I used to have a Facebook group called 'The Lincoln Guide to Cheap Cheap Cheap'. I think I ran it for about 2 years. You can still find it on Facebook but I abandoned it a long long time ago and noone uses it.
I'd post up all the deals I'd spotted around town and get others to add their own. This was great whilst I was working at the council full time (yawn) and then in my first year of Uni (work shy).
If I still ran it, I'd probably stick my response to the Guardian's write up right in there. Because that's what I think of this laughable article.
If you REALLY want budget in Lincoln here's my brutal list. I've been to nearly all of them over the 5 years I've been here and to be honest you get what you pay for so you can't really complain. This list is based on a lunch or dinner in one course that will see you through until your next meal because I think that more than one course in any sitting is just too much.
Yo-yo in Beijing
All you can eat between 11.30 - 6 for under £8 or all day Sunday for under £9. Great selection and you can go mental. A very guilty pleasure without the expense.
Slightly cheaper on the lunch time offers but more expensive in the evening and at weekends.
It's not as big a selection as Yo-Yo's but the food seems healthier and it has a different atmosphere to the conveyor belt feel of Yo-Yos. Better for when you're looking for something a bit quieter.
The Hut do regular all you eat Pizza, pasta and salad lunch deals for £6.99 until 3pm. Again, go mental.
You need vouchers to get the full benefit of this one. I wouldn't pay full price at one of these places if you paid me because I really don't think they are worth it anymore (McDonalds is far worse than BK) but 2 for 1 offers are quite easy to find and make it worth the effort.
Not to be confused with the Engine Shed. This is the student bar near the main campus on the opposite side of the Brayford to the Doubletree Hilton. It's not as bad as it sounds. The food is cheap but perfectly edible. There's a different deal every day including full English breakfasts on Saturday's for £2.99 til 10pm and Friday is 'Baguette Day' - liberally filled baguettes with curly fries for £2.99. They also do Coke refills for £2.50.
The Lamb and Flag (now sadly defunct and being taken over by the previously mentioned Carluccios). We liked it because it was central and you could get 2 for £6.50 lunch meals and it was fine.
Slug and Lettuce
This is an okayish place. I've been there once. It was okay. It has food promotions on Monday and Tuesday with 50% off and 2-4-1 which is essentially the same thing. More central than most of the others though so handy if you don't like exercise.
The Barge on the Brayford
I have never eaten here but I want to. They do lunch deals for under £5 if you want something reasonably light. Evenings are not cheap but they do a 2 for £15.
Of course if you're really strapped for cash and you need food whilst you're out and about you can get a sandwich for £1 in Wilkinson. Now that's about as budget as you can possibly get.
I'm sure I've missed off lots of hidden gems. If you know somewhere that matches in price that I need to know about TELL ME, don't keep them to yourself!