TikTok feels like the Wild West sometimes. For better or for worse, it’s become the go-to medium through which to disseminate information, especially when it comes to food. We like some of the novel discoveries to be found there, like when users started folding tortillas a certain way to keep stuff from tumbling out. Some trends have left us scratching our heads, like when users were giving themselves diarrhea by eating large quantities of frozen honey. But nothing perks us up more than TikTok videos demonstrating ways to save money on fast food.
User @hannahhuts, real name Hannah Hutson, says she’s figured out a way to get a $2 burrito from Chipotle, which is a huge discount, considering that in Chicago, a Chipotle burrito can start at around $8.50. This TikTok hack could be big. You can check out the video here.
“LIFE HACK FOR WHEN UR HUNGRY AND A LIL BROKE!!” reads Hutson’s instructions in the video, laid atop footage of her munching on a burrito. “Order a pinto bean (extra beans) and cheese burrito at Chipotle they charge it as 2 sides it’s literally $1.94 and it slaps.”
Okay, so it’s a bean and cheese burrito, which is fine. I like those. But most importantly, it’s a steal. My local Taco Bell charges $2.19 for a bean and cheese burrito and those things are pretty small.
Hutson told Fox News that bean and cheese burritos were something she liked as a kid, and as she grew older, she continued ordering them, sometimes out of necessity. “These burritos have saved me a couple times when I really didn’t have money for food,” she said. “They’re filling with good protein, so I want to help out anyone in a similar position.”
She highlights one caveat: You have to order in person for the hack to work. The app won’t allow you to order a burrito with only two ingredients in it. Apparently, commenters on the TikTok video claimed to already have known this hack. One of them said, “I do it w cheese and rice.”
This could be big. The skeptical side of me couldn’t believe that this would work, so I strolled over to a Chipotle location by the office to see if I could take advantage of this seemingly magical hack.
I stepped into Chipotle while the place was in the middle of lunch rush, and the line chugged along smoothly.
When I placed my order, I asked for nothing but a burrito filled with a double order of pinto beans and cheese; I was immediately served incredulous looks from the two employees assembling my lunch.
“Beans and cheese?” one of them asked. “That’s it?” I nodded. “Okay,” they said, in a way that sounded like I’d set myself up for disappointment.
At the register, I noticed that, to my dismay, one of the employees had written “Veggie” in big bold letters on my burrito’s foil wrapper. So the cashier proceeded to charge me for a full veggie burrito, which was a whopping $8.60 even though it contained only beans and cheese. I was indeed disappointed.
The burrito itself wasn’t particularly big, either. It’s a one-hander, as you can see; far from the typical Chipotle baby-sized burrito. But considering that it contained the full-sized tortilla and a generous double portion of beans, looks were certainly deceiving—this thing was physically heavy. The cheese helped break up the sheer monotony of the beans and added some much needed fat to the filling. However, I hadn’t realized until now just how underseasoned the pinto beans are. I’m assuming most people don’t notice this since the beans are usually one of many flavorful ingredients that go into a burrito or bowl. The other stuff, like salsa, does the heavy lifting in terms of flavor and spice.
In the end, I could definitely see the appeal of a bean and cheese burrito from Chipotle, even if it needs a dash of hot sauce. Well, I could see the appeal at a $2 price point, at least. For that price you’d be getting a great, almost unbelievable deal. But it doesn’t matter. The hack didn’t work. I could have ordered additional salsa, veggies, anything with flavor, since I’d paid for the full price of a burrito. Any addition would have made this thing taste better.
I’m sorely disappointed that this hack didn’t work for me. But hell, maybe I did it wrong; Hutson never specified how to order it. My gut instinct says that you can actually pull it off, either by asking specifically for the sides and tortilla and assembling them yourself, or by putting on your natural charm and charisma and specifically requesting that the employee ring this order up as two sides (you’ve got this!). I know I could have pushed at the manager with a gentle, “Hey, I only got two scoops of beans and some cheese in this thing,” but I also wanted to put this hack through its paces. It’s not as simple as the TikTok video made it seem.
TikTok can be a pretty entertaining space, but that’s all it is sometimes. When you have users flooding the platform with dubious advice, sometimes the best way to learn whether or not something works is to try it yourself. Unfortunately, in this case, I (literally) paid the price.