Today, I’d like to share a tip that’s as simple as it gets. Save money by taking food to work.
I was thinking about this while I was fixing my husband’s lunch this morning. If I didn’t send his lunch with him, he’d be spending at least $25 per week on food and perhaps another $10 per week in fuel to drive and actually purchase said food. Our weekly budget simply can’t afford that, so I send lunch with him.
I’d say that today’s lunch was pretty typical. He took:
- 2 grilled bratwurst ($1.33)
- 6oz cottage cheese ($0.57)
- 12oz Pepsi Max ($0.28)
That’s a grand total of $2.18 for a lunch that he likes to eat, (We eat low-carb, and unfortunately, my husband’s not always big on “eating his veggies”.)
A more interesting example might be yesterday’s lunch though. On Monday night, I made a stir-fry. I took two sirloin tip steaks that we’d gotten on quick sale from Sam’s Club, and I sliced them into strips. I seasoned them, and I fried them in coconut oil along with two bags of frozen veggies (three pepper and onion mix and an Asian stir-fry veggie mix) that I got from Kroger as part of a 10/$10 deal. We each had a liberal serving on Monday night, and then I sent left-overs to work yesterday. We managed three nice servings from a meal that cost no more than $6, and I guarantee you that it tasted much better than anything you’d get from a box.
Also remember to take your own snacks. Buying food from a vending machine is as expensive as it gets. If there are snack foods that you think you just can’t live without, but them at the store. You’ll pay much less for them, and you can choose healthier, much tastier options that way.
And lastly, don’t forget about beverages. Again, if you buy pop from a vending machine, buy it at the store instead. If you drink coffee or tea, see if your employer offers those items for free. If you just drink water, get a good insulated bottle and bring your own.
Also, don’t forget breakfast! I feed my husband before he leaves, but I realize that a lot of folks grab fast food along the way thinking that they’re saving time. Not only can this cost you more time, it definitely costs more money. This morning, my husband ate quick oats with cinnamon and fresh strawberries. He topped it with a little cream, and of course he had his cup of coffee! I’d guess that this put his breakfast at about $1, and it took me about four minutes to prepare it. (That includes hulling the strawberries.)
Use left-overs creatively, buy foods in bulk, and don’t forget to harvest from your garden! All of these tips will give you food to eat at work that anyone would envy.