana smoothie $3.19 103.4 1.3 $7,056.67 330 4
10 Pc. Chicken Nuggets $4.29 102.6 5.6 $7,117.50 440 24
Garlic White Chedder grilled chicken $5.19 102.1 8.1 $7,148.49 530 42
Fruit & yogurt parfait $1.49 100.7 2.7 $7,251.33 150 4
Hot Latte $2.79 100.4 5.4 $7,273.93 280 15
Filet-O-Fish $4.39 88.8 3.9 $8,217.18 390 17
Hamburger $3.00 83.3 4.3 $8,760.00 250 13
Egg McMuffin $3.79 79.2 4.7 $9,222.33 300 18
Iced Caramel Macchiato $2.79 75.3 2.2 $9,698.57 210 6
Iced Coffe $1.89 74.1 1.1 $9,855.00 140 2
Southwest Grilled chicken salad $4.79 73.1 7.7 $9,990.57 350 37
Artisan Grilled Chicken $5.29 71.8 7.0 $10,162.37 380 37
Bacon Ranch salad w/ Grilled chicken $4.59 69.7 9.2 $10,470.94 320 42
Egg White delight McMuffin $3.89 66.8 4.6 $10,921.92 260 18
Iced Latte $2.79 43.0 2.2 $16,972.50 120 6
Cappuccino $2.79 43.0 3.9 $16,972.50 120 11

\Raw Data Download


Key Takeaways

  1. Despite The Telegraph claiming the McDouble is the cheapest and most nutritious food in human history. It doesnt stack up to similar home cooked foods.
  2. The McDouble and Cheese Burger are the highest protein per dollar item at 15g/$. This is 33% more expensive than canned tuna and over 300% more expensive than chicken breasts. Honorable mention to the 20% more expensive McChicken.
  3. You could fill up on empty carbs with their 430 Calories Per Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies. Not exactly healthy, but I’ve done similar if I made a protein shake and wanted some solid food.
  4. It seems McDonalds runs sales, see their $1 cheese burger. In this case it was a top deal.

See how we apply engineering to life.

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The Highest Calorie Per Dollar Food In Human History- Oil vs Flour

With only 4 Weekly Updates left for the year my personal goal is for every article to be outstanding. Let me know how I’m doing, I’m always looking to improve.

Reminder that we have a Massive Nutrition Per Dollar Study and the classic Calorie Per Dollar List.

Studying The Highest Calories Per Dollar

Data Collection

Data was collected from various stores, sizes, and brands of different Carbohydrates and Fat.

Despite being bombarded with marketing, we know processed food and fast foods are expensive.

Empty carbs and Jugs of Oil? Those perform well for this metric.

Highest Calories Per Dollar

Take note of how quickly the effectiveness drops off(nonlinear). This is a big deal, especially as something worth 2000 calories per dollar costs 4x as much as your best values.

If you can beat the highest item at 8944 Calories Per Dollar, shoot me a message. The highest value by Christmas will get a copy of Efficiency Is Everything In Life. Send me an email with a photo of the price, Calories, and Servings.


  1. The first ‘edible’ food is Costco’s Rice at 4,800 Calories Per Dollar.
  2. Very few foods at your grocery store exceed 700 Calories Per Dollar
  3. Fast food and Restaurants give closer to 100-200 Calories Per Dollar

Conclusions- Do We Implement This?

Diet Shift

If you currently are eating Pasta or Rice, you are likely averaging about 2000 Calories Per Dollar on those carbs.

A 100% switch to flour(baked goods) would save you about 60 dollars a year. Not exactly worth a gigantic lifestyle change.

Consider it financially healthy to make cookies, fresh bread, and other baked goods*.

*Chocolate chips are expensive, Peanut butter is cheap

Reasonable Supplement

Getting all 2000 calories from Oils or Flour is a disaster waiting to happen.

Lets be reasonable, a ~500 calorie goal. 25% of an average diet.

For 500 Caloires:

Previous Average 700 Calories Per Dollar = 260$ a year
Soybeen Oil = 30$ a year

230$ a year in savings if you supplemented your diet with Costco’s 40lb Jug of Soybean Oil. 11,500$/lifetime

Decision Making

A few hundred dollars a year in savings don’t seem to be worth the lifestyle. However, I can’t blame someone who wants to take the $14,000 dollars in savings over their lifetime.

