Bringing Your Lunch to Work Can Help you Save Money and Eat Healthier

by Emily on October 21, 2011

Last week, we brought to you an article that discussed how you can save money during your work or school week by modifying your coffee habit. Another simple way you can save money each week is by bringing your lunch to work instead of going out to eat. By choosing to pack a lunch at home you will spend less money dining out and will quickly see savings accruing just by changing how much you pay for one meal every day. Bringing your lunch to work will also save you time as you will not have to drive or walk to a destination to purchase your lunch. By not driving to lunch, you will save money on gas. You can still enjoy your lunch break outside the office and choose to walk to an outdoor spot to eat giving you more time to relax during your lunch break.

Many people do not want to bring their lunch to work because they worry about variety within their meals each day. You do not have to get into the habit of bringing the same dish to work each day; by purchasing different kinds of reusable plastic containers you can spice up what you are able to eat daily for lunch. There are containers from Fitfresh, which can be purchased at most grocery stores, allows you to bring cereal to the office. The container has a top that stores the milk separately from the cereal and even comes with a plastic soon attached. Another container you can purchase from this company allows you to bring a salad to work without it being soggy with dressing. This container separates the salad from the dressing, allowing you to add the dressing when you are ready to eat lunch. You can also purchase thermos from different companies allowing you to bring hot, fresh soup to work. Another way to add variety to your lunch time meal is to cook additional portions of food at dinner time. If you cook more chicken, pasta or rice you can put these ingredients into sandwiches, wraps or salads for lunch time. If you do not have a fridge at work, invest in a lunch bag which will keep items insulated and place ice packs in your lunch back to keep sandwiches, salads and cereals cold.

Most lunches at you make at home allow you the luxury of choosing what to make and not just grabbing something on the go. There are only a limited number of lunch destinations surrounding your work place and all of them may not be the cheapest and also may not be the healthiest. Packing your lunch at home, ensures that you are not eating fast food because its the cheapest most readily available option. You may think that that the $5.00 foot long from subway is a great deal, but you could make a sandwich at home for a lot less money. If you purchase a pound of deli meat each week it would run you about $10.00. Of course you also need bread, condiments, cheese, vegetables, the whole works. Making a sandwich at home can cost you anywhere between $1.50 and $3.00 on the high end to make, still saving you money over that subway sandwich. Many delis charge anywhere from $7.00 to $10.00 for a sandwich that you can make in your own kitchen. Also, you may think that you are making a smart, healthy choice by grabbing that apple or banana with your lunch, while you are being healthy, you are not necessarily saving money. An apple or banana can cost you up to $1.00 at a lunch place, while you can purchase fruit from your grocery store at a cost of .$25 to $.35 cents. This is also similar with salads you purchase during lunch time. The price of pre made salads or salads by weight is extremely high if you purchase them at a restaurant or deli. You also may not be eating the healthiest with heavy dressing and cheeses that are included with your salad. By making your own salad at home, you can ensure you are eating healthily, add your own variety with your favorite dressing, nuts or cheese and will save you money. You will also save money by not purchasing bottles of water or other beverages at lunch time. Bring your own water bottle to work and fill it up with water or your favorite ice tea or lemonade. Many companies sell these beverages in powdered form or concentrate allowing you to mix your own drinks and save cash. You can also keep snacks in your desk or break area at work, so you do not have to go out and grab something when you are feeling low on energy during the mid afternoon, Storing pretzels, nuts, granola bars and even fruit at the office will allow you to quickly grab something to snack son and save you money.

Bringing your lunch to work, allows you to incur savings without thinking about it. You may find yourself making excuses for not bringing your lunch to work such as I don’t have time to make my lunch in the morning before work, or I will have to purchase additional items at the grocery store. You can use coupons- see the extreme couponing blog, to buy all of the items you need for yourdaily lunch, and at night before bed, take 5 additional minutes to make your lunch. You do not have to put yourself on a budget in order to see these savings. They will add up daily without any real effort on your part. Even if you do not want to bring your lunch to work every day, you can still lessen the amount of times you eat out for lunch each work week and you will still be able to save money. You can still save money and treat yourself to one special lunch out a week. Following these tips will allow you to eat healthier and save money without really consciously working at it.

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