I like going to fast food restaurants. Sure, I know I don't fit the profile. I'm not an 18-34 year old guy anymore. But it's still something I enjoy. I order off the value menu wherever I go. My average meal ticket is around $3. Yet right now, I'm saving even more money than usual and I want to tell you how I'm doing it.

Lately, I've been using my phone to download apps from the various fast food and quick serve chains that I frequent. In return for downloading the apps, I get a variety of special offers fed to my smart phone.

The best month to buy fast food

January is the closest thing we have to a fast food bargain month. The customer base of most fast food and quick serve operations is shrinking right now because people just don't have money after Christmas.

So somebody who normally eats out X number of times each week is now eating out X minus 1 or 2 times a week instead. To lure people in, the chains have to come up with all kinds of "buy one get one" offers, freebies, special deals on combos, you name it. The bargains are here right now and I'm thrilled.

Now, I know I'll hear from posters on the Clark Stinks message board who are upset with me because of how I eat. But I am who I am!

Here's a look at the best and worst fast food chains in America

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has tackled the weighty issue of the best and worst chain restaurants out there competing for your dining dollar. The highest rated restaurant in the US is Chick fil A. They got a higher score (86 on a 100-point scale) from ACSI than fancy sit-down restaurants!

Who else did well? Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread snagged the second and third place with scores of 83 and 80, respectively.

The worst in the survey was McDonald's. They got an abysmal 67. Ironically, that failing score puts them light years ahead of Comcast who leads the all-time Hall of Shame of any company anywhere at any time!

Fast food is a subject near and dear to my heart. I am often taken to task for my horrible eating habits. As a young man, my family called me "the carryout kid" because my four food groups were fried, frozen, microwaveable, and takeout. My brother even used an early version of the Dymo label maker to make stickers that said "carryout kid" and he put them on the door to my room and elsewhere around the house!

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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