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Lunch Money: Tips to Save Money on Lunch

Most of us do it; forego the task of preparing our lunches and instead opt to buy something from the cafeteria or the local deli. Sure, these lunches may taste great, and be very convenient, but how much are they costing you? Whatever your excuse for not making and taking a lunch everyday, stop making them. Instead, consider how much you could be saving each year by changing things up. This week we’ve got some great tips to save money on lunch.

Maybe you need cold, hard numbers to see how much you’re spending. How much does the average lunch cost you? $10? And how many times a week do you indulge? 2? Every day?

Sure, splurging on a $10 lunch a few times a week may not seem like a big deal, but this can quickly add up. For example, if you buy just one $10 lunch once per week, that amounts to $490 per year, while a daily $10 habit at $50 per week totals $2,450 per year. Wow, lunch sure can get expensive!

On the flip side, the average brown bag lunch, depending on a variety of factors, is typically only going to run you a few dollars.

So, here are a few tips to save money on lunch:

  • No need to get fancy. Sure, that boring old sandwich may not seem all that appealing, but really how different is it from what you’re already buying anyways? And there is nothing saying you have to go the sandwich route. Salads, cheese and crackers, soup – the sky’s the limit! Keeping things different will also make it easier to stick to it.
  • No waste. Make a little extra for supper and take the leftovers and you’re saving even more money and not wasting that food.
  • Plan ahead. Prep your weekly lunches on Sunday to save time and avoid the mid-week temptation to skip the process of making it.
  • Buy in bulk to save on those items that come prepackaged and will last longer in the pantry.
  • Invest in a thermos and you’re guaranteed a hot lunch even if you don’t have access to a microwave.
  • Keep a stash of healthy snack options in your desk for the days when you get hungry and need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Not only will brown-bagging it save you money, it is also going to save you some calories. Unless you are good at avoiding temptation and only go for the health-conscious options when buying lunch, making your lunch at home will allow you to make healthier choices.

At Prudent Financial, we’re all about making smart financial decisions that will save money.

For more tips to save money, please visit www.prudentfinancial.net.

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