I work at a place where people go out to buy lunch every day. To me, that seems crazy! Although, I guess I used to be one of those people. It can sometimes save time and even add a little variety to the monotonous workweek, but it definitely adds up. That’s why I decided to start packing lunch every day, and it’s been amazing.
In my high cost of living area, a typical lunch could run you between $10-$15 easily. Let’s for the sake of this post pretend I bought lunch every day at around $10 a meal. By the end of the week, I would have spent $50. On food! In addition to groceries! By the end of the month, that’s at least $200 extra on meals I could have made myself.
Now instead, I roll all of the money I would have spent on lunch into my grocery bill. But the key here is that my grocery bill is still well within what I believe to be a good spending limit. So I’m not taking that $50 and adding it on top of my existing grocery bill, but instead shifting things around to accomodate all three daily meals plus snacks.
I would say on average, I spend about $20 out of my grocery bill on lunch for 2 people for 5 days. That comes out to $2 per person per day, or a measly $10 a week (which is what I could have spent on one single meal). I can understand the argument that it gets boring eating the same thing for lunch every day, but honestly, I really don’t mind it. I make simple, healthy lunches and have more than enough variety. Some examples of my weekly lunches include grilled chicken with vegetables, sandwiches, soup, and/or homemade salads. So it kind of seems like a no brainer.
Of course, I still go out to eat every so often, but now it feels more special. I just work it into my budget. Packing lunch over buying lunch leaves me with plenty of extra spending money for a nice dinner out.
Just some food for thought!