My Takeaways-

I looked through the data and found I should be buying my Rice from Costco or Aldi. The difference over Walmart hits close to home as it comes out to a very real 180$/year extra expense.

Soybean Oil was scary

I looked into Canola Oil, and their wikipedia page suggested it is decent. I am going to begin incorporating Canola Oil instead of Veg and Olive Oil when possible.

I’ll be using more Canola in my life.

Ideas for more Canola Oil:


I used to do make a similar shake when I was bulking for weight lifting. I used 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 16oz milk, and 1 scoop protein.

Here I suggest similar, but instead use 1 Tbsp of Corn Oil. Shake up and drink.


Lunch and dinner are easy. Oils add a pleasurable mouth-feel in food. Your body is constantly looking for this long term energy storage and has developed to enjoy the smoothness of fats.

You can add this to everything, Alfredo sauce, coat cooked chicken/meats, mix with a salad, mix into fried rice, heck- you can supplement fast food/restaurants by dipping your food in Oil.


Try swapping or supplementing canola oil in some recipes.

I don’t recommend doing this with butter, butter has flavor that is desired.

Time To Decide- Engineer Your Lifestyle

Engineers collect the data and decide the best course based on ability to meet specifications, cost, and time requirements.

You decide what requirements your food needs, make a decision, and optimize.

Reminder that we have a Massive Nutrition Per Dollar Study and the classic Calorie Per Dollar List.

Expand your Efficiency

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Taking a week off with- Party Wine Comparison

End of year is big, finish on a sprint. If you have any last articles you want in, email me right away.

Reminder Efficiency Is Everything – In Life, Beautiful Efficiency in the physical world. Read 3 chapters Free Here

Panara Bread Per Dollar – Don’t forget to get requests in ASAP

Allocated a lot of resources to study Grocery Stores. Engineering Intern Matt had strong opinions on high end wine. After we collected the data, he found interesting conclusions.

Here is Matt-

One of the biggest problems faced when attending a party is what food or drink you’ll bring to share with the guests. A bottle of wine is always a good bet when going to a dinner party, but what type do you bring???

Save Money – Don’t Overthink It

I love expensive wine, I really do. Hints of walnut with cast-iron undertones, its great. That’s not what your group of friends need. This is about a fun get together. In those situations the best bet is to go with a cheap wine that tastes good. Cheap wine like Oak Leaf is designed with one purpose, to taste commercially delicious. Oak Leaf finds no joy in having a “sophisticated” taste. We’re talking the “Family Guy” of wine. It tastes good to most people so it costs $7.


  • Buy the box wine. Its the best bang for your buck.
  • Stay away from reds, the alcohol percentage is lower and the bitterness makes them less appealing
  • Sparkling Wine is inefficient no matter the brand. Save money and stick with a Chardonnay, Moscato, or a Merlot.

Cheap Wine Is Better

Bringing box wine to  a party garners two reactions; Excitement or judgment. For those who wish to judge you on your box wine selection please point out the following:

  • Because of corks, an alarming amount of shelf wine is spoiled before you open it, Box Wine is much safer.
  • Box Wine is much more efficient to open and use as compared to traditional bottled wine.
  • It’s a party!

Download Data

Want to learn how to eat Healthy? Here is our Massive Nutrient Per Dollar Study
Save Time Drinking Water– Its actually significant, and learn about principles of Engineering your life.

Reminder to send/comment any articles you want studied before the end of the year, right away.

Aldi, Walmart, Costco, and More Grocer Comparison + Never Shop At Kroger Again

Seeing a deal vs Calculating a deal

Aldi will bring you in for loss leaders on Eggs, but their green peppers are 2x more expensive than Walmart. Which is more cost effective?

Typically we have used Calories Per Dollar, but there is nothing wrong with using other metrics. Rather than see which way a broccoli company rounded on protein nutrition, we will compare mass/$.

Process Notes:

Bulk sizes and store-brand were chosen when available.

We look at

Cost – Mass Per Dollar
Quality- Availability
Quality- Worker Pay

We did not look at: Self Checkout, Greeter Presence, and ‘Singing Employees’. My advice here- Don’t be weak. Basic human interaction is good for you. Consider it exercise.

Grocery Store Comparison

To Continue:

A common theme will be seen today, despite claiming to lower prices, Kroger was our worst performing store.

Aldi and Meijer did not have fresh broccoli available. We track this in a later section.

The size of the packaging didn’t matter to Aldi, who despite being 5lbs lighter was the cheapest place to get brown sugar.

Kroger looks to have a loss leader on butter. Costco does not seem to be the place to buy your weekly groceries.

When I go to Aldi, I usually limit myself to Eggs and Milk. Greek Yogurt hits 40g of protein per dollar at Aldi. This is exceptionally high and a recommendation.(Note, I haven’t tasted it)

Costco and Sams Club were recorded with their almost nauseating 3lbs of canned tuna. This does not reseal, and possibly intended for restaurants. This is more expensive than Walmart and Aldi consumer sizes. Aside from the membership fees, wholesale seems more like a Marketing tactic rather than bulk bargins.

Introducing Effectiveness

Efficiency is measured as Metric/Cost. Effectiveness is measured Metric/Maximum.

Aldi, Costco, Walmart, and Samsclub are all above 95% Effective. You aren’t losing that much going from store to store. However Meijer under 50% would be an awful place to frequently purchase flour.

Can you go into Aldi and Walmart with a smile and create a positive aura?

Sams Club is often close to the price of their own store, Walmart.

On many items we found it was significantly more expensive to get the Sams Club product.

While my original statement was a bit drastic(considering it was inspired by the fall of Carthage), I don’t see a reason to maintain a membership at Sams Club.

Thought this was interesting. Want that peanuty flavor? Peanut butter is 2x more effective than peanuts.

I’ve noticed this reoccurring, massive bulk packaging saves around 30% of the cost. That is the highest possible amount you can save from Costco and Sams Club. The top item was a 50lb bag of pinto beans. Despite my urge to believe I need commercial sized quantities of food, the savings on this 50lb bag is only 10 dollars, and in 2 years the food will have expired.

Oh Kroger…

Home Stretch

This looks quite odd, however, my Walmart and Aldi lack a variety of produce, their only Spinach was precut in packaged bags. The lesson here- Packaging is expensive, if you can avoid it, you will save money.

Walmart kicks butt on sugar. Wholesale doesnt benefit you for going big.

Aldi had a crazy loss leader, a bag of sweet potatoes for a dollar. I didn’t believe it, so it was the item I purchased to confirm, they gave you a multi-pound bag of sweet potato for 1 dollar.

Fish prices vary drastically by store.

Tortillas seem to be similar from store to store.

This week everyone had a sale on Turkey. It seems Walmart and Aldi are not having difficulty bringing people in. The protein per dollar is deceptively high due to using the weight of bird=weight of edible meat in this math.

More interested in the Calories per Dollar, Pasta seems to have gone down in price in the last few years. My goal for ’empty white carbs’ is around 2000 calories per dollar. I’ve gotten crazy deals on cereal close to that amount, and I usually stock up. At 2000 calories per dollar, anything is a pretty good buy. Walmart 1$ knockoff girl scout cookies often meet this criteria.

Raw Data can be found here.

Comparing Workers Wages

Really Kroger? Really?

Your decision if this matters to you. It doesnt seem like any grocery store pays well.

Variety and Cleanliness

From our list we found Costco, Aldi, and Sams Club did not have many of the items we were looking for.

How to Shop

Sams Club

Don’t shop at Sam’s Club.


Don’t shop at Costco.


Aldi is great for a few products, however, keep an eye out for massively expensive products. IE: If chicken breasts are 1$/lb more than other stores.


They have a massive variety of groceries at low costs. I recommend them for low cost fresh food and produce.


Meat costs were low. With protein being expensive, Meijer surprised me and will have a new customer. Warning to keep an eye out for expensive products.


Never again, and you should tell your friends.

Why Kroger?

How does a company pay their employees so poorly and have such uncompetitive food prices? Their target demographic will pay more. Flashy signs claiming low prices, clean store, a name that isnt ‘Walmart’. Upper Middle class people routinely go to Kroger without knowing how bad costs are.

Try eliminating Kroger, it will take a few weeks to learn a new grocery store, but your weekly savings will be noticeable.

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The Math To Throwing Parties Efficiently – Appetizers, Food, Oz Liquid Drinks, Alcohol, Per Dollar

With the holidays’s coming up, you can save money on throwing your own party understanding the cost breakdown of throwing parties. Article idea courtesy of Brooke.

New for 11-1-17:

Week 2 Video + 4 solutions to avoid wasting money on fast food

For Arby’s Fans, Calories And Protein Per Dollar– For cheaper and healthier- Nutrient Per Dollar Study.

