Don't eat a Wendy's Frosty until you read this

The Frosty might be the very best part of going to Wendy's, and that's saying a lot — because Wendy's is delicious. The chain might be the oft-overlooked option when it comes to fast food, but they definitely shouldn't be. Why on earth would you choose to go somewhere that doesn't have a Frosty on the menu?

Whether you stop by on a fairly regular basis for a Frosty fix, or you haven't had one in a while, there are some things you need to know. And don't worry, we're definitely not going to try to talk you out of getting one of these frozen treats — quite the opposite. We're going to tell you how to get the most out of your Frosty, and exactly what you need to look out for to get the best deals possible. Because when it comes to Wendy's and the Frosty, there's a lot you should know — and a lot of it is going to make you feel much better about saying "yes" to dessert.

Keep an eye out for those key tags

As it gets toward the end of the year, most people get wrapped up in holiday prep and parties. But there's something that Frosty fans need to keep an eye out for: the Frosty Key Tag.

Wendy's has run their Key Tag promotion for a few years now, and it's a big deal. Basically, it works like this: Buy a Key Tag (they were $2 in 2017 and 2018), and for the next year, you can show it when you place your order at Wendy's and get a free Junior Frosty. That's it! If it sounds like a ridiculously good deal, it absolutely is — so good that you might even find yourself buying some to stick in all your Christmas cards.

There's a bit of fine print, but not much. You'll get one free Junior Frosty per visit, per Key Tag (via The Square Deal), and they're valid from the first day of the calendar year to the last. It turns out that there's something better than a Frosty after all — a lot of free ones.

Take advantage of Halloween

Remember when you were a kid, and you'd go trick-or-treating? Most of what you'd get in your bag was candy — and the occasional apple from that neighbor that just didn't get Halloween — but sometimes, you'd get a coupon book from Wendy's. Chances are good that your parents grabbed those, and guess what? They're still around.

Every year for Halloween, Wendy's still sells coupon books for just $1. The book contains five coupons, each for a free Junior Frosty. Not a bad deal, right?

They usually go on sale at the beginning of October, so keep an eye on social media for announcements. There's no limit to the number of coupon books you can buy, but they're typically only good from November 1 until the end of the year. Still, that gives you two months to keep those coupon books in your car for when you need a quick pick-me-up, or pay it forward and hand them out for Halloween. That's what they're meant for, after all.

Sometimes, they're just 50 cents

It's no secret that food just tastes better when you know you got a deal on it. And Wendy's announces deals on their Frostys a lot. In August 2018, People picked up on the announcement that they were going to be selling small Frostys for just 50 cents each, and it's always a good thing when you can treat yourself to something delicious and spend less than what's in your car's cup holder.

And it definitely wasn't a one-time deal. In May 2019, they announced (via Instagram) that they were going to be doing it again... for a limited time. Sometimes it's for the beginning of summer, sometimes it's for the end of summer, but Wendy's? They always have you covered, and they know that offering a deal on Frostys is going to get you through the door or through the drive-thru.

There's no telling when this promotion is going to come and go, so it's another reason to keep an eye on Wendy's social media. (Aside from the fact that it's often hilarious.)

Here's why you need to eat them with fries

Do you eat Frostys with a spoon or a straw? Or... do you use fries?

If you've never tried eating a Frosty by delivering it to your taste buds via french fry, you're seriously missing out. (And, if you didn't know this was a thing, where have you been living? Flavor combination expert and American University chemistry professor Matt Hartings says (via Thrillist) that people have been doing this since restaurants have been serving both fries and milkshakes.)

But do you know why it's so good? It's all because of how our sense of taste works. The fry-Frosty combo checks a ton of boxes: sweet, salty, soft, crunchy, hot, and cold. It activates all of those different sensations, and when something we're eating makes so many taste receptors light up in our mouths and in our brains, we like it.

We like it a lot. According to Wendy's, they get an average of 21 tweets a day about the miracle that is the french fry-Frosty combination, so if you haven't tried it, or think it sounds weird... try it. It might not change your life, but it might just make it a little bit better.

You can absolutely make them boozy

There's nothing that says you need to eat your Frosty at Wendy's or in the car, and if it makes it home with you, there's some awesome things you can do with it. A boozy Frosty? Yes, please.

Not all alcohol was created equal, and The Takeout did some extensive testing to save the rest of the world from epic fails. They found the best way to give your Frosty a little extra kick was by adding Kahlua, Baileys Espresso, Frangelico, Godiva Milk Chocolate, and some good ol' Rumple Minz.

Adding something stronger — like vodka, whiskey, or rum — probably isn't going to result in anyone having a new favorite dessert, but we would like to offer up our own suggestions... Grab a Frosty, and add a dash of Creme de Cassis, Luxardo Maraschino, Amaretto, and literally any flavor of Baileys. Baileys Strawberry and a vanilla Frosty? Heck yes! You might just start ordering one to go from now on.

Stop messes before they happen

Here's an incredibly simple fix to the only problem that comes along with a Wendy's Frosty. That is, of course, the inevitable mess.

