How to Save Money on Lunch In NYC as Food Costs Rise From Inflation – NBC New York

Americans are feeling inflation in many areas of their finances, especially when it comes to supporting themselves and their families.

After the coronavirus pandemic forced millions of New Yorkers to work from home, many are now shifting back to the office to face a new period of uncertainty: lunchtime.

Despite a recent drop in gasoline prices, rising food costs helped push up inflation in the United States in August, putting even more strain on household budgets.

The food-at-home index — which measures the change in food prices at grocery stores — rose 13.5 percent year-on-year, a 43-year high, according to the latest CPI data. The eating out index wasn’t quite as bad, but it was still up 8 percent year-on-year.

With tight household budgets and skyrocketing costs on rent, groceries and other bills, New Yorkers can save money on their lunch break when they return to the office.

Eat like a New Yorker

New York’s bodegas and shop-pizzerias are always an option when hunger strikes and money are tight.

But many small businesses, including bodegas, are also feeling the effects of inflation.

“Bacon, egg and cheese — you can’t take that sandwich away,” Francisco Marte said earlier this year as inflation squeezed the Bronx bodega he owns.

Marte said he needed to increase the price of BEC sandwiches in his store from $2.50 to $4.50, in addition to increasing the prices of many other items on his store shelves.

Sliced ​​cheese sandwich prices have also increased in bodegas, but can vary by neighborhood.

While $1 pizza slices are (mostly) a thing of the NYC past, many pizzerias across the city have cheesy slices for well under $5.

Look for lunch specials on apps

Eating out can sometimes be cheaper than cooking. Using apps like Yelp, Uber Eats, and DoorDash, hungry workers can find nearby restaurants that serve lunch specials.

Yelp Tip: Make sure “offer offer” and “$” are both checked.

Brown bag for your working lunch

While packing a home lunch is the most practical way to save money when midday hunger strikes at the office, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. When you go shopping, you buy items in bulk.

The unit price of many everyday pantry items may be more expensive today than it was a year ago. Consumers can often find better deals and cheaper unit prices when shopping at wholesale stores like Costco’s, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s.

2. Plan your lunches

When weekday meals are scheduled, shoppers are more likely to stick to the items on their list rather than walking up and down the grocery aisles throwing random items into shopping carts. A recent study found that American shoppers spend an average of $314 each month on impulse purchases, up from $276 in 2021 and $183 in 2020.

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