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Taco Bell’s Five Buck Box is more bang for your buck

By Ken Hoffman - | Feb 18, 2010

This week I reached out for a new NBA Five Buck Box, a bushel basket packed with fill-‘er-up favorites from America’s No. 1 Mexican-style drive-thru, Taco Bell, with 5,600 restaurants coast to coast and top to bottom.

You may have seen Charles Barkley and Lamar Odom waxing eloquent about the NBA Five Buck Box in commercials that seem to run during every sporting event on TV these days. It’s like a broken record, with the needle stuck.

I know, old reference.

There are two Five Buck Boxes: the Volcano Box and the Cheesy Gordita Crunch Box. We’ll take the Volcano Box because it’s got more calories (more bang for your Five Bucks), and there’s something dangerous about a volcano erupting in your belly. We like spicy in the drive-thru. We’re exciting. We live on the edge. We haven’t had a date in five years.

Here’s the Volcano blueprint: 1 Volcano Taco, 1 Volcano Double Beef Burrito, 1 Crunchy Taco, 1 pack of Cinnamon Twists, 1 medium soft drink.

Total calories: 1,380. Fat grams: 76. Dietary fiber: 6 grams. Carbs: 133 grams. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: $5.

Whoa, 1,380 calories and 76 fat grams? Thar she blows! And that’s not counting the extra 200 calories if you order a regular 16-ounce soft drink. Or the extra free refills if you eat inside the restaurant. Show some willpower. Get a diet soda. Yeah, right, that’ll happen.

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch Box slams 1 Cheesy Gordita Crunch, 1 Burrito Supreme, 1 Crunchy Taco, a pack of Cinnamon Twists and a medium soft drink.

Here’s the deal about Taco Bell’s Five Buck Boxes: They really are a bargain. If you purchased each item separately, each box would run you $7.35. That’s almost 50 percent more food for a fin.

Hey, I’ve seen “specials” where you get a $3 burger, $2 fries and a $1.49 soft drink for the ridiculously low price of $6.99. Huh? So Taco Bell’s Five Buck Box does deliver the discount.

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch Box is slightly lower on calories and fat — only 1,270 calories and 63 fat grams. Where else but a drive-thru will you see the word “only” applied to a lunch that has 1,270 calories?

Both Five Buck Boxes feature longtime Taco Bell favorites. There’s nothing new in the box. The new feature is on that little slip of white paper you get with your change — the receipt. It’s a couple bucks cheaper than usual.

Usually, we shoot for “more” in the drive-thru. The only time we like “less” is when it comes to the price. So we’re good to go with these Five Buck Boxes.

If you really do want to drop a few pounds while continuing to pound the drive-thru, Taco Bell does carry a line of low-fat salad and grilled items. They’re actually calling it the Drive-Thru Diet. Good luck sticking to that diet menu when right next to the garden salad you see a photo of a Volcano Double Beef Burrito spilling ground beef, or a Cheesy Gordita Crunch oozing cheese. They haven’t invented willpower like that.


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