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3 Real Apps For Free & Cheap Meals in NYC

Get Free Food and Cheap Meals in NYC With These Apps

When we can, we try to save money. Life in New York City is already expensive and we don’t eat out often for that reason. You don’t always find cheap meals in NYC and when you do they are usually consist of $1 slices of pizza or the elusive $7 lunch special. This will possibly be changing soon thanks to these three apps where we can get free and cheap meals in NYC. These legitimate apps have partnered with restaurants in NYC to help reduce their food waste and give people (read: us) heavily discounted food and drinks

This semiotic relationship helps keep some extra money in your pocket when you order a selection on the apps while helping restaurants with a food surplus from contributing to food waste epidemic. I’m not talking about three day old pizza, moldy bagels or salads full of wilted lettuce. The food you receive is edible and isn’t different from what you would get if you spent more money on the same items. The third app may well be my very favorite and I’ve already favorited A LOT of deals I want to try.

Everyone knows that you can find coupons and discounts through restaurant apps and other popular sites like Groupon. I’ve also purchased from discount sites and apps only to find out there were additional charges upon arrival. I’m not referring to these apps and hadn’t even heard of the ones listed below until I fell into a rabbit hole of research on apps targeted direct to consumers that are helping combat food waste. The three food apps listed below offer deals at hundreds of NYC restaurants, no McDonald’s or Dominos here. Who doesn’t love a great deal or free food in NYC? Download these apps and keep a meal from ending up in a landfill.

Class Favorite - Too Good To Go

A Too Good To Go order pick up from Dragon Tea.

I’ve been using Too Good To Go (TGTG) for a couple years and it is my go to when trying new places with lower risk. If you have $5-8 on hand and are looking to get out of your comfort zone and consider checking out TGTG. Granted they aren’t everywhere, they are becoming more popular across the US. Some cities with at least a decent variety in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC

As the Danish based app grows in the US (they’re currently in 18 countries), you may see further growth in cities such as Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas and Miami.

Their goal is combat food waste, by working with establishments to offering edible items for a discounted price. You may end up with a dozen bagels, a full course meal or a few freshly made drinks from teas that may be on their way down the drain at the end of the night.

GoMkt deals

You can find deals up to 70% off of the original price. All purchases are made in the app. This is currently only available in New York City. The GoMkt app is available on Android and iOS.

1. GoMkt - Eat Your Conscience

First on the list is GoMkt. While they do not have any ‘free’ meals offered on their platform, they have partnered with a lot of restaurants in NYC to offer up some great deals. Currently discounted food is available in Manhattan and The Bronx. You can find everything from coffee, scones and wraps to entire pizzas pies. All of the information, including pick-up window are listed within each deal so you can determine what options are available to you. Offers are limited and based upon the surplus that each store has so if you see something you like, grab it quick! 

GoMkt NYC locations

Restaurants throw away over 25 BILLION pounds of food every year!!

2. YourLocal - Save Money. Save Food. Save our Planet.

YourLocal offers up deals in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Like the other apps on this list, they work with local eateries to reduce their waste and give you a great deal. I found a lot of the deals include a great deal on pre-made items that they would rather not take out with the trash. If you don’t mind timing your meals you will find that you can get up to 70% by enjoying an early dinner at 5pm or grabbing your morning pastries just before a shop closes.

YourLocal NYC locations
YourLocal NYC deals

When you download the app via this link you can enjoy 100 impact points (a $10 value credit) which should cover most deals.

There are hundreds of local restaurants and eateries that list deals on YourLocal. Check back often to see what new treats there are to enjoy. All purchases are made in the app. The YourLocal app is available on Android and iOS.

3. Food for All - Great food should be tasted, not wasted.

Food for All is an app that connects people with hundreds of eateries in NYC (and Boston). You’ll find deals available in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Like the other apps, you can find deals on food that may go to waste if the restaurant has a surplus. Deals start at 50% off the original menu price. The majority of the deals offered become available in the afternoon with some offering pick-up until late into the night.

You can even earn points towards free or discounted meals. This was a major selling point for me. You don’t always want to pack a lunch when you head into the city to enjoy a day ice skating in Bryant Park (which you can do for free), but you don’t want to spend $10 on a salad. If I can grab one for $4.95 and a few scones and coffee for $3 after skating we’ve gotten so much more bang for our buck and also helped keep those treats from being discarded.  If I have a credit, I can apply it to my order and walk away full, happy and a little less broke! The app really gives you a reason to try new restaurants and share the perks with friends in a tangible way. You get a friend to help save a meal from being discarded and you both benefit.

Food for All NYC locations

Once you download the Food for All app you can enter our promo code (mine is: explo1536). You will then receive a 10 points that can be used towards your purchase (we also get a 10 point credit when you use our code). Every 10 points you earn converts to a $5 credit. There are lots of options that fall within the $5 range, even after taxes a $0.25 burger or large salad isn’t a bad deal at all. You can’t find a head of lettuce in NYC for 25 cents! If you find a great deal the food or drink is FREE.

Food for All plans to expand to at least half a dozen new cities in the US within the next year so you can take your food tour on the road if you get tired of the 200+ options currently available. Just like the other two apps, you can find free and cheap meals in NYC with this app on Android and iOS.

Food for All Free Meal Promo Code explo1536
Food for All 10 point credit
Food for All NYC deals sample

It’s important to remember that food waste is a real issue. If you ever plan on ordering food from a local eatery in NYC consider using one, or all three, of these apps to save some money and also to help reduce food waste one meal at a time. The meals are the exact same ones full price paying customers are eating so there should be no concern over the quality of your food. Whether you’s a struggling college student, single parent or C-level executive; you can benefit from these apps.

Everyone needs to eat, be sure to share it with a friend, relative or colleague and get them to contribute to keeping food waste out of landfills.

Even if you aren’t in NYC or won’t be here anytime soon, don’t fret because at GoMkt and Food for All plan to expand to other cities around the U.S.. There are also other applications like FlashFood, Karma and Too Good To Go that offer similar deals around the world.

How do you help minimize food waste?

Free Food Apps NYC Pinterest

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