McDonald's Viral $12 Dinner Box Feeds 5 People - But There's A Catch

Finding a great deal on food is hard nowadays — even fast food. Between Wendy's testing out a dynamic pricing model that could inflate the cost of a burger during busy times and AI-powered drive-thrus designed to encourage you to spend more money, it's getting rough out there. So when a TikTok went viral spilling the beans on a $12 McDonald's dinner box that's big enough to feed a family, people were shocked — and naturally wondered how to get one.


Leiela Kapewa-Latu, a mom who shares videos on budget-friendly meals and activities under the username xolovelei, secured the box at a McDonald's in Texas. It contained two cheeseburgers, two Big Macs, four small fries, and 10 pieces of chicken nuggets plus sauce. For those in disbelief, she even shared her receipt to prove the array of food really was only $12. It's a true shock since, when ordered without the box deal, the items can total twice as much.


$12 Dinner Boxes at McDonald's is worth it!! #budgetfriendly #mcdonaldshacks #fyp

♬ original sound – xolovelei

Commenters on Kapewa-Latu's video were quick to test out the tip for themselves, hunting for the box deal and discovering its availability and price varies. As it turns out, individual McDonald's franchises can set their own prices and create their own deals. That means the best way to find out if a McDonald's near you offers a bundle box is to ask at the location. But before you do, here's what to expect when trying to order the viral McDonald's dinner box.


The same deal isn't available (or as affordable) at all locations

Location, location, location — it means everything when it comes to this McD's deal, from whether or not it's offered to its overall value. For some, the dinner box might not be available at nearby locations at all. Besides pulling up to the drive-thru and asking, it's worth checking the McDonald's app to see if a dinner box is listed in the "Shareables" tab or comes up when searched. In addition to the reward points you get toward earning free food, the app is often ripe with other special deals or limited-time offers. This is true for other chains, too; for instance, Dunkin's Short King iced coffee that's available exclusively through March 26 on the chain's mobile app.


Even if you're lucky enough to track down a McDonald's dinner box through the app or in person, it might not cost the $12 as shared on TikTok. For example, one commenter on Kapewa-Latu's TikTok shared that the box costs $22 at their local McDonald's in Ohio, while another mentioned finding it for $25 in New Jersey. Meanwhile, at a McDonald's in Long Island, a bigger box with six small french fries as well as two apple pies is reportedly available for a whopping $49. 

Compared to a location in Texas, though, fast food prices in New York are higher in general. Ultimately, the dinner box's value depends on how much items at your local McDonald's cost. But in this economy, it's still worth seeing if you can score a discounted dinner for a family through this deal.