Years ago when I worked in retail buying I went out to lunch just about everyday–not the best habit to fall into. In my defense, I was dying to get out of the office for a break and I usually went with a group of good friends. But it gives me pause when I look back at what I probably spent. If I use an average of $7 a day and multiply that by 5 days a week and multiply that by 4 weeks a month, the monthly total for lunch was about $140–and that’s being conservative–YIKES!
It definitely adds up quickly.
Towards the end of my retail career, I wised up and started to pack my lunch more often. My husband and I were preparing for me to leave a corporate job for one of self employment and we needed to increase our savings. That $140 needed to be saved instead of spent.
It takes a little planning and prep to pull together lunch in the morning or even the night before, but the savings are worth it, so today’s challenge is to Brown Bag Your Lunch and put that savings towards your monthly goal to Save $1000 in 31 Days.
Tips for Brown Bagging Lunch
- Let your friends know that you are trying to save money and need to start packing your lunch. They might want to save money too.
- You can pack a lunch and still get out of the office for a change of scenery. Take your lunch to a local park with picnic tables.
- Plan a lunch potluck with your co-workers.
- Sick of sandwiches? Pack leftovers! So easy.
- Prep on Sunday to save time during the week. Make a big pot of soup or a large casserole for the week, cut up your raw vegetables, divvy out your snacks, and/or make a large salad. Store everything in individual containers and then place what you’re packing in your lunch bag the night before work. Store in the refrigerator if needed.
- Invest in reusable containers. Remember foods like meat, dairy, and salads will need to be refrigerated. If your workplace doesn’t have a refrigerator, consider buying a small cooler and ice packs to keep foods safe. Also, if your office doesn’t have a microwave to heat up food, buy a thermos and heat your food in the morning and store in the thermos to keep warm until lunch. If microwaving, make sure your container is microwaveable safe.
Lunch Ideas to Make on Sunday
- Chicken & Vegetable Soup
- Pasta e Fagioli
- Red and White Chicken Chili
- Chicken & Black Bean Enchildas
- Chicken Cornbread Potpie
- Chicken, Pinto Beans, & Rice Casserole
Do you buy your lunch at work or pack? How much money could you save if you packed your lunch everyday? Let us know in the comments.
Check out my 31 Days to Find $1000 Pinterest board where I’ll be updating daily through out October.