Lunch delivery can be a lifesaver when you’re up to your ears in work and don’t have time to run out for a quick bite. If you’re not careful, however, those midday dining bills can add up — especially when delivery fees and other surcharges are involved. Here’s how to eat well and save money.
Find the Best Lunch Options Near You
There’s more to a good lunch than simply satisfying your craving for a certain cuisine. Before you plug “what restaurants are near me now” into your favorite search engine and start drooling over appetizing menus, formulate a game plan for savings.
1. Subscribe to a delivery service
Many major third-party delivery services offer some form of monthly membership that includes free delivery (among other perks). If you order in for lunch often, a small monthly fee in exchange for zero delivery fees may be a wise investment.
2. Clip coupons
The internet offers more opportunities for culinary savings than you can shake a mozzarella stick at. Search online for special offers, promo codes and coupons; you never know what you might find.
Don’t overlook physical media, either. Coupon books and supermarket circulars aren’t reservedly solely for seniors.
3. Get on the list
Your favorite restaurants’ lists, that is. If you’re looking to save some bank on lunch, this might be one occasion where you should opt-in for a company’s newsletter or promotional emails.
Many national franchises offer “clubs” and other incentives for repeat customers, too. Loyalty has its perks.
4. Commit to restaurants with free delivery
While not all restaurants offer free delivery, you might be surprised by how many do. When searching for the “best lunch near me,” filter those results so that they include only those establishments that don’t tack a delivery fee onto your bill.
5. Do your homework
If free delivery options are few in your neighborhood, comparison shopping is the best way to make your noon-hour cash stretch farther. Even if your favorite local restaurants all charge for delivery, it’s highly unlikely that they all charge the same amount. Third-party services such as DoorDash, Grubhub, UberEats and Postmates each take a different cut for delivery, as well.
Get to know who adds on what and patronize those establishments that slap fewer fees on your delivery order. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the dreaded “service fee,” and pay attention to the fine print: Some services’ delivery and service fees vary based on how much food you order.
Find the Best Pizza Specials Near You
Don’t forget about lunchtime’s delicious unsung hero: pizza. It’s not just for dinner, parties and late-night snacks, and most pizza joints offer a wide variety of daily discounts.
Starting your lunch search with “pizza specials near me” can greatly simplify the lunchtime ordering process, especially if you’re not the only person ordering in. And if you are? Cool. You’ll have leftovers for lunch tomorrow, and perhaps even the next day, too.
Your lunch break should a stress-free stretch where you can relax and enjoy a good meal. Save time and money on your next lunch hour by planning ahead and searching smart.