Do you pack or buy your lunch?
Since I began working, I’ve almost always packed my lunch. The only time I buy is when I have lunch plans with a co-worker or friend. Not only does it save me a bunch of money, but my lunches are healthier than anything I can buy. I can easily make a 350-calorie lunch at home that only costs me a few bucks, whereas buying a salad (although let’s be honest, I do not do salad) would run me at least $8. Even if I only spent $5 a day on lunch, that’s $25 a week, or $100 a month. And I don’t know about you, but I would have trouble finding a lunch for only $5 unless I was eating fast food every day.
$100 a month? That’s almost a third of our total food budget. Today, I spent $58 and stocked up our entire fridge. I bought chicken breasts, ground turkey, tilapia, two bags full of fresh produce, and a bunch of other stuff as well. And since I’m trying to stick to $75 a week for our food budget, I’m so happy I still have $17 in this week’s budget! (and yes, I totally just used a calculator to subtract 58 from 75. #EnglishMajor)
I also created–for the very first time!– a meal plan for the week. I took inventory of what we had in our fridge and came up with meals we could do. So the whole “what’s for dinner?” dilemma is solved and we can look on the menu and decide what we want.
I just added “Chicken Veggie Shish Kebobs” to the list. Is that how you spell shish kebabs?
(and you may think “I thought she just said she doesn’t do salad?” well, I don’t do salad as just my meal. If it’s with other stuff, I’m ok…sometimes)
Whenever we cook dinner, we always make extra for lunch the next day. SO that solves the lunch problem. And if we eat out during the week, then I always try and keep some frozen meals on hand just in case. The point is, when you’re on a tight budget, eating out for lunch is the very first thing that needs to go.
Almost all of the co-workers in my department buy lunch every day. Even the co-worker who says she needs overtime because she needs the money because her spouse isn’t working–and in my head I want to say “do you know how much money you could save by bringing lunch?”
This doesn’t mean I’m anti-social though. If someone invites me to lunch, I’ll go. I have no guilt in spending $10-15 on lunch when I only do it once or twice a month. And that’s really pushing it. I can count on two hands–and I don’t even need all 10 fingers– the number of times I’ve bought lunch since I started this job in December, 8 months ago.
SO are you a brown bagger or a buy your lunch kinda person?