Packing Lunch to Save Money

February 25, 2011 in Cheap Eats,Cooking for One,Saving,Thrifty Tips

I have the luxury of being able to go home for lunch most days.  On my way to and from work, I see crowds of people going to the different restaurants around my office.  I also see a lot of people waiting for their takeout orders.  Even before I could walk home for lunch, I was a proud member of the BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch) Club and limited myself to eating lunch at a restaurant to only twice a month.  Packing my lunch is an easy way to save money.

Lunch around my office costs about $8, but it’s only about $2 for me to make lunch for myself.

 Cost of Going Out for Lunch Everyday: Approximately $2000

versus

Making My Own Lunch Everyday: Approximately $500

To save $1,500 a year, I’ll gladly make my own lunches!  Sure, it takes a little advance planning to pack a lunch for work, but it’s pretty easy for anyone to make sandwich or heat up a Lean Cuisine.  Are you part of the BYOL Club?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie February 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I wish I was as responsible about packing my lunch as you! I try, but must admit that I do my fair share to boost the economy around my office at lunch time. Not only does packing lunch save $ but it saves time during the work day too!

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single&saving February 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm

I didn’t even think about the time savings, but that’s a great point. You could save gas too, if you have to drive to get lunch. An added perk with $3.25 gas!

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Mandy Smith February 28, 2011 at 10:15 pm

I appreciated this post Andrea! I pack my lunch every day and really eat just about the same thing (give or take kind of fruit/chips) each time. Some poke fun…but I’m smiling from my 2-3 minute packing skills in the morn, saved money from buying the simple/healthy items that come in bulk and saving time at the grocery store :)

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single&saving March 1, 2011 at 11:44 am

I think it’s fantastic that you know have a lunch routine! Sounds like the saved money and time is worth the occassional joke.

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Ayla August 14, 2011 at 12:14 am

Oh, I don’t work, BUT I am a middle schooler, and I bring my own lunch! My mom bought me a bento box (like the japanese type) and it is soo much yummier to bring my food from home. The school cafeteria food doesn’t fill me up, it tastes like crap, and it can’t be healthy! But when I pack from home, I can bring whatever I want- from pita and hummus to veggie wraps! It also gets me alot of attention- it looks like I just ordered from a fancy resteraunt and they delivered it to the school! (I even caught my assistant principal with one after I told her about the website!)

if you want to check it out, they’re called Laptop Lunches!

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Manisha December 12, 2011 at 1:13 am

I just found your site from the Alpha Gamma Delta bloggers page! I seriously feel like I am in a similar place as you (on a budget, mid-twenties, etc). I totally love this post– while I was working throughout of law school, I always packed my lunches (salads/lean cuisines/smart ones) while all my friends would get take out from restaurants nearby our school in a downtown area. Not only did I save a ton of money but I also lost a ton of weight with my salads/lean cuisines!

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Single & Saving December 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Manisha! Bringing lunch definitely has its benefits. You’re so right that the extra effort to plan ahead instead of relying on takeout can make a big difference for your finances and health. I find myself choosing less than healthy options when I get stuck in the office for lunch and I haven’t brought anything to eat.

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