Last Chance to join our 2 Hours Per Week Workout for free. 12 others have signed up to transform, its only 2 hours a week.


All food recommendations ahead are mostly out of time necessity. If you have time, you can likely save money by making homecooked hipster foods. Your friends will like it better too.

Party Essentials

Throwing a party should focus on the people, not the features. However, without food and drinks, parties teeter out, making providing these a necessity.

Paper Plates, Cups, and Napkins

The following two are full studies that I found fascinating to run.

Paper Plates, Plastic Cups, and Plastic Forks were studied last year. We found the prices so cheap, I was afraid releasing the article would cause massive pollution.

Regarding Cleanup- Paper Towels and Napkins Per Dollar

All Raw Data For This Article- Click Here

Drinks For Thirst

This is one of those ‘Quantity over Quality”. Although, if your goal is to quench your thirst, Quantity is your Quality.

Drinks For Drunk

Old Article, Ethanol Per Dollar. The list below is different, more party-centric.

This has a bit of variety and can give you a scale to understand how much alcohol comparatively costs to one another.

Bread and Circuses, Feeding The Masses

Starting with food, Appetizers are a warmup as a party gets started. It also saves the evening of someone who forgot to eat.

Note that home cooked foods dominate the top of the list. Filler carbs performed well too.

Eggs were on sale causing the Protein Per Dollar to skyrocket. As an aside, eggs are a fantastic value, especially as grocery stores like Aldi and Walmart fight for the lowest cost carton of eggs. Keep an eye out of sales on commodities(milk, bread, meat, etc…), they are actually deals. Sales on Name Brand products are advertisements, not efficient.

Frozen foods like bagel bites performed poorly. As a recommendation, if you are going to spend that much money, get a veggie tray.

Catered food?

I was originally going to compare catered food, but after 6 restaurants, I found the prices were high and the quality wasnt comparable. The cheapest I found was Pizza, and as you spend closer to 10-15 dollars a person, you will get banquet level food.

Major Food Solutions

Need dinner amounts of food? I’m a big fan of cooking. The most difficult aspect here is cooking massive amounts of food at a single time. Pasta with sauce, slow cooker pulled pork, meatballs, etc.. are all cost friendly options.

Look for deals this winter on meats. Last year I found Turkey for almost 1.00$/lb. In the past, I’ve found Ham on sale as well.


For a house party, we like to visit Wikipedia This Day In History, and throw a party about the event. Telling everyone to wear a single color, make funny related games, and naming appetizers is a cheap way to add some Culture to the party.

DIY custom banners are significantly cheaper than a professional custom banner. Your call if a generic Happy Birthday Banner is worth the price. Consider the event before impulsively buying dollar store decorations. Your party should have life without tacky generic decoration.

If you must, garage sales, thrift shops, and dollar stores can fill up your home with decoration.


While I’m not a fan of board games, having friends bring board games can be a free way to keep people entertained. However, I’m repulsed by board games, I’d much rather wander around talking to party-goers.

Background music is a free MUST. It sets the mood of the party, use it for Good.

I’m a big fan of twister.


Lots of information this week, but here are my takeaways:

  • The more DIY, the lower the cost.
  • Food is cheap, Alcohol is more expensive. Catered food is more expensive than Alcohol.
  • If friends are offering, have them bring their favorite drink instead of food
  • Parties are often lower cost than visiting a restaurant or going to a bar
  • All of my parties will now include peanuts 😛

Other tips:

Don’t forget Ice, Utensils, Mini Umbrellas, Ice, Lemons, Limes, and Ice. Don’t forget ice.

Let me know what you think, how else can you optimize a party?

High Per Dollar – The Data – Legal vs Pharma vs Illegal Drugs.

Disclaimer: This is a study, may the data be used for Good.

New This Week

Failed Biphasic Sleep Experiment – Haley’s Q&A

First Efficiency Challenge – You will save money, take it on!

Fun Fact, The Definition of Efficiency (Wikipedia):

Efficiency is often measured as the ratio of useful output to total input, which can be expressed with the mathematical formula r=P/C, where P is the amount of useful output (“product”) produced per the amount C (“cost”) of resources consumed.

Product Per Cost Of Various Drugs- Data Collection

The data gathered for this study was from peers, it varies by region, person, etc… however the data came out to be significantly more consistent than expected. Hours High Per Dollar seems to come out on an exponential scale rather than linear. This made it forgiving for price differences.