A weird thing happens when you get a Frosty, doesn't it? Because they're that weird texture between ice cream and milkshake, they're tough to eat — especially in the car. Stick your spoon (or fries) in for those first few bites, and unless you're super careful you'll end up with a soupy overflow slightly reminiscent of those volcanoes you had to make in grade school science class. And if the driver hits a bump? Forget it.

So here's the hack: When you order, just ask them to put it in the next size larger cup. Order a medium? Ask for it in a large cup.

Alternately, just ask for an empty drink cup and plop your Frosty in before taking that first spoonful. We did tell you it was an incredibly easy fix, and sometimes, it's the easiest changes that make life — and lunch — so much better.

They're bad, but not the worst

This probably isn't going to come as a surprise, but Frostys aren't really good for you. But there is good news — they're definitely not the worst fast food dessert you can get.

First, let's look at the chocolate Frosty. Order a medium, and you're getting a dessert that comes with 470 calories and 12 grams of fat. (And also, it comes with 45 percent of your daily calcium, so that's a bonus.)

Now, let's look at McDonald's medium chocolate shake. That's going to set you back 630 calories and 17 grams of fat. We can take a look at Burger King's closest alternative, too: the Hershey's Chocolate Hand Spun Shake. That's even worse, coming with 760 calories and 21 grams of fat, 15 of which are saturated.

So, here's the thing. Even if you're trying to be good and eat healthy, denying yourself 100 percent of all sweet treats and deliciousness isn't a good thing and it's just going to sabotage your efforts. Fortunately, Wendy's Frosty is an option that's not as bad as other options, and now you know. 

It's the sugar that you should watch out for

You can feel better when you opt for a Frosty from Wendy's instead of their competitors, but they're not entirely guilt-free. That's because of one big thing that's a problem not just at Wendy's, but in the diets of most Americans. That is — of course — sugar.

Added sugar is a big problem, and the American Heart Association recommends men limit their daily sugar intake to no more than 36 grams per day. That number is even lower for women, at no more than 25 grams per day.

Sadly, that medium Frosty comes with a whopping 65 grams of sugar, and that's not a good thing. The large is, of course, even worse, with a staggering 81 grams of sugar. But, there's good news.

The Junior Frosty — the one you'll get free with a Key Tag or with your Halloween coupons — has a relatively low 27 grams of sugar. That's "relatively" low, and if you're being good for the rest of the day and don't want to completely blow your eating healthy plan, Wendy's Frosty is one of your better options... as long as you don't go nuts with the large ones. Not often, at least... we all have those days where you just need a large and lots of fries.

You can put them in ice cream cones

Looking for a quick and fun snack for the kids? Swing through the drive-thru on the way home from work, and pick up a Frosty or two. Throw them in the freezer when you get home to let them firm up a bit, then scoop them into an ice cream cone. Really!

This is based on what the Riverfront Times calls a failed experiment from Wendy's. In 2013, they offered — briefly — the option to get your Frosty in a waffle cone instead of in a cup, and it's not a bad idea in theory. What do you do with that sticky, drippy cup when you're done, after all? And if you're on the road? It just turns into a mess. It might seem like a better idea to serve it in a cone, but we all know that Wendy's Frostys have a texture that's unlike both ice cream and a milkshake, which is why straight from the Frosty machine and into the cone wasn't the best idea. That means a little time in your home freezer is key, and while you'll still have to eat it fast... well, no one ever has a problem doing that, do they?

Dress 'em up for dessert

Wendy's now offers a Frosty Cookie Sundae, and seriously, why it took them so long to hit on that absolutely brilliant idea, it's impossible to say. But while that sundae is fine if you're out and about or on the road, if you're getting your meal to go and heading home with it, well, you need to up your Frosty game.

There's a ton of delicious desserts you can make with that Frosty, and let's give you this example to start with: Grab that container of marshmallow fluff out of the cupboard, along with a glass. Layer a bit of fluff, a bit of Frosty, and repeat. We know, right? You can do the same thing with those brownies you made a few days ago and that are just a little bit too stale to eat on their own, and cookies? Crumble those up and do the same. Or, use regular marshmallows, chunks of graham crackers, and chocolate chips for a s'mores-inspired Frosty.

You can make it a dash healthier, too. Add layers of fresh or slightly thawed frozen strawberries, or how about layers of banana... with or without a bit of caramel or chocolate drizzle and some whipped cream.

You're supporting a good cause

Everyone's been there, internally debating about whether or not you actually need a dessert. If you're debating about a Frosty, here's something that might help: A lot of the time, Frosty sales are going to a great cause.

During some promotions — like the Halloween coupon books and the Key Tags — proceeds from Frosty sales go to benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. And what does that benefit? That goes to support the roughly 155,000 children in foster care and waiting for adoption. How? The organization funds grants, awareness and marketing campaigns, and national service programs. The foundation began largely because Wendy's founder, Dave Thomas, was adopted, and saw the chance to give something to the kids who were going through the system after him.

The moral of the story? You can feel good about supporting Wendy's programs and getting those Frostys, because you're helping kids. Everyone can get behind that cause.