I’m not going to lie: bringing in your own lunch to work often has a bad rap. You often think of that boring brown bag or someone reheating fish in the company microwave. But, it can be done and it’ll help you save a lot of money!
If you look at most fast food places where you and your coworkers would typically eat out at, the meal is anywhere from $5 - $10. Let’s say that on average you are spending:
- $7.50 a day
- at 5 days a week
- for 20 days a month
- 12 months a year
Eating out every day is going to cost you (on average) $150 a month and around $1,800 a year!
That’s a lot of extra money on your hands.
So, once you’ve decided you want that extra money in your life, the next step is to figure out what meals to make and how to prepare for your lunches. Also, you’ll be working to not get caught in the trap of making the same thing over and over again. Mixing it up helps keep meal planning exciting, and if it’s exciting, you’re more likely to do it. I add different spices or sauces to change up the taste of a meal and keep things exciting.
If you need inspiration on your meals you can stick with online meal prep guides, or you can go follow food bloggers and get their spin on various meals. If you still need motivation, you can make it into a competition with your coworkers: “Who can make the best lunch?” Who doesn’t love a friendly office competition?
So, you’re making lunches and saving money. Now what do you do with all that extra cash?
Should you “treat yo’ self” to that nice thing you’ve been wanting, set aside some money for an emergency fund, or maybe pay off some bills? If I had an extra $2,700 laying around, I’d put it directly toward my student loans.
Do you have any other suggestions for saving money during lunch? Share in the comments below!