Tip #3 How to Save Money on Lunches

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I am glad you are joining us with the 31 Days blog party, that the Nesting Place is hosting. This is going to be very difficult to get all the posts written and out in the 31 days, but we are going to do it.  We are happy to have you follow us through the month to find out more tips on to get out of debt and be debt free. Hopefully you will find some or all of these tips helpful to you in your journey to become and/or be debt free. If you like these tips please share our link with your friends and family.

Tip 3 Pack a lunch 2012-10-03

We have always packed our own lunches for work and

for the children when they were in school. It saves a lot of money and the lunches are probably better for them.  We also use a lunchbox and Pyrex containers to save even more money than using paper and plastic bags. It doesn’t mean we never go out, but my husband will just occasionally go out.

Lunch ideas that are all easy:

Sandwiches; all kinds





Chinch Bars

Chinch Shakes

and much more….

Tip #3: Pack a Lunch

If you are someone who works and goes out to lunch often, you need to read on:

It’s easy to get into the habit of going out to lunch every day either by yourself or with co-workers. But at $10.00 a day with tax and tip, it can really start to add up. By just cutting out a few days a week, the saving can start to pile up. Now we’re not saying don’t ever go out for lunch, just cut back when you can. You still want to enjoy the company of your co-workers. Let’s take a look at how much you can save each month.

How much you’re currently spending for work lunch?
Let’s look at how much NOT packing a lunch is costing you. We’ll assume you eat out 3 times per week for lunch.

Estimated current lunch spending: Eat out 3 times a week x 4 weeks in a month @ $12 each lunch net with tax and tip = $144 per month on eating out.

Estimated new spending to eat out: Eat out 2 times a week x 4 weeks @ $8 net with tax and tip = $64.

New spending to pack your lunches: Pack lunch each week x 4 weeks x $5 cost per packed lunch = $20.
So $144 – $64 – $20 = $60 in savings. Just by cutting out 1 day a week and getting a less expensive meal.

Because you can break down the variables above to fit your own circumstances (number of times you eat out vs. amount you spend on each lunch vs. cost of packing your own lunch), you can tweak each of them to see your own savings. For example, maybe you currently eat out 4 times per week and you reduce that to twice a week, your savings are going to be even greater. If you tend to eat out at expensive restaurants with co-workers, maybe you limit it to once per week. In that case, pick a couple of lunch options and try to pick the less expensive option. It’s up to you.
Note: We don’t suggest going cold-turkey and stop going out for lunch altogether, because that will last about a week, you’ll get depressed, and then you’ll give up. You still want to enjoy yourself, just cut back a little. You are more likely to sustain the change if you slowly optimize, rather than quitting cold turkey.

Here are a couple tips for you:
Pack your lunches at night when it’s less hectic and not in the morning when you may be rushed for time.
Mix up your lunches so you’re not eating the same thing every day. One day leftovers, the next a lunch meat sandwich with fruit, the next a salad, etc.
Plan your lunches in advance and shop for what you need, but only for that week. You don’t want to buy extra and have it go bad. That’s defeating the purpose.
If someone invites you to lunch on a day you brought your lunch, politely say “Thanks, I’d love to go but I’ve challenged myself to cut back and save a little money, so I brought my lunch today, how about Friday?” Planning your lunch dates will help you keep on track and give you something to look forward to. Who knows, maybe your co-workers will cut back along with you.
You may think packing a lunch is such an obvious tip, but it really works. At $60 a month savings or $720 a year, that’s real saving you can count on.

Do you spend too much money on lunch?

Doug and Sharon

(Parents of a Dozen)

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31 Days


  1. I love this and am sending the link to my husband! He's guilty when it comes to eating out pretty often. Thanks for the tips!

    1. This could be a tough one to change, but this could be a significant savings. Thanks for following along with our tips to get out of debt.


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