One app hack might save you a considerable amount of money on a signature Taco Bell item.
Taco Bell recently overhauled its Cravings Value Menu, and it’s definitely an improvement. The revamped menu features several new items, all at a price of $3 and under. That’s obviously a welcome change, as fast food value menus have lost much of their actual value lately. But even more notable is how Taco Bell customers have been taking advantage of the menu changes: some have figured out how to “hack” the value menu to slash the price of quesadillas in half.
How to save money on Taco Bell Quesadillas
For such a simple menu item—large tortilla, creamy jalapeño sauce, and a three-cheese blend, with the optional protein of your choice—the Taco Bell quesadilla is questionably expensive. At my nearest Taco Bell location, a cheese quesadilla costs $6.09, a chicken quesadilla costs $7.09, and the steak quesadilla costs $7.29.
What Reddit users have discovered is that the new “Stacker” on the Cravings Value Menu is pretty much a quesadilla in construction: a tortilla is filled with seasoned beef, three-cheese blend, and nacho cheese, then it’s folded into thirds and grilled. I confirmed with a Taco Bell representative that the tortilla used in the Stacker is indeed the same one as the quesadilla, meaning it is the same size.
The Stacker costs $2.29 for me. If I remove the nacho cheese and add creamy jalapeño sauce, which is an additional $0.30, I get the same exact ingredients for Taco Bell’s cheese quesadilla for a total of $2.59. That’s a savings of $3.50, or a 57% discount on the regular cheese quesadilla.
The savings are significant for meat eaters, too. If I swap the ground beef in the Stacker with grilled chicken, that adds $1.40, then I can subtract the nacho cheese and add creamy jalapeño sauce for an additional $0.30. This results in the same build as the chicken quesadilla for a cost of $3.99. That’s a savings of $3.10. Pulling this maneuver with steak, meanwhile, saves you $3.20 on the regular steak quesadilla.
There is a physical difference between the quesadilla and the stacker, but it’s slight. Since the Stacker is folded into thirds before being grilled, a little less of its surface area tortilla is toasted. But I’m fine sacrificing a bit of roasty flavor for all that money, and the Reddit users employing this hack seem thrilled by the savings.
“I swear, these feel like they have more filling than the actual chicken quesadillas,” one Reddit user wrote. Obviously your mileage will vary based off of whoever’s making your food that day, but if you use this hack, hopefully you’ll get lucky with a generous scoop of protein.
As The Takeout’s resident Taco Bell tinkerer, I can attest that the joy of these hacks isn’t just getting more bang for your buck. It’s about pressing a bunch of buttons to see what you can get away with via loopholes. Since Taco Bell’s food is all just the same set of ingredients presented in different combinations, you’re bound to save some money if you mess around with the system enough. The thrill of discovery is almost as good as gaming the system. But biting into a quesadilla at 43% of the cost feels pretty great too.