If you eat your lunch away from home each day you could be spending a lot more than you think. If you have no idea how much you spend on lunch, take a week or two to track your pennies. It’s easy to fall into the “I have to eat” mentality and convince yourself that this is just a necessary expense. Granted, you do have to eat. But you do have options. One of which is packing a lunch.
Benefits of Lunch Packing
There are so many benefits to taking a lunch with you. Let’s start with the financial benefits. We’ve already discussed how much money can be saved by cooking our own meals versus eating out. The same philosophy applies to lunch packing.
An added benefit is healthier eating. When you make your own lunch you control the ingredients. You can choose fresh foods. You decide how much salt, fat and good nutrients you have in your meal.
Keep Costs Down by Packing Reusable Containers in a Reusable Container
If you have decided that you are going to start brown bagging it, make sure that you skip the brown bag. Using a disposable bag each day is an added cost. Instead, get yourself a reusable lunch bag or small cooler. There are many insulated varieties that help you keep foods at a safe termperature. Look for one that has a plastic interior that can be washed clean. A thermos is an option you might want to consider for beverages as well as soup.
Money can be saved by considering how you pack the individual items in your lunch. Plastic storage bags, like brown bags, are an added cost. Replace these with reusable plastic containers. Ziploc and Glad both make inexpensive, dishwasher-safe plastic containers that are great for sandwiches, salads, chips, etc. Rubbermaid makes wonderful plastic containers that have a twist and seal lid. These are great for salad dressing, cottage cheese, yogurt or any food that you don’t want to spill in your lunch bag.
Obviously, packing a lunch every day saves the most money, but money can be saved even if you only do it a few days each week. So get packing!!
Add to change purse.