Continuing the grand experiment to look at a single fast food menu item coupon price over the course of an entire year, we have another one from Carl's Jr. This time we'll look at their core sandwich, the Famous Star with Cheese.
Like the Western Bacon Cheeseburger, things stayed pretty much status quo for the first half of 2015 discount-wise, with a $3 discount off the purchase of two sandwiches or $4 off two combos. The second discount sounds more generous because you are saving $2 off each "meal" rather than $1.50, but they are getting you to buy two sets of fries and drinks. Let's keep our experiment focused on just getting a discount off the primary menu item. These fries and drinks are a distraction. Still, the perception is a bigger discount.
A month later and things get generous all over. September/October seems to have been a great time to save money at Carl's Jr., as the Western Bacon Cheeseburger exhibited a similarly generous discount. Here we see a $2 savings on one burger or $3 off the combo. In this regard, both coupons are a deal, because you could say you are getting $2 off the sandwich either way and saving $1 off the fries and drink if you were so inclined.
Also like the sibling WBC, in October we start seeing a free sandwich only if you buy a combo. Not a deal if you don't need the fries and drink.
The free fries and drink with the purchase of a sandwich at full price is how we end the year. Again, like the Western Bacon Cheeseburger, you could walk into the restaurant at the beginning of the year and count on some sort of sandwich-only deal. Now you end the year paying full rack rate and getting peripherals you may not want.
But we're not finished yet. Let's take a quick detour to the Famous Star's big brother, the Super Star.
For this one, I actually have two unexpired coupons. The first one above expires January 2 of next year. As you can see, I must pay full price for the sandwich and they will generously give me fries and a drink. No surprise there, but take a look at the next one that expires just two weeks later:
Oh how the mighty have fallen. Now I don't even get the fries. This sort of NON-COUPON is a dangerous way to start out the new year. I'm distressed for 2016. Even more so, now I feel obligated to keep collecting these damn coupons just to track this.