I know that technically, eating out means leaving your house, driving to a restaurant, and letting someone else do the cooking and cleaning up. But sometimes, this frazzled, time-strapped mother of two is willing to forgo the whole “eating out” scenario as long as I don’t have to cook.

That’s where today’s meal deal comes into play – and I do mean “play” literally.

When the NFL season opened with last week’s Wednesday night game between Dallas and the Giants, Papa John’s announced a major freebie. I missed it that night, but caught the offer again during NBC’s broadcast of Sunday Night Football. It took a while for me to catch it – there were nearly a half dozen commercials with the Papa John’s owner and Peyton Manning leading up to it, teasing us about a “great deal” that we “wouldn’t want to miss.” I’m a sucker for free food, or even the suggestion of it, so I waited around until halftime when the meal deal was finally announced.

Here’s the scoop:

Log on to PapaJohns.com and create a Papa Rewards account between now and September 16th (time is running out!). Once you’re there, make a purchase of at least $10. The next day, Papa John’s will give you a credit for 25 Papa Rewards bonus points; that’s good for a free pizza. You’ll need to enter the promo code NBCPAPA when you make that initial $10 order if you want to get those bonus points good for the meal deal. Your bonus points are valid through the end of September.

Don’t have a jonesing for pizza this week? What’s wrong with you!?!? But if your palette just isn’t craving pepperoni, don’t fret; Papa John’s – at Peyton’s insistence – has pledged to give away 2 million pizzas this NFL season. Each week the restaurant will give away 120,000 free pizzas. In other words, there’s still time to cash in!

Libby Balke

Libby Balke