Are you in the habit of bringing your lunch to work? If not, you should be! On average, the typical homemade lunch costs $2-3. How much do you spend when you eat out every day at the office? $5? $10? Think of how much you could be saving in a year if you brown-bagged during the workweek instead of going out.
- $5 per lunch x 5 days a week x 52 weeks in a year = $1300 per year spent on eating lunch out
- $2 per lunch x 5 days a week x 52 weeks in a year = $520 per year spent on bringing your lunch to work
That’s a savings of $780 per year, and that’s if you only spend $5 each day.
Most people probably realize that brown bagging lunch is the cheapest option, but the hard part is actually creating the habit of packing it. Here are my best tips for getting yourself to bring lunch to work a reality.
6 Tips for Creating the Habit of Bringing Lunch to Work
1. Prep for the week.
On Sundays I like to roast a large batch of veggies to have available for the week. That way I always have something to grab from the fridge, even in a time crunch.
2. Make extras.
Making tacos for dinner? Cook up an extra serving or two of protein and chop some extra vegetables to bring along for lunch.
3. Pack the night before.
As soon as dinner is over, portion those leftovers out into lunch-sized portions. It may only take 5 minutes to pack a lunch, but even that can seem like too long when you’re running late in the morning. By getting your food ready the night before, you’ll have no excuses for not taking your lunch to work!
4. Stock plenty of storage containers.
If you don’t have anything to put your food in, you probably aren’t going to pack it. Stock plenty of containers (too many is better than not enough!), including a variety of sizes.
5. Invest in a nice lunch bag.
I don’t know about you, but having a cute lunch bag makes me happy. For $10, it’s well worth the investment of finding a bag that’ll make you excited to pack your lunch.
6. Keep emergency foods on hand.
Sometimes you won’t have time to make dinner, leaving you with no leftovers for lunch. That’s when you need to have emergency foods on hand. Chicken sausages, baby carrots, and apples are my go-to options for when this situation arises.
Some of my favorite healthy and budget-friendly lunches include:
- Salad greens with leftover chicken, avocado, blueberries, and almonds, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Roasted sweet potatoes and carrots, prepped on Sunday, with a chicken sausage and an apple.
- Overnight Oats made with chia seeds, a little maple syrup, and topped with strawberries. Pair with a hard-boiled egg for some extra protein!Not only does packing your lunches for work save you money, it typically means a healthier meal. Win-win!
Not only does packing your lunches for work save you money, it typically means a healthier meal. Win-win!
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