The Biggest Savings
In honor of Financial Literacy Month, I want to show you the biggest savings we’ve come across in our family. Any guesses?
It’s lunch! We used to eat out for lunch every day. Who has time to make lunch before work, right? But we gradually learned that we could save a lot of cash for things we really want if we could just get used to bringing our own food.
Lunch shouldn’t cost that much. It’s not dinner at a nice restaurant – it’s a sandwich at the cafeteria or a McD’s. But, it does add up. Let’s say you spend $10 a day for food at work or school, combining lunch, a vending machine snack, and coffee, bottled water or pop. It’s just a few little items throughout the day, but let me show you the numbers.
- $10 x 5 days a week = $50
- $50 x 50 weeks a year = $5,000
- $25,000 is what it will cost you for 5 years
And that’s for one person. If there are two of you in the household, then you can double the numbers. I bet you can find something better to do with $5,000 or $10,000 a year.
I used to have all the excuses – not enough time to make my lunch, it’s too boring, etc. Well times have changed.
Part of that change was accepting that we like different types of lunch foods. He’s a sandwich person and makes his lunch the night before. Sandwiches keep well in the fridge overnight. That doesn’t work for me. I like leftovers, soups and salads. I might make extra for dinner so I can have leftovers for lunch the next day. Or, make soup on a Sunday, then have soup for a few days. I like combining my leftovers with salad greens to make a fancy salad. My lunches need to be freshly made in the morning. Because I have the ingredients, and a plan, it takes less than 5 minutes.
What about beverages? My husband is a coffee drinker. He makes his coffee the night before with a programmable coffee pot. The money savings made the pot a really good investment. I’m a water drinker, so I use a washable metal water bottle. I just refill and put it back in the fridge when I get home from work, so it’s ready to go in the morning.
Just by taking these little steps, we are able to save money and use it for other purposes. How about you? Are you ready to try bringing your lunch to work? What system would work for you?