The great McNugget caper: McDonald's is ripping you off

We run into McDonald's because it's easy and cheap, and that keeps us from turning on the stove. But did you know that you've also probably been turning off your brain?

The Golden Arches is pulling off a little sleight of hand in the way it prices its McNuggets. Like the best optical illusions, the truth has been right before your eyes, but most of us have never noticed it.

Depending on where you live, your nuggets cost a buck if you get them on the Dollar Menu. That's a quarter each. Get 10, and you pay around $4, or 40¢ each. Spring for the whole 20-piece banquet, and the price is more than $7, or 35¢ per bird chunk.

If you really want 20 nuggets (and I must remind you that chickens do not actually produce nuggets in nature), just buy five orders off the Dollar Menu and you can save two bucks. Two bucks! Most of us assume that the larger portion options and set meals are available because they offer economy of scale. Clearly, that's a Kroc.