Sticker shock seems to be the norm when pulling up to the drive-thru in 2024, leaving many to wonder if fast food is still an affordable dining option.

I love to cook, so I rarely order fast food, aside from some weekend trips to get ice cream. That said, there are times when I want nothing more than to get a hold of a big, greasy cheeseburger from one of the many fast food options available in the area. The last time my wife and I pulled up to a McDonald's drive-thru, our meal cost us close to $30. I found that to be outrageous, especially considering we can both eat at our favorite Chinese buffet for less than $25.

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The World Population Review has done some research to determine the current cost of your favorite fast food meals in 2024. The prices of these fast food items vary significantly from state to state, which the website chalked up to local operating costs, competition, and consumer preferences. Before we get to the costs here in Indiana, let's take a look at the most expensive and least expensive states to order fast food.

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According to data collected by the World Population Review, Hawaii comes out ahead as the state with the highest average price for some of the most popular fast food staples. For example, a medium pizza will cost you about $18.99 in the Aloha State. The higher prices can be attributed to a number of factors, such as Hawaii's island location, which increases transportation costs for food products. It's also a popular tourist destination. The state with the cheapest fast food prices is Nebraska, with prices significantly lower than those of Hawaii, with an average cost of $11.99 for a medium pizza.

Now, when it comes to Indiana, the Hoosier state is, believe it or not, also on the low end for fast food costs compared to other states. In fact, a medium pizza in Indiana will cost you about $13.99, but that's still higher than previous years. Personally, when I eat outside my home, it's usually at locally owned places. Not only are the prices largely cheaper than their fast food counterparts, but the food itself seems to be of better quality. I'll certainly be sticking with my local diners for all my burger and pizza cravings in the future.

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