CHEAPBURGERS

I don’t want you planning any big dinner parties around this until you verify it for your own community, but McDonald’s — Mickey D’s, as gourmets know it around the world — seems to be giving away the store. I walked in Sunday night, the guest of a guy who cooks like a guy, and confronted the usual brightly backlit billboard of enticing $2 and $3 choices. Nowhere on the board did it reveal the secret my friend claimed to know (he told me he had seen it revealed in a massive TV ad campaign): that on Sundays, cheeseburgers are 39 cents at McDonald’s.

“No way,” I had told my friend, much as a muggle might regard the prospect of an all-owl postal service. (I read Harry Potter over New Year’s.)

“Way,” he insisted. “Watch this.”

And before you knew it, we had all feasted royally . . . his treat . . . and I had forked over $8.40 (with tax) for an additional 20 cheeseburgers “to go.”

Therefore:

  1. Buy cheapburgers. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have bought 50 or 100.
  2. Freeze. Not the ones you plan to eat in the next few days, but the rest.

That’s it. When you’re hungry, just microwave for a minute. I had one just now for breakfast. Outstanding. (Charles was beyond horrified.)

Hint: To moisten even more delectably before microwaving — and to increase the nutritional content of your meal — lift the top bun after 40 seconds and add a glop of ketchup. (Ketchup is both a fruit and a vegetable.) Then microwave a final 20 seconds. I don’t usually like to complicate my recipes with an extra step, but in this case, it’s worth it.

Note: Requires no cookware or utensils of any kind, either for cooking or dining. The cheeseburgers come individually wrapped, suitable for microwaving. Clean-up, upon completion of the meal, consists of scrunching the wrapper into a ball and rebounding it off the wall into the trash. (Scrunch with all ketchup and grease on the inside, so as not to mark the wall.)

Want to save even more money? Wednesdays, plain hamburgers are 29 cents.

Thirsty? Quaff, naturally, with an ice cold bottle of Honest Tea.

Money no object? Mondays, chicken McNuggets are 79 cents. Go wild.

Vegetarian? Well, truthfully, I think we’ll be hearing more and about animal rights, and finding it less and less preposterous. I’m not a big carnivore. But 39 cents? My taste for a bargain overcame my greener, healthier self.

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