Buying lunch in New York City every day can put a serious dent in your wallet. A basic lunch costs a New Yorker approximately $12.00 daily. This equates to $60.00 a week, $240.00 a month, and $2,800.00 in a 48-week working year. A total like that may not mean anything to someone with Donald Trump’s salary, but for the rest of us, that’s more than a yearly car lease payment!

As the first installment of our three-part series on how to save money on lunch in Manhattan, we present you with tip #1: bring your own from home. We’re not talking soggy PB&J sandwiches from your school days – make your own NYC deli sandwich for a fulfilling lunch that is both simple and delicious:

  • Grilled chicken ($4.99/pound)
  • Turkey ($2.99/pound)
  • Swiss cheese ($2.99/pound)
  • Lettuce (3 for $3.99)
  • Tomato ($0.99 each)
  • Mayonnaise (most likely already in your fridge)
  • Roll (5 for $3.00)

Total: $18.95 for five sandwiches, compared to $12.95 for one sandwich purchased in NYC – sandwich recipe and analysis provided by Village Print & Media Senior Account Executive, Nicole Prechtl.

As you can see, packing a deli sandwich every day for a week brings your daily midday spending down to approximately $3.80. When you’re the chef in control, you can make your lunch exactly to your liking, which is a huge plus.

Stay tuned for tip #2! In the meantime, we’d love to know: how do you save money on lunch in Manhattan?