Drug should be pretty straight forward, Situation is how its consumed. IE: 5 Cups of coffee, 1 (one time use), Average Smoker(daily). Duration was close to the average, and rounding up/down taking into consideration half-life and order of reaction.

Remember all of this is user data, if you would like to contribute data, leave a comment and I’ll get it updated.

Hours High Per Dollar

Caffeine Vs Everybody

Warning Caffeine kicks butt. I’m not impartial, I drink 5 Cups of Caffeine a day.

Appetite suppressant, nootropic, and highest High Per Dollar. Caffeine is the best drug, relatively safe, and wildly accessible.

The accessibility of caffeine means many forms of getting the drug. While I used drip coffee, even an expensive trip to a Fast Coffee Shop is lower cost than many alternatives.

Now, Caffeine might not make you forget your existence and decide to live the rest of your life as an Orange- but it can be powerful.

Even with a high tolerance, 5 cups of coffee during work hours will have me focused, excited, and jittery. Plus, who knows, maybe questioning your own existance on psychoactive drugs could be a bad idea. Then again, it is possible to die from caffeine, so- use this data for Good.

Other Oddities

A few things to point out:

  1. Hard Drugs are Bad, mmk? Heroin and Cocaine are not very good deals for occupying time
  2. Weed appears lower cost than Alcohol on a “One Off” bases and an addictive habitual use
  3. Prescription drugs vary drastically by type
  4. Your best deal for a daily habit is Caffeine, then Weed, then Alcohol, then Nicotine, then hard drugs.

If there is any interest in deeper studies like a more comprehensive Nicotine or Prescription drug study, comment. My drug use is limited to daily caffeine, alcohol, weed, and occasionally Kava Tea.

Can this be used for Good?

I’m unsure what problems this study can solve.

Could the math behind this encourage better government policy toward drugs?

Could this be used by addicts to attempt to replace an expensive drug with a safer and lower cost alternative?

Any ideas how this data can be used for good?

Nutrients Per Calorie – Math Proves The Healthiest Lowest Calorie Foods

Thinking of turning this into a newsletter since getting user contributions. Let me know what you think of this format.

Efficiency Memes. The Efficiency Memes from Facebook have been uploaded!

Entrepreneur and Engineer, Dan Engerer has been doing Triphasic sleep for over a year. This saves him 20 hours a week.

Sign Up Free for the 2 hour workout/week. This is how me and Misses Efficiency get our bods.

From idea to completion. Sewed Misses Efficiency a dress.

Interested In Nutrient Dense Food? You arent alone.

Matt commented on 10-6-17 that he wanted to see this augmented nutrition per dollar with mass.

The Nutrition Per Dollar table has been updated to include this measurement. You can download the raw data here.

Instead of dozens of pictures, if you are curious how to get the most vitamin A per Calorie, use the excel file and sort.

The Math- Dividing By Max To Remove Dimensions

The units were a bit daunting, ie: (micrograms of Folate Per gram of food)

We removed the dimensions-

Rank= Nutrient Per Gram / Best(max) Nutrient Per Gram

For example:

We then add the nutrients that the USDA provided. Summed up…

Nutrients Per Gram Ranked

This is probably most useful for hikers who are trying to limit the weight of food.

Nutrients Per Calorie Ranked

This was my real fascination, what are the most nutrient dense foods per calorie?

This is what many people would consider ‘The Healthiest Foods’.


Fresh Green Veggies top the list of highest Nutrients Per Calorie.

Peanuts and Almonds are relatively light weight and are packed with Nutrients.

Fortified foods like Cereal and Flour scored high in Nutrient Per Gram, but low in Nutrient Per Calorie.

Anything shown on the list is in the top 30% of foods studied, if your goal is to maximize, consume more foods on the list.

Draw Your Own Conclusions With The Raw Excel Data

Let me know what you think of this newsletter format.

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Entertainment Per Dollar- Cable TV, Netflix, Sony Vue, Audible, Youtube, and more

Edit: Fourms aren’t working as intended. I would appreciate if you mentioned breakfast foods you would like studied in the comments. I will study them for next weeks article.

Not going full social media, however there were requests to expand the knowledge base of Life Efficiency.

Contribute to the study of Life Efficiency by answering my questions or suggesting and discussing new topics.

