Post # 1
Now that I’m married and starting to think about what I want for the future – a house, the ability to travel to the US once a year to visit family, kids in the next 3 to 6 years, a comfortable retirement, and to finally pay off those f*%([email protected]# student loans where the interest seems to multiple like horny rabbits – I’m trying to organize my budget better to save for the future. I spend a significant amount of money on food during the week, so I’m trying to figure out the best way to cut down the costs. I’ll go out to a restaurant a few times a week for the needed break from work, but that adds up pretty quickly. Otherwise I’ll get a quiche somewhere which is less expensive, but I should probably start to lunchbox it.
What do you do for lunch, and how much do you spend per week? Do you make lunch, or do you just try to find something cheaper while you are out to avoid the hassle of trying to organize a lunch in advance? If you do make your own lunch, what do you make? Any healthy suggestions appreciated!
Post # 3
Fortunately for me I currently work at a preschool as a teacher, so the lunch lady is nice enough to make me a plate of whatever the kids are eating on any given day. Yesterday it was 2 medium slices of pizza, handful of grapes, orange pieces and cheese cudes. YUM!
And the usual…peanutbutter and jelly sandwich, carrots and ranch dressing, fruit cups…etc.
Post # 4
i usually bring leftovers from dinner before (if there are any.) Or I will pack tuna with melba toast, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, fruit. I used to go out to eat but I realized how much money I was spending (and weight I was gaining!)
That’s probably my least favorite ‘chore’. I loathe packing my lunch. It’s just such an inconvenience to me.
Post # 5
But What I did for my last job (in an office setting) was take left overs as my lunch. Not only was I saving money from buying “lunch” products such as coldcuts, bread, penutbutter and jelly, snacks…etc, It filled me up quite a bit during the day, so in the afternoon i wasn’t having a “snack” craving.
So during the week- you have to cook dinner anyways right?- just make a little more than you would normally make so you have enough leftovers.
A great idea is to make Lasagna and the left over pieces, cut them and store them individually in little containers or little ziplock baggies and freeze them. They last a long time and all you have to do is pick a piece and take it to work and heat it up.
Hope this helps 🙂
Post # 6
I voted “I box my lunch”. Usually I bring leftovers from last night’s dinner. Not only is it cheaper, it’s easy and healthy!
Occasinally eat at the cafeteria (I work at a hospital) or a fast-food restaurant (I work right across the street from a shopping center with a food court).
Post # 7
I made my own lunch when I was still working. The idea of going out to luch to save time seems a little silly to me. It takes me less time to make and pack up a sandwich, piece of fruit, some crackers, and a drink (sometimes a candy bar too lol) than it does to get to whatever resturant I want to eat at, stand in line (or wait at a table), order my food, collect my food, eat my food, and get back to work. Honestly, I could make 2 lunches in less time than it took to do all that with resturants. I might be able to make 3 lunches in less time, but certainly no more time. It wouldn’t be until I was making 4 lunches a day that eating out would start to get faster than making lunches, but at that point you’d be spending a ton of extra money by paying for 4 people to eat out every day. Not to mention the fact that if you’re making lunches for a family of 4 and find yourself short on time you could certainly have the other members of the family start helping to make their own lunches. 🙂 Making my own lunch saved a significant amount of time. Of course, it saves a lot of money too. If you don’t want to make your lunch in the morning because you’re always feeling rushed/tired you can always make it the night before. 🙂 That’s one of the main reasons I used to bring leftovers a lot when I was working. I would just make a little bit extra for dinner the night before, put it in a tupperware container, and then it’s ready for me to carry to work the next day. 🙂
Sandwiches, leftovers, tortilla wraps, quesedillas, fruit, vegetables, yogurt, nuts, trail mix, crackers, and granola bars are all very easy to throw together. 🙂
Post # 8
I try to eat healthy for lunch, which is hard to do if you are eating out all the time. We have a freezer and microwave at work so I will usually bring in a box of vegetables that can be steamed and some yogurt. It’s cheap (about a $2 lunch) and it’s healthy. But once or twice a month I’ll go out to lunch to catch up with old friends and get out of the office.
Post # 9
It depends. I work at a zoo, and get half price off all food, and we’ve got a pretty big selection (it’s a big zoo), so sometimes I’ll eat at work (chicken strips, salad bar, grilled chese, pulled pork, bratwurst, chef specials which change daily), sometimes I’ll run someplace close by like St. Louis Bread Co (which is Panera everywhere else), Chipotle, Subway or a bagel shop, sometimes I’ll go home (I only live three miles from work) and scrounge something up, and sometimes I’ll pack a lunch (usually either a sandwich, a combo of fruit/cheese/crackers, tuna, or a frozen thing). I like variety. Overall, I probably spend about $25/week no matter what I eat.
Post # 10
Once a week some colleagues and I eat together in the school’s cafeteria ($4.50), but the rest of the time I bring a leftovers or a sandwich and eat in my office.
Post # 11
My favorite thing is cold pasta salad, so it needs no reheating. I can grab from the fridge and leave work, go to a nearby park (sometimes just drive in my car to a nearby shady street with pretty trees) and eat. That way I get out of the office but still save money. I get an hour for lunch so I can walk around the park or stop by target before heading back to work.
And when I feel like cheating, I buy some pasta salad pre made from CostCo ($10) usually lasts 4-5 days, plus some added snacks like fruit, carrots, chips, etc.
Post # 12
Well I work at home so there is no boxing involved but I eat in 4 days/week. I let myself go out for food once/week… but usually it is something cheap still like chipotle or just getting soup take-out (so like $5-8).
Post # 13
I do one of several things on any given week.
- I keep stuff at work in the fridge to make lunches on the go. (Ie lettuce, tomato, and veggie burgers and dressing to make salads. Shirataki noodles, frozen stifry noodles, precooked chicken and sesame oil to make a noodle bowl). Just heat and eat type thing
- I bring leftovers (I purposely try to make extra)
- I make a dish on Sunday specifically for lunch like taco meat to throw on top of a salad or chicken salad with greek yogurt to have lettuce wraps etc.
Then if I take a lunch, which I dont normally, its to take a walk outside for 30 minutes or to run a quick errand.
EDI: not only is it cheaper, but a whole darn lot healthier!!!
Post # 14
My husband and I always make enough for dinner so that we have leftovers the next day to take for lunch (unless it’s stinky fish or something because I don’t like to be “that person” in the office lol). Occasionally we’ll splurge and have something out if folks are ordering, but we’re both much more motivated to just eat what we have when we bring something.
Post # 15
I never eat out at lunch – waste of money and calories for me. We have a roomy fridge in my office and I’m the only one who uses it for food so I keep a lot of provisions in there – hummus, vegetables, hard boiled eggs, salad fixings, dinner leftovers, whatever. I also keep apples, dried fruit, nuts, etc., on hand in my office.
Post # 16
I checked other. I bring a frozen weight watchers meal or a Healthy Choice steamed frozen meal. I have no ambition or desire to put together a lunch each morning. I also bring my breakfast.