The $5 Lunch Date

This is going to be a fun and interesting topic. The other day while talking about the usual random nothingness, a funny topic came up about what can you eat for lunch that is $5.00 or less. While I am not rich or poor, I do not like to spend if I do not have to, which means if I didn’t make our lunches, what the hell would we eat? So, thanks to our friend Vinny, I have now pondered the idea of what could the both of us buy for lunch and not break the bank. If we both spent $10.00 each on lunch, weekly that adds up to $100.00, monthly $400.00. That is just ridiculous, I think we spend about that on groceries every month.

You also, do not want to wind up eating Mcfatties for a $1.00 everyday or stacking up on the $1.00 menu in general. I guess if you’re a trash can, like my hubby, you can eat anything you want and it does not affect your waistline. But it will affect your overall health, believe me, we all saw that McDonald’s documentary, gross and scary! What can you eat that doesn’t taste like dog doo patty and is also budget friendly? Well, below, are the deals that I found in our area for great lunch time specials. Ranging from the simplest of simple, to having a buffet at your disposal.

We’ll get this first topic over with pretty fast. Fast Food joints and their $1 menus! Please, all you Fortune 500 companies with you and all your fatty money. Stop making $1 menu shit food, as this does nothing for nutritional value for hard working Americans to eat for lunch! The adding of cardboard, trans fats and that .05% of bug poop that is allowable by the FDA is seriously disgusting. Most chains offer burgers, sammies, fries, soups, tacos, etc. If you MUST have one of these items, go ahead, were all on a budget, I get it, but do it very sparingly! Please, for your health, your lovers health or because you simply care! There is better food out there, that is just as fast. Try ordering something before your lunch break and have it ready for pick up. That was quick, now on to the next!

Let’s start with Groupon. You always need to read the fine print, what is available on their menu, times of day and whether you can get it to go or not.  At Gandolfo’s New York Deli for $12.00, you can buy $21.00 worth of sammies. But really this deal can be used over several lunches, spread out over the next few weeks, its a great deal! Nothing to It! Culinary Center offers for only $7.00, you can get $15.00 worth of yummy foods from sammies to salads to deserts. Besides having an awesome school, you know their food is good. 50% off at Pizza Factory, for only $10.00, you receive $20.00 worth of food. I believe there is only one location out off Red Rock road in the North Valley area. Same thing with Godfather’s Pizza, spend $14.00 to get $28.00 worth of food. There are a couple more on Groupon, so make sure to check out all the specials.

Naan Kabob on S. Virginia St, has a great mid day special for $9.95 to $11.95. From falafels, to gyros and kabobs. If you haven’t tried Indian food before, now is the time.  The food is very fresh, very flavorful with curry, saffron, mustard and ginger. Its a great alternative to the norm.

Olive Garden, we all know famously offers the never-ending pasta bowl for $9.95, comes with never-ending salad and bread sticks. I personally am not the biggest fan of the ole Olive, reason being that Reno has a lot of really good traditional Italian joints that I prefer more, but they do have good cocktails, lots of space for friends and family and overall a good place to catch up and eat for hours 🙂  As you may have seen, Olive Garden recently got a make over, their new menu now includes small plates starting at just $5.00, like tapas, a small plate of appetizers from cheese bites, roasted asparagus, meatballs and polenta. I probably should give them another shot after their re-vamp, so we’ll see.

While were talking chains, Red Lobster is another one that offers 7 lunch specials for $7.99. This includes, sammies, salads, tacos and burgers and all with their yummy cheddar bay biscuits. The only location is next to the Lowe’s on Kietzke.

Moving down south, La Posada Real off of Longley, has 12 different lunch specials with a nice price of $6.99. Salads, tacos, burritos, nachos and enchiladas are all on that list, making this luncheon a good deal, not quite $5.00, but pretty darn close.

Taco Bell, yeah, you know that place they call them selves south of the border. I’m not sure how south they think they are but they do offer a slammin lunch deal with their $5 box lunches. You pick a drink, a desert, a side, then pick 2 between tacos and burritos. Just like any fast food joint, it’s not the healthiest, but a good alternative. Just like they say, think outside the bun 🙂

Dairy Queen, another eatery offering a $5 Buck Lunch. Surprisingly, there are some options that are not as high in fats and calories as the others. Choices include chicken strips, chicken wraps, bacon cheese burgers and chili cheese dogs. Side of fries, soda and a sundae, it’s a pretty rounded out meal. Might be worth a try.

