I have found that the most cost-effective meal of the day is lunch. Assuming that you purchase all of your meals, and don't make them yourself, you can find amazing deals around lunchtime.

I almost never eat out for breakfast, but if I did it would be around ten dollars, which is more than I can afford to spend for that meal. If I do "eat out" it means a muffin or bagel and an orange juice for the breakfast cart near work. Even this can get up to three dollars, which is money better spent on buying a box of cereal.

A tasty dinner is always going to cost you more than ten dollars and probably closer to twenty. If you like to cook, eating at home is far more cost effective.

The beauty of lunch is that you get good sized portions at lower rates because the restaurants need the business. So if you are only going to eat out once a day, this is the meal to do it. Here are two great deals in my neighborhood.

Kami Sushi (2nd and 55th): When I order from here I get the Roll Lunch Special. It comes with two rolls, soup and salad for only eight bucks. That's way cheap for sushi and it has been consistently good. They also do a bento box lunch for seven dollars that comes with shumai, salad, soup, white rice and either a california roll, three pieces of sushi or four pieces of sashimi.

Turquoise (Lex and 70th): This is a brand new Mediterranean restaurant that is pretty much just a lunch place. That doesn't stop them from having the best four dollar falafel I have ever eaten. The sandwich is huge and busting with falafel, hummus, and a bunch of veggies (that probably are a part of some named dish, but I don't know what). It is very filling. On top of that, they have root beer in a bottle (IBC), which makes me happy.

As far as your own neighborhood, check out the Chinese restaurants. You can often get a lunch special for $4.50 that will have enough food for two meals. Granted it's mostly rice, but that doesn't stop it from being tasty.