What's in My Wallet is a series of posts from WalletPop writers and editors that will help you maximize your financial self according to what you carry.
Every place you shop these days is trying to get you to sign up for some kind of loyalty program. I often sign up if they are free, but I hardly ever benefit from the promised savings. Maybe that's because I'm not such a loyal shopper.
But when it comes to buying an affordable lunch in mid-town Manhattan, I swear by my Cucina Quick Card. It's an easy value proposition: Buy the $20 card and you get $25 credit to spend on lunch. For me that is basically four meals for the price of three. I work in Rockefeller Center and there just aren't a lot of cheap eats around.
If you expect to be visiting New York City anytime soon, I recommend this spot. Cucina is located at the concourse level of Rockefeller Center (that's the basement, directly under the famed Christmas tree). Not only do you get that great discount, but there is public seating all around, inside and out, and great views of the rink. Plus, Cucina food is tasty and the prices aren't bad at all -- even without the discount. Try the roast beef wrap with pickles and horseradish for $3.75 (I think). Or splurge on the teriyaki rice bowl for $6.75 or so.
And if you don't plan to be in New York City anytime soon, check out the restaurant loyalty programs in your area. If these deals keep disloyal shoppers like me coming back, they have to be springing up all over the place.