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June 27, 2007


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This is excellent advice. I actually started for the health aspects -- but saving money has been a nice bonus.

Plus, I like my food better. