Yesterday, I explained how I maximize my money at Home Depot by buying discounted gift cards and pairing them with promotions, coupons, or even a military discount.
Today, I'm going to do a similar thing for a completely company: Subway.
I'm a huge fan of Subway, because it offers convenient, fast food that is reasonably healthy at a price that doesn't damage my wallet. Some may say I'm weird, but I really like the taste too. While I am a strong believer in saving money with fast food value menus, I believe in eating healthy more. Plus they say moderation is the key, most of the time I'm making my own meals at home.
My weapon of choice at Subway is usually the $5 foot-long. It's just the most amount of food for the dollar. Over time, I've noticed they've started phasing that away and slowly edging more subs to the $6 range. In some markets the $5 foot-long is already extinct. The $5 foot-long that I go for most often is the cold-cut combo loaded up with all the veggies, except black olives. (I don't get the point of making it soggy by adding dressing or oil and the cold cuts have plenty of sodium in them without adding more).
There are a couple of ways I shave down the costs at Subway... and I don't think I've seen anyone ever do either of them.
- Use a Rewards/Gift Card - If you register a gift card online you can start earning points for each purchase. Earn 75 points (typically $75 worth of food) and you get a free foot-long sub. So if you buy 15 subs, you get 1 free. That's hardly a deal to blog home about, but it's the equivalent of getting another $0.33 off a $5 foot-long sub. In the first couple of months I've been in this program, I've noticed that there are a lot of promotions for free points. This month's promotion is double points if I use my card 3 or more times. Again, not exactly the best promotion, but I'm not going look that gift horse in the mouth.
- Do the Survey on the Receipt for Free Food - Almost every fast food company offers you an entry into a contest for giving feedback. That's fine, but it's all or nothing. If you aren't lucky that week, you've wasted your time. Subway is different. They'll offer you a free cookie on your next visit for your feedback. Your time will never be wasted and feedback takes about 45 seconds. Oh, and it's a good size cookie too. (So much for being healthy, right? Moderation is the key. A once a week cookie from Subway isn't terrible.)
The catalyst for me writing this article is a mailing that I rece ived yesterday... $2 for a 6-inch meatball or cold-cut combo sub through Labor Day as part of their Summer of Savings promotion. They'll probably still charge you $5 if you order a foot-long, just to tax you a dollar for being a poor mathematician.
Maybe you've already put two and two together, but getting to this month's double point promotion is not particularly difficult using their $2 subs. Combine that with free cookie on each visit and you've got yourself a decent meal for not a lot a dough.
Subway franchises will probably hate me because I'll be in an out there for $2 with a sub and cookie, 4 points towards a free sub. It wouldn't be very good for their profit margins. That's essentially equivalent to value menu pricing at the burger and taco places.
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