be a (MEAL)pal.
On an average month you work, 20-ish days, right? Maybe half of those days you are motivated/ organized enough to make your lunch ahead of time or pack up leftovers from the day before. The other half of the time, you're shelling out $7+ on a mediocre sandwich, a drink and maybe a bag of chips. That's at least $70 you're wasting on lunches that are only meh. And if you're anything like me, sometimes there aren't leftovers to pack up or time to meal prep or energy to wake up early and put something together that I can eat later that I will be excited about. Well, I'd like to introduce you to MealPal.
Previously MealPass, MealPal is a service that allows you to choose between two plans and lunch every weekday* from area restaurants in eight cities. You get to skip the line, pay a consistent, flat rate for each meal and try new spots and dishes you might not normally have the opportunity to try. The other great perk about MealPal is that it provides an opportunity for the customer to take a little walk to pick-up lunch and make healthy choices while also having a wide array of options. I signed up for the first month with the 12-meal plan. For a flat rate of $65, I began with the intention it would be an experiment and I would write about my experience. What ensued was a delicious adventure in downtown Boston and some of the happiest lunch breaks I've had yet...
To start my adventure, I kicked off by trying the Tuna Rice Bowl from Scollay Square, the Chicken Teriyaki Bowl from Ogawa Coffee, the Almond Ginger Bowl with Chicken from b.good and the Spicy Chicken Flatbread sandwich from Piperi (in that order). The Tuna Rice Bowl was my favorite dish and normally costs $17 so by ordering through MealPal I was saving a lot. My second favorite meal was the Almond Ginger Bowl with Chicken which tasted both healthy and was satisfying. If I had ordered all of these things without MealPal, I would have spent $40.74 but instead I only $21.66, saving me $19.08.
My next few meals came from spots I've always wanted to try but have yet to venture in (plus a return to a favorite from last week); a Chicken Kebab Plate from Falafel King, the Tuna Rice Bowl from Scollay Square (really, it's that good), a cheeseburger and fries from Hennessey's and Falafel on Gozi Flatbread from Piperi. This round, my favorite meal (aside from the Tuna Rice Bowl) was the Chicken Kebab Plate which was a great mix of protein, salad (plus hummus!), rice and pita. These came to a total of $42.69, saving me $21.03. By this point, I had already saved a little over $40.
My last round of lunches were a little more diverse and had no repeats. I ordered; the Pulled Chicken Quesadilla from Zuma Tex Mex Grill (it came with a side salad), the Fried Quinoa Bowl with Chicken from Bailey & Sage, the Cape Cod Sandwich from the Piadina Cafe and the Thanksgiving Sandwich from Beantown Pastrami. My first three lunches were absolutely outstanding, one more fun to order and eat than the rest. My experience at Beantown Pastrami was disappointing from the service to the over-pressed sandwich (but perhaps they were just having an off day). This final round I could have spent $32.99 but instead saved $11.33.
In total, I saved $70.52, took 12 walks during lunch and got to have foodie adventures around my city. With the added convenience of not having to prepare anything for myself, I really enjoyed getting to explore the new places. So if you struggle with making healthy or inspiring lunches or just like giving business to local places, MealPal is a great program for city girls (and guys) in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, New York, Miami, Boston, London, Philadelphia and Chicago.
For more on MealPal, visit them here. And for readers of The City Girl's Guide, here's a discount code which will earn you two meals free when you sign-up!
*Depending on which plan you choose. Before my discount, the 12-meal program is $85.05 after taxes.
This post was not sponsored by MealPal.