Work lunches: bring your own, save money

You might have noticed a distinct lack of monthly spending recaps on this ole blog of late. I’ll admit, I’ve been less than upfront about our spending recently.

Things have been out of whack, with our holiday (which I did recap financially in this post) putting money into T’s bike, and as I mentioned yesterday, a month of lost income.

That doesn’t mean I’ve been entirely ignoring our financials. Reviewing the last couple of months made it clear we’d been paying for convenience too often, and that T had been nickel and diming us to death with purchases here and there (aside from his regular fun money, which is $80-100 a week, about half of which goes on lunches, $20 on poker night twice a week, and the rest of random snacks/golf/the rare night out, etc. To a tightwad like me, who hardly spends anything in a normal week, it’s insanely extravagant – but I can also see how fast that can go given how much things actually cost).

We’re trying out a reduced allowance for him, in tandem with him starting to bring his own lunches to work. I used to make his lunches, but eventually I gave up as half the time he didn’t eat them and in all honesty, it’s enough of a grind organising my own. Now it’s all on him.

The first week he managed to forget to bring his lunch one day, and on another I volunteered to make it because he was feeling sick in the evening. My gut feeling is this probably isn’t going to last all that long, and not for 5 days a week, every week. (I usually batch my lunches in two lots, cutting down prep time, but he’s more into sandwiches made daily.) The thing is, this is an area with definite potential for savings, and he really doesn’t make enough to justify buying food every day – I just don’t know if he’s cut out to put in the effort on this count.

How does your household manage work lunches?

8 thoughts on “Work lunches: bring your own, save money

  1. 99% of the time we pack a lunch to work. Usually, we use leftovers from the night before but sometimes I do make sandwiches the night before or that morning. Its worth the effort, buying food is so expensive!

  2. I used to spend SO much money buying lunches because I was too lazy to make or pack something in the morning before I headed to work. I’d buy something 2 or 3 times a week and it adds up in a hurry! Now I try to pack something the night before from leftovers or from whatever’s laying around in the pantry.
    My husband works out of town so he doesn’t have the luxury of buying lunch, so he has leftovers or I’ll make him a sandwich for his lunches. It’s much easier on the wallet.

  3. I am super lucky in that I don’t work 8 hour shifts so I usually just eat before and after my shift, and eat a little snack in between and I’m fine. Packing lunches can be a drag but sooo much cheaper. I think even just mostly packing and sometimes buying would make a huge difference!

  4. We’re in the midst of switching it up. I tend to bring mine (or ingredients to prepare in our office kitchen), while Mr. PoP had been buying at his work cafeteria where a good meal could be had for about $4 ($5 if he wanted a coke, too!). But, with the spending cleanse, we’re now both bringing lunches every day. Since Mr. PoP is not a cooker, that means I make up a big batch of something for him on the weekend, and he eats it the entire week. So far, so good. But I need more recipes that are easy or it’s going to be too much work to keep up.

  5. I pack lunches (generally leftovers, occasionally ‘instant’ food like canned soup and toast) plus snacks (fruit and yoghurt mainly) every day of the week for the two of us. The only exception is when there’s a special occasion at work – e.g. if everyone is going out to lunch for someone’s birthday, or farewell.

    It means I save $10 a day, $50 a week, or over $2000 a year. That’s my overseas holiday right there!

  6. This is a sore point for me. My BF likes to go out to lunch every day. I’ve talked to him about how much money he could save if he just brought lunch, but he had all sorts of excuses (no microwave to heat up leftovers; need to get away from the office; etc.). And he also insists on having an afternoon coffee break at Starbucks, too. To make it worse, he’s been on leave for the past few months for some health issues yet he still goes out to eat lunch every day and get his coffee!

    Me, I actually prefer to bring my lunch to the office because I know the food quality is higher than any place I would buy my lunch. I’ve recently been forcing myself to not bring lunch one day a week in order to make myself available for networking over lunch, in fact. I don’t go to the office every day, so I end up eating at home quite a bit. The fact that it saves money is really secondary to me. I just like good food and I know what I make has less fillers and much higher quality ingredients than what I could get for lunch near my office.

  7. I pack my lunches everyday. Sometimes I eat out but I’ve been forcing myself to eat my packed lunches more often now. It’s just too pricey. If you break it down, even a $5 lunch is $25 a week which is $200 a month. O_O; My Life Expenses monthly is only $180 for splurges. O_O;;;

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