Saving Money on Lunch: How to Eat Cheap During the Workweek

You may find your discretionary income quickly disappearing each month as the high price of fuel has caused food prices to increase, among other things. While you might not be able to get rid of necessary expenses, you can at least cut down on your lunch budget. Here are three areas that can help you keep more cash in your pocket.

Packing Your Lunch
The biggest money saving tip is bringing your lunch to the office. If you usually spend about $10 eating out each day, you can save around $1,000 a year just by packing your lunch just two days a week. And, packing your lunch can be easy. Try buying frozen meals or making sandwiches that you can easily pack or prepare the night before. You don’t need anything else to worry about when you’re trying to make it to work on time.

Smart Eating Out
When you eat at a restaurant, consider carpooling with co-workers to save on fuel. At the restaurant, share a meal or appetizer with a friend or co-worker. Usually, restaurant portions are excessive, and splitting the meal can keep costs down for both of you. Many places also have affordable lunch specials that fit into a tight budget. Or, get a doggie bag and save half of your lunch to pack as leftovers later on in the week.

Bringing Snacks
By keeping healthy foods at work, you can snack whenever you get a little hungry. Munching on a container of cereal or fruit at your desk can help control your appetite and save you the cost of a quick snack at a vending machine. Snacking throughout the morning will keep you from ordering too much if you eat out. Also, consider bringing your own drinks to the office. If you were to buy a drink for $1 from the vending machine every day, that would amount to over $260 a year.

Your lunch budget is an easy place to cut down on your expenses. Plan ahead and think about these three factors and watch your expenses decrease quickly.

What do you usually do for lunch? Did you change your eating habits to help make up for high gas prices?


  1. Joanne

    Other than water and black coffee, I have pretty much eliminated all other beverages while I’m at work. Most offices provide both of those for free. I buy generic cookies and pack 3 or 4 of those for my snack. I have a sandwich that I make at home, and a cut up apple or a banana or an orange, and a yogurt. That way I can eat a little bit every two to three hours and I never have that post-lunch drowsy digestive period from eating a big meal all at once, and I keep up my energy throughout the day. I’d say my daily lunch costs me about $3 to $3.50. And I don’t have to worry about improper food handling!

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