Burger King, tons of them around town, they have a 2 for $5.00 burger/sammy deal. Whoppers, chicken sandwiches, fish or their new double burger for only $5 for 2. Add $1 fries and 2 waters, you got a meal for two for only $6.00. A little secret, I don’t mind a flame broiled cheeseburger from BK every once in a great moon. There’s something about that flame broiled burger that just says something to me. Perfect for a night of drinking 🙂

Mountain Mike’s Pizza located on Vassar or S. McCarran blvd. for $7.99 they have an AYCE pizza buffet that includes the salad bar and any desert pizza they make. I do know that the one on Vassar has a great selection of over 10 different pizzas and the salad bar is pretty stuffed with all kinds of fresh veggies. Drinks are additional, but this is a pretty good deal. Take home the left over pizza 🙂 I am sure that other pizza chains also offer a buffet special, so check with your favorite pizza joint for details.

Z Pie is another favorite of mine. Also located in Placerville, the original I believe. Ranging from $7 to $8 a pie, you choose from your favorite pot pie combination and enjoy! Just like your grammies pies. Buttery, flaky, tender meat and fresh veggies make up these awesome lil pies. Yes, they do serve desert pies! As well as salads and beers. How good does that sound a beer and a pot pie!  Check them out downtown off of West street.

I’m going to throw this one in, a place that you didn’t think could or would make this list. Whole Foods!!! Yes, I said it. Whole Foods.  On Wednesdays, they have their hot/cold foods section with their gigantic salad bar for only $6.49 a lb. Thats $2.00 off the regular price. For a whole pound of organic, wholesome and natural food! Anything from salad fixins, curry chicken, roasted veggies, soups, lasagna, potatoes, I can keep going on and on. There is so much to choose from and for $7 or less, this is truly a good deal for really good food!!! I happen to love this place too, but a bit on the pricey side, so take advantage of this really good deal, your belly will be happy you did! Grab your lunch and a seat outside and enjoy!

Here’s another good deal, Jimmy John’s on Thursdays has their customer appreciation day. Sammies numbers 1-5 are only $1. Online and delivery orders are not allowed with this deal and you have to go down there. It’s one per person! Grab your luncheon friends and head on down. The 20 min wait will go by quickly with some friends to keep you laughing! On any other day, there sammies range from $4.35 to $8.75, there pretty good sammies if you ask me, one for every palette!

Ever heard of Golden Flower here in Reno? If you have not, your sad! This place is a local favorite! Killer lunch time specials and their whole menu is very affordable for some very yummy Vietnamese food! Pho bowls for under $6.50, appetizers ranging from $3 to $8. Combo meals for under $9.00.  They have all kinds of meats, rice and noodle plates. Soups and even a late night menu with even better prices. Happily open from 10AM to 3AM, yes that’s just a few hours shy of being open 24 hours. Who doesn’t love pho at 1am in the morning?!

In-N-Out, aaaahhhhh!!! For the love of burgers!!! The hubby and I each get a double double, I get mine with cheese, mustard and both kinds of onions (fresh and grilled) The hubby does the same, but no cheese. One order of fries to share, a milkshake or soda to share, under $10.00 for the both of us and were both thoroughly stuffed!!! I love the flavor of their burgers, the freshness of the fries and they have a secret menu that’s also just as fun. There are 2 locations here in Reno. Did you know that the first non-California,  In-N-Out was based in Las Vegas?!

Speaking of Sin City, The Men’s Club in downtown Reno, it used to be every Wednesday and now it’s only for a certain month out of the year. For $12.95, they have an AYCE lunch buffet with “visual” entertainment at NO additional charge 🙂  The food is actually pretty good. Lots of yummy dishes being served. Also, on Sundays and Mondays after 6:00pm, they offer %50 off their sushi prices.  The buffet is usually from 12 to 3. Check in with them to see when they are having this again, as I believe it was back in May.

It’s not quite lunch time, but I wanted to include this for the folks out there that are not familiar with or think it’s too expensive. Here is a reason to go or try it. From 3:00 to 6:30 M-F, Rapscallions off of Wells Ave,  have a happy hour menu that will blow your mind. With nothing over $7.50, they serve wings, sliders, fries, cheeses, oysters and bar specials not going over $5.00. It’s very beautiful inside, the staff are super friendly and the food is really, really good. I have loved this place since my high school prom 🙂

This is a pretty good start on lunch time specials! Besides your honey making you a lunch, there are some good options out there that are cost friendly and really good food!!  Check online or in news papers for good deals. The RNR always critiques local restaurants, they do a really nice write up on them, so you get to know awesome food places around our area. We also have the Edible Reno Magazine with great articles and fresh ideas on where to eat. You may not be able to always eat for less than $5 a day, but can come close! Let me know your favorite lunch spot, got any good deals? Please share with us!!! We all want to eat good food!!!!! Hope you enjoyed this fun article! Thanks Vinny!!!! Till next time, enjoy loving and eating everything Nevada!!!!




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