Munch on lunch like a Bearcat: How to spend and save on food

Welcome, incoming Bearcats! Baruch College has a lot of great things to offer each and every new student, though a cafeteria is not one of them. For students too busy or just not willing to cook their own food, Manhattan can be an expensive place to eat. 

Luckily, there are many apps that can help students save money on food. Ritual is a mobile app that allows users to obtain rewards by ordering meals for pickup at hundreds of different restaurants throughout the city. Many restaurants offer special deals where customers can reduce the cost of their order significantly just by using the app. 

By placing orders in advance, users can skip long lines and instead simply walk up to the counter of a restaurant, provide their name and walk out with their food. By using the app, users collect points which can be redeemed for completely free meals as well.

For those who know ahead of time that they will be eating takeout most days, using MealPal’s subscription service can lead to huge savings. For a fixed monthly rate, users can reserve a certain amount of meals per month for pickup around lunchtime. 

Planning ahead is important, however, because while users will pay their subscription fee in the beginning of the month, they will miss out on meals that they could have claimed if they don’t schedule their reservation and pickup ahead of time.

At the end of each day, many restaurants discard unsold food items. Some restaurants, however, use Food for All, an app that connects customers with restaurants looking to sell soon-to-be-discarded food.

For customers who aren’t picky, cafes and restaurants offer end-of-day items for 50% off and selections range from pastries to pizzas and full meals for as little as three dollars. This app is particularly great for late nights at Baruch’s library since a half-price pastry is a great motivator during a long study session.

Spending money on food is inevitable, though a mindful student can keep track of their expenditures and visualize where their money goes in order to keep their finances under control.

By students identifying exactly where their money goes each week, they can consider new options for more economical spending and saving, while also satisfying their taste buds.