Packing a Lunch – Brown Bag Your Way to Savings

Does the thought of packing a lunch every day strike you as a lot of work? Shopping, cooking, packing, microwaving… Sounds like excuses. One of my favourite excuses – I have a high hourly rate so it make economic sense for me to eat out. Do you bill every hour of the day? Would you really bill one more hour Sunday night rather than cooking? Be honest.

Buying your lunch costs between $10-15 a day and packing it is less than $5. At a minimum you are saving $35 a week or close to $2,000 a year. Who says you don’t have money to save and invest?

I think you get the point without a step by step… but a pattern is a pattern.

Start cooking this week!
1. Cook a simple dish you love for the week
3. Pack each day’s lunch in a container so you just need to grab and go
3. This is going so well we could add breakfast to the list!

Still thinking of Freshii?

I hope by this point we all agree packing your lunch saves money. Finding a way to save $35 a week adds up and is the perfect amount to start an automatic savings plan into an index fund. If the numbers seem too good to be true here is a simple calculations based on the cost of groceries in my neighbourhood.

Chicken, broccoli, and rice
5 Chicken Breasts $20
2 Heads of Broccoli $5
Rice $2
Cost per lunch $5.4

Egg salad sandwich
A dozen eggs $2
Loaf of bread $3
Mayonnaise $4
Cost per lunch $1.8

If the money isn’t doing it what about the time it takes? Very few of my colleagues get their lunch in less than a half hour (those who do end up with a pre-made sandwich – let’s compare that at $2). With that time you could go for a walk, catch up with a colleague over lunch, or anything else that will make your day a little more enjoyable.

What about the health benefits? Commercially made food has a lot of additives (sugar, salt, fat anyone?) and preservatives. Bring on the fat and salt for a fancy dinner but I don’t need it every day at lunch. Making your own lunch allows you complete control. Want to cut down on salt, sugar, fat, or starches? None of that is difficult if you make your own food.

Budget Bytes is a great source for recipes and includes their costs

The same applies for coffee – this guy has done the cost calculation for us

Now that you are saving $35 a week let’s use that to set up an automatic savings plan

Happy Saving

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