Words & Deeds

New Idaho burger restaurant Frugals: ‘Not as deluxe as Five Guys but half the price’

The 1/4-pound cheeseburger combo at Frugals will set you back $6.37 — plus a penny or two of gas money at the drive-thru window.
The 1/4-pound cheeseburger combo at Frugals will set you back $6.37 — plus a penny or two of gas money at the drive-thru window. Frugals

When it comes to fast-food chain Frugals, the name says it all.

“Frugals is frugal,” says franchisee Deb Kramer, who is opening a Nampa restaurant with her husband, Terry. “We try and keep our price point low.”

Founded in 1988, Frugals has three locations in Washington and one in Montana. A recent Yelp review offered this take in Auburn, Wash.: “$2.95 tax included for a burger is solid in my book. Better quality and a bit larger than McDonald’s. Not as deluxe as Five Guys but half the price!”

The Kramers, who live in Montana, plan to open Frugals in Idaho by early March at 704 12th Avenue Road. The restaurant will have two drive-thrus — one on each side of the building — and no seating. Gleaming steel on the exterior will help create an old-fashioned burger-joint vibe.

Prices might not be from your Grandpa’s era, but they’re inexpensive, if not flat-out cheap.

The menu’s 12 burgers/sandwiches range in price from $2.59 (1/4-pound Frugal burger) and $3.59 (grilled chicken sandwich) to $4.29 (halibut sandwich) and $4.99 (1/2-pound double cheeseburger). Customers often add extras such as cheese (40 cents), sliced tomato (25 cents) or, yes, fry sauce (35 cents). Combo meals with a regular fries and medium drink range from $5.57 to $8.27. Each month, Frugals unveils one burger/sandwich and two milkshakes that aren’t on the regular menu.

“We pass along the savings by using plain paper bags and plain napkins,” Kramer says. “We have Coke products that we do in Coke cups, but other than that, everything’s plain. Kind of a Mom-and-Pop environment. Burgers are cooked at the time they’re ordered ... they’re not precooked.”

The new Frugals in Nampa was built at the former site of Squeaky Clean Car Wash. Competition is stiff in the burger world, but Frugals has potential to clean up at that location.

“We happen to be right across the street from Nampa High School,” Kramer says. “So I think that could be definitely a plus.”

Online: frugalburger.com, facebook.com/frugalsnampa.

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