10 Quick and Easy Ways to Save BIG Money on Pizza

As a pizza blogger, I eat a lot of pizza, which in turn is a big expense out of my pocket, so I'm starting to find ways to save some serious dough when feasting on the finest pizzas in the land.  Here are 10 nifty ways that I've found that you can do to save big bucks on your next pizza night:

10. Make your own pizza
I know it sounds cheesy, but the average Old Forge pizza costs around $12, so if you had to buy 2 for a gathering at your house, why not get a pizza kit at the grocery store and add toppings for less than $15 rather than $25+ at a restaurant.  There are so many types of easy recipies out there and endless combinations of toppings and sauces, so let your creativity run wild and save some precious dollars for the next pizza!

9. Follow local deals on internet
This has to be the hottest new local social media craze.  There are a wide variety of sites such as NEPAdaily deals that you can follow on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to their mailing lists which provide massive discounts, usually from 50% to 70%.  These discounts typically come in the form of buying one gift certificate and essentially doubling the value.  It's a great way to save, and the more reputable local businesses tend to offer these daily deals.

8. Look for coupons
Most of the time, the traditional coupon in the newspaper pertains to the larger chains, so if you are into the chains, this is a great way to save.  Pizza Hut, Domino's, Pappa Johns, and many others print coupons which provide solid savings especially when you buy larger orders.  Also check the back of the menus and the company's website, sometimes there will be valuable discounts in these places.

7. Skip the toppings
Pizza is a beautiful thing if done properly, and a great pizza does not need any toppings.  So find a great pizza and stick to the plain cheese.  Some people just add toppings as a matter of habit.  It's similar to the old "do you want fries with that?" sales pitch except, "what would you like on the pizza?" is the question that's always uttered universally at every chance to up-sell.  At an average cost of $2-$3 for regular toppings and $4-$10 for premium gourmet toppings, the cost adds up quick.

6. Only order pizza- not pizza and wings
There's no quicker way to turn an $11 pizza into a $50 night out when you start adding on appetizers, drinks and other extras for the group.  Sure wings are a nice complement to a pizza, but how disgusting do you feel after polishing off a dozen wings, a vat of bleu cheese, and 3 slices of pizza?  If you haven't consumed that much food, I'll speak from experience and just say it's not a good feeling!

5. Order a water instead of a soda.
Water is typically free when you're eating out, plus it's better for you.  A single can of Pepsi will add 150 calories to your meal before you even bite into that slice of pizza.  I've been ordering water for nearly a decade and it works great.  Usually I don't keep the savings, rather I try to give the waitress the extra $2 that I saved, because she has to work to bring the water anyways.  You can either keep the 2 bucks or keep the wait staff at your local pizzeria happy.  You'll be surprised how much you do NOT miss soda after you get used to water.

4. Look for lunch specials
This seems to be a recent fad in the pizza world, probably as a result of the sluggish economy and very competitive industry.  Domino's offers a medium 2 topping pizza nationally, which is a solid deal.  Thick and Thin advertises a $5 medium pizza from 11 am to 2 pm during the week, which is a phenominal value.  Look around just a little, and you'll be able to find a few values at a pizza shop near you.

3. Go out on pizza night
I think wing nights are more popular, but many local establishments have pizza nights, or pizza special nights.  Usually it's a day in the middle of the week Tuesday through Thursday, which they offer buy one get one, or a reduced amount per pizza.  Most places make you dine in to receive the discount, but it's worth it if you find the right place on the right night. 

2. Join a Points Club
If you frequent the same pizza place, and they offer a frequent buyer or slice club, be sure to sign up and you'll reap the rewards.  Sometimes if you pie 10 slices, you get one free, which is essentially a 10% off coupon.  Any way you want to look at it, you can save a few dollars here.

1. Sign up to restaurants' email lists
I know, spam is a pain in the butt, so I have a suggestion to remedy this.  Set up an additional email account through gmail, yahoo, or hotmail just for special offers.  The email address is free, the electronic coupons are free, you don't have to check the email account until you feel like ordering some pizza at a discount and saving some money.  This email account is also useful for the hundreds of retailers that readily send out special offers on a weekly basis.  I would highly recommend setting up an extra email account right away.

Hopefully these tips will help you stretch your pizza bucks as far as they can go.  Have other ideas or tips to share?  Please leave a comment below, or hit me up on facebook or twitter @NEPApizzareview. Enjoy!

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