Tell anyone that you are trying to save money and one of the first things they’ll tell you to do is pack your lunch for the week. (Obviously this only makes sense if you work outside of the home, otherwise you ‘pack’ your lunch from home every day anyway – duh!)
So anyway, can you really save money by packing your lunch every day?
Let’s find out.
Ok. So the average person probably spends around ten dollars a day buying lunch. That’s roughly $5 to $6 for a sandwich, $2 or $3 for a drink, and perhaps another $1 or $2 for a snack during the day.
So roughly around $10. Times that by 5 days and you are spending $50 a week for your lunches, or $2,400 a year (48 weeks x $50).
Now, let’s say that to make something nice it costs you around half that. So $5. You can probably do it cheaper if you extra frugal on your groceries buy let’s say you make something similar to what you normally have.
Even just halving the cost you save $1,200 a year. (or $25 a week).
$1,200 a year AND you are probably eating healthier too.
But let’s not forget the MOST COMMON reason that people don’t pack their lunches. And it usually has nothing to do with money… “Can’t be bothered” and “When I make it, it doesn’t taste as good”.
Let’s address those, so that you can still save money.
“Can’t be bothered”.
Hmm. The key to overcome ‘being bothered’ is getting organised. Have a look through some food websites, iPad recipe apps or even old fashioned cookbooks to get inspired to make some super yummy lunches.
Then make a meal plan for the week including shopping list and get all the ingredients that you need.
What too much work?
Then just grab some ready-made meals from the grocery store instead. They sell boxes of soda, microwave meals, soup in a cup – lots of quick and easy options if you don’t want to make it yourself. Even the freezer section has some quick heat and eat meals that you could take.
“It doesn’t taste as good”.
I have to agree with this one. Food nearly always tastes better when someone else makes it. But really you can make delicious meals yourself – it just takes some practice. Try making extra helpings for dinner and then take leftovers in a Tupperware bowl the next day.
Or learn a few quick and delicious recipes on the weekend that will help inspire you to create healthy and budget friendly lunches.
Or just do what I do and focus entirely on how much money you are saving. Ok I work at home, but still.
That $1,200 that you save could be a holiday for your family, help you get out of debt or be the start of a better financial future. And having the freedom that comes with money is worth a bit of effort. Don’t you think?
So what are you having for lunch today?