Looking for specific suggestions for items to study for next week’s Food Study. I added the link to the menu or Click Here

Cost Efficient Entertainment And Sports

If you aren’t already watching Youtube for your entertainment, spend a few weeks watching and subscribing to videos you enjoy. Soon Youtube will learn from you and give you life changing content.

My parents are still spending thousands of dollars a year on Cable TV, full of commercials, and no ability to watch videos faster. Dropping cable TV in favor of internet entertainment will save you money.

Even with Youtube, We still find reasons to spend money for entertainment. Netflix, Big 10 Network, Game of Thrones.

Looking to optimize and find the lowest cost solutions for Entertainment and Sports.

Entertainment Per Dollar

We hooked up a laptop via HDMI cable to our Flat Screen TV. That + a USB Mouse/Keyboard gives us the freedom only a computer can provide.

Youtube is my go-to for entertainment with Netflix HD(Split with Family) slightly trailing behind in daily usage. Hulu is a low cost way to watch Game Of Thrones.

Efficiency Conclusions For Sports Fans

I was pretty excited about Sling TV(7 Day Free Promo) but they don’t have Big 10 Network, which is my biggest reason to get a sports package. If you aren’t watching Big 10 games, I recommend that for a sports fan.

I watch Michigan Football. At 39 hours per year, its a time efficient sport. Long Time Fan + Married into a Dr. from University of Michigan. However, it looks like that is going to cost me 35$/month to get fully legal Michigan Football through Youtube TV or Fubotv.

Time To Cut Cable

We have been Cable TV Free since 2012. Commercials seem extremely weird to me. Why is a hippie randomly meditating in front of a couple and why is he offering a credit check? Bizarre.

If you havent cut cable yet, I challenge you to. If you already have made the jump, optimize your entertainment so you get exactly what you need.

Friendly reminder- You should probably call your cable internet company and threaten to leave for a lower rate.

Share Efficiency with your friends so I can spend less time Marketing and you can get more Engineering.

Pizza Per Dollar- You Will Be Surprised To See Good Pizza Near The Top Of The List

Fun article for the 93% of people who ate pizza in the last month. We are the 7% 😛

I’m starting a Youtube channel where we cook recipes that have us eating for $1000/year per person. I wont be posting them here, so make sure you subscribe!

Pizza is a go-to when it comes to almost any social event.

Birthday parties, Superbowl parties, even weddings (yes, I have actually been to a wedding where they served pizza as their main dish)! The question is: What is your most Efficient Pizza?

Best Pizza Per Dollar

New functionality! Click on a unit to sort

Menu Item Before Tax Price Calories Per Dollar Protein Per Dollar Cost If Eaten All Year Calories Protein
Little Caesars Large Pepperoni $5.00 448 21 $1,629 2240 104
Little Caesars Large Cheese $5.00 400 19 $1,825 2000 96
Little Caesars Large Meat Lovers $8.00 340 15 $2,147 2720 120
Jets Pizza Large Cheese $12.49 248 11 $2,941 3100 140
Little Caesars Large Veggie $8.99 240 12 $3,038 2160 104
Jets Pizza Large Pepperoni $14.28 238 11 $3,066 3400 150
Jets Pizza Large Meat Lovers $17.00 224 11 $3,266 3800 180
Hungry Howies Large Cheese $9.00 222 11 $3,285 2000 100
Jets Pizza Small Cheese $8.49 198 15 $3,689 1680 130
Hungry Howies Large Pepperoni $10.79 195 9 $3,751 2100 100
Hungry Howies Large Meat Lovers $15.00 193 9 $3,776 2900 140
Dominos Large Cheese $12.00 193 10 $3,776 2320 120
Hungry Howies Small Cheese $5.00 192 9 $3,802 960 46
Dominos Large Meat Lovers $16.00 185 7 $3,946 2960 111
Jets Pizza Small Pepperoni $9.88 182 13 $4,007 1800 130
Dominos Large Pepperoni $13.50 178 7 $4,106 2400 96
Jets Pizza Large Veggie $17.00 176 7 $4,137 3000 120
Dominos Small Cheese $7.00 171 8 $4,258 1200 54
Papa John’s Large Pepperoni $15.74 163 5 $4,488 2560 80
Hungry Howies Small Pepperoni $6.29 162 8 $4,502 1020 48
Papa John’s Large Meat Lovers $18.99 160 6 $4,560 3040 120
Buddy’s Large Pepperoni $16.99 159 6 $4,600 2696 104
Buddy’s Large Cheese $15.49 158 5 $4,634 2440 80
Dominos Small Pepperoni $8.00 158 6 $4,635 1260 48
Dominos Large Veggie $16.00 155 8 $4,710 2480 128
Papa John’s Large Cheese $13.99 154 6 $4,728 2160 80
Hungry Howies Large Veggie $16.00 144 13 $5,078 2300 210
Buddy’s Large Meat Lovers $21.49 135 6 $5,402 2904 120
Buddy’s Small Cheese $9.49 129 4 $5,678 1220 40
Buddy’s Small Pepperoni $10.49 129 6 $5,681 1348 64
Papa John’s Small Pepperoni $9.99 126 6 $5,788 1260 60
Papa John’s Small Cheese $8.99 120 3 $6,077 1080 30
Papa John’s Large Veggie $18.99 118 4 $6,189 2240 80
Buddy’s Large Veggie $21.49 113 4 $6,472 2424 88

Raw Excel Data Download Here

As we’ve known from our original Calorie Per Dollar List The Little Caesar’s 5 Dollar Pizza is your highest Calorie Per Dollar and Protein Per Dollar on the list. It should be noted, this food is 2 times more cost effective than any other pizza place. That’s impressive. However, this still costs about 2x more than we spend on food.

Tastiest Takeaways

I personally cannot handle Little Caesar’s anymore, I had it on Tuesday Nights too many times during my childhood. Apparently my sister having dance class was an excuse to buy those calories 😛

I was shocked to see Jet’s Large Cheese so high on the list, while we don’t eat much pizza, Jets actually tastes okay (IMO) and scored really well.

Honorable mention to Hungry Howies which averages around third place.

The difference in prices get drastic quickly too. Papa Johns and Domino’s costs almost 50% more. At that point I would go to a local favorite, Buddy’s Pizza for nearly the same price point.

If you wanted your restaurant made Efficient, you need to comment and we can study it!

Eat Cheaper and Healthy Instead!

Check out Nutrition Per Dollar, a gigantic study that will teach you quickly how to avoid the expensive foods and continue eating what you like.


Taco Bell Per Dollar
McDonalds Per Dollar
Protein Powder Per Dollar

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Get more Efficiency to improve your daily life. Subscribe and get three slow cooker recipes designed to be low cost, quick and healthy.

Ultimate Low Cost Healthy Food Guide – 44 Micro Nutrients Per Dollar – Data’s Best Foods

Quick Tips To Save Money On Food

Despite Marketing Companies ability to control your perception- Fresh Food is lower cost than Fast Food, Canned, Prepared/boxed, and frozen.

This math will change your life.

Consume More-
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Beans
  • Peanuts
  • Spinach
  • (Flour?)
  • Butternut Squash
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Lentils
  • Canned Tomatoes
Consume Less-

  • Out of Season/Location Fresh Foods
  • Energy Drinks
  • Alcoholic Drinks(sorry not a ton of nutrition in beer + wine)
  • Brand Name Apples
  • fast food/processed food
General Results

Best Values- The Math

There are two types of data presented. Nutrition Per Dollar and Nutrition Ratio Total(Sum).

A straight addition of nutrients would yield an unimportant number due to a wildly high amount of Vitamin A in carrots.

The solution was to remove the dimensions of each to find a Nutrient Ratio:

(Ingredient’s Nutrient mg/dollar) / Max Nutrient mg/dollar

This creates a scale from 0 to 1, where 1 is the best value for that Nutrient/$. By removing the dimensions, we can now add these up. If we decided we wanted to weight one nutrient over others, we could use multiplication.

The numbers below are an addition of 37 micronutrients I considered beneficial.

On Data Collection- I nearly always picked the lowest cost option, and obtained nutrition data from here.

Lowest Cost Nutrition

Understanding and implementing top 50 ranked foods is valuable.

Nutrition Ratio Total = Sum of 37 (Nutrient/$ / Highest Nutrient/$). The original Nutrient/$ can be found below.

The Nutrition Ratio Total is good for understanding scale of value. IE: Oranges(1.57) are 3x more Nutritious Per Dollar than Lemons(0.51).

If you havent eaten a specific vegetable before, I’d toss the veggie into something you already enjoy. We started adding Spinach or Kale to our friend rice. After 10 minutes of cooking, it still tastes like my favorite fried rice in the world, but it has Kale.

Frozen food doesnt show up until #19, where Frozen Carrots are 2x more expensive than Fresh Carrots. The lesson here is to reduce/eliminate canned and frozen food. Fresh/Raw foods are typically cheaper.

One more cost saving tip- Replace a $1.69 Red Pepper with Carrots. Just as sweet.

Flour + Cereal- Apparently low fiber and enriched with vitamins help you score pretty well. Monster took a note from them. We sometimes use flour to thicken our soups/stews, but that’s about it.

Here is the Excel Data:

Download the raw data here

Complete Nutrition Per Dollar- 44 More Charts

Hungry? Get Infinity Data Per Dollar, Download the raw data here.

How To Eat For 1,000$/year

A half decade of studying this topic and having to cook for my ‘used to be picky’ wife, here is my ultimate guide to eating the most nutritious, healthy, low cost food ever. We aim to eat around 700 Calories Per Dollar and my ‘used to be picky’ wife now prefers our menu over restaurants.

Foods to remember

Protein– Beans, Lentils, Chicken, Eggs, Milk, and potentially discounted meats(turkey,pork/ground beef).
Veggies– Leafy greens, Carrots, and in-season veggies
Carbs– Pick Bread, Rice, Noodles- Don’t buy premade boxed rice/noodles.
Spices– Reward yourself. By eating at home you can borderline go wild on spices, sauces, etc… I’ll stay within ~1$ on things like, cream of chicken, a variety of spices, dressing, BBQ sauces, etc…

Make The Food Taste Good

80% of the taste is Easy

Salt, Lemon/Lime/Vinegar, Sugar, Butter/Oil/Fats, and umami taste good.

Add each slowly and taste like you would testing saltiness. If you are unaware of these cheat codes to cooking, they are worth googling.

The challenging 20%

Play around with texture, how you cook each type of food. Mess around with timing when you add spices/sauces.

My preferred texture, usually uses this method to cooking anything- Cook chicken on medium-high ~4 minutes, flip, 4 minutes, (optional deglaze), throw in veggies, cook everything for ~8 minutes. Serve on top of the carb. Change around timing when you add spices and sauces, the order will slightly change the finished product.

Everything tastes good. There are almost 0 foul flavors. Just make sure you Salt, Add an Acid, Add sweetness, Fats, and Umami (the 5 things up top).

Grocery Shop

I go to the lowest cost store in my area with a printed out grocery list of what we are eating for the week(we cycle through 28 recipes).

Writing the list was a solid 1 hour job to type everything out and plan it. We even sorted by isle. However after 5 years of using it, grocery shopping takes less than 15 minutes including checkout.

Pick fresh veggies, chicken, eggs, milk. Our list is more specific but we often will grab low cost, in-season foods. When in doubt- You are still saving money not eating out, and all food will taste good.

Buy fresh instead of canned, frozen. Avoid processed rice/noodles.

Need Ideas?

  1. Go on Google
  2. type in a protein a veggie and a carb, IE:

    Chicken Rice Peas

There will be a recipe for it. And since all food tastes good, it probably will too.


Avoid Fast Food, Restaurants, Boxed Food, Canned Food, Frozen Food, Processed Food. (sorry, I just really want to save you money.)

Even Clif Bars on sale for 1$ off were less than 20g Protein Per Dollar.

Marketing is Crooked

You were told, McDonalds was the cheapest, most nutritious food. How did that 440 Calorie Per Dollar propaganda spread? Today its 2-3x more expensive than anything we eat.

How much did McDonald’s pay The Telegraph to write the article “McDouble is ‘cheapest and most nutritious food in human history'” ?

You were told Prepared Foods are cheaper than fresh food.

Nice move Marketing Companies. You got away with it for, ~20 years?

After years of studying cost effective eating- Healthy, fresh foods are almost always cheaper than anything a company prepares and re-sells.

We understand the convenience factor of having food prepared for us. That has value.

However, Marketing Companies pushed the idea their foods are low cost. I thought I was saving money by eating canned veggies.

Data shuts the myth down.

If you want to support Efficiency, Share with your friends. If you do, send me an email and I’ll send you my cookbook free!

Expand your Efficiency

Get more Efficiency to improve your daily life. Subscribe and get three slow cooker recipes designed to be low cost, quick and healthy.