The Reason Why McDonald’s Soft Drinks Are All $1—Regardless of Size

At McDonald's, you could probably quench the thirst of a family of four for just $1.
At McDonald's, you could probably quench the thirst of a family of four for just $1.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

If you’ve ever walked up to a McDonald’s counter with the intention of ordering a normal-sized Coke and walked away with a full 32 ounces of fizzy liquid, you’re definitely not alone. Since all McDonald’s soft drinks are $1, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to upsize your small to a large.

It seems strange that a business would be willing to sell such drastically different amounts for the exact same price, but it’s actually a savvy business tactic. McDonald’s introduced the $1-fits-all promotion for soft drinks back in 2017 as a way to compete with Wendy’s, Burger King, and other fast food chains that had been slowly stealing its customers. According to Reader’s Digest, it worked—sales increased by 4 percent, and the deal became a mainstay on the dollar menu.

Basically, discounted drinks generate revenue by getting you in the door, after which there’s a good chance you’ll end up purchasing something more expensive from the menu, especially with the tantalizing scents of fresh French fries and sizzling Big Macs wafting right to your brain’s pleasure center. And since production costs for soft drinks are so low, McDonald’s can afford to offer them for especially low prices.

But soda isn't the only item offered at a deep discount—McDonald’s has a whole Dollar Menu with food and drinks priced at $1, $2, and $3, which they know they can count on customers to use as a springboard for bigger, better, more costly orders.

[h/t Reader’s Digest]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

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Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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How Do Astronauts Vote From Space?

Astronaut Kate Rubins casts her ballot from space.
Astronaut Kate Rubins casts her ballot from space.
NASA

Earlier this week, NASA announced that astronaut Kate Rubins had officially cast her vote from a makeshift voting booth aboard the International Space Station. As much as we’d like to believe her ballot came back to Earth in a tiny rocket, the actual transmission was much more mundane. Basically, it got sent to her county clerk as a PDF.

As NASA explains, voting from space begins the same way as voting abroad. Astronauts, like military members and other American citizens living overseas, must first submit a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) to request an absentee ballot. Once approved, they can blast off knowing that their ballot will soon follow.

After the astronaut’s county clerk completes a practice round with folks at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, they can start the real voting process. The astronaut will then receive two electronic documents: a password-protected ballot sent by the Space Center’s mission control center, and an email with the password sent by the county clerk. The astronaut then “downlinks” (sends via satellite signal) their filled-out ballot back to the Space Center attendants, who forward it to the county clerk. Since the clerk needs a password to open the ballot, they’re the only other person who sees the astronaut’s responses. Then, as NPR reports, they copy the votes onto a regular paper ballot and submit it with the rest of them.

Though Americans have been visiting space for more than half a century, the early jaunts weren’t long enough to necessitate setting up a voting system from orbit. That changed in 1996, when John Blaha missed out on voting in the general election because his spaceflight to Russia’s space station Mir began in September—before absentee voters received their ballots—and he didn’t return until January 1997. So, as The Washington Post reports, NASA officials collaborated with Texas government officials to pass a law allowing astronauts to cast their ballots from space. In the fall of 1997, David Wolf became the first astronaut to submit his vote from a space station. The law is specific to Texas because most active astronauts reside there, but NASA has said that the process can be done from other states if need be.