If you are working full time, one of your regular expenses is dining. Fast food, lunches out with coworkers, grabbing a soda at the vending machine—it all adds up quickly. You’ve probably heard taking your lunch can be a nice way to save big, but you are still eating out daily. It can be a big money saver, so what is holding you back?
Many people think packing a lunch for work isn’t as convenient as picking up something or ordering in. It can be as simple as taking a few minutes to repackage the evening’s dinner. We have previously shared this type of lunch before. If leftovers seem boring to you, try re-purposing your meals. Use leftover chicken in salad, make an Italian sub from extra spaghetti sauce & meatballs or use a hamburger bun to turn your leftover dinner into a new sandwich.
If carrying a lunch to work makes you feel like a kid, embrace it! Wax nostalgic with a Transformers lunchbox or a Hello Kitty thermos. There are also plenty of grown-up options so you aren’t stuck brown bagging it to work. If you have access to a microwave, packing your lunch could be as simple as taking a freezer meal in an insulated tote.
There are plenty of ways to add variety to your daily lunch. Enlist the help of your coworkers by taking turns bringing a crockpot meal to share daily or weekly. You could also each bring one dish, and share amongst the office. Lunch clubs reduce the burden to each person participating, but provides a regular meal for less than the price of an expensive lunch.
If bringing your lunch makes you feel trapped, don’t eat at your desk! Try the break room, an atrium or an outdoor location. Just because you provide your own food, you don’t have to miss out on your lunch break. Use the extra time to take a walk or run a quick errand. The idea isn’t to eliminate the lunch hour; we just want to enjoy it inexpensively.