Thursday, June 21, 2012

Brown Bag Lunch

One of the quickest ways to spend money is also one of the easiest ways to save money.  Each day I look from my window at work and see the well dressed ladies and men coming back from lunch.  I've been there before and it quickly adds up.

In our area the delis and restaurants range in price from around $5 to upwards of $15.  It's really not much, we deserve it and work hard.  What comes as a surprise is the monthly total of $100 to $300.  There are a lot of other things I could do with that money so it is one area it have made a habit of the alternative:  Brown Bagging it.

Our office has a refrigerator, microwave, hot and chilled water from the cooler, and a seating area.  There is plenty of room for those who stay for lunch left by those who have gone out.  Over the course of time I have brought a variety of items and I tend to repeat them until I want a change.  Currently my lunches are typically as follows:

Often I don't eat all that I have brought so have created a stash in the drawer.  Admittedly I am quite squirrelish.  Other items I have taken in the past:
  • Leftovers
  • Frozen meals or pot pies
  • Fruit or vegetables
  • Cup o Noodles
  • Salad
  • Yogurt
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Bread, peanut butter & jam
  • Cottage cheese
  • Instant or company provided coffee, tea, or other beverages from home
  • Boiled eggs
  • Pack of cookies
  • Homel Compleats

Buying prepared food is NOT the cheapest way to go and even more can be saved through taking a typical brown bag meal of sandwich makings, fruit, and a snack.  I rush so quickly in the morning that if more preparation time is required the temptation arises to skip it and then I end up spending even more.  Having a months worth of soup by my bag and treats at work gives me no excuse.

What do I spend my saved money on?  Anything else that I think more important.


Practical Parsimony said...

I made soup every Sunday and packed it into five Tupperware bowls, ready for work. I ate what was left the day I made it. I had a stack of five bowls of soup, yogurt in five half cup T containers, five apples, five bananas, and five sandwiches in plastic boxes. This was lunch and dinner at work. I ate breakfast on the way to work, stuff I made at home. I never spent a dime on lunch away from home. I am a fan of packing all my food. I even packed a T tumbler of milk and one of oj.

Carol Schultz said...

Yes, there are many ways to make this work and maximize the savings. Thank you for sharing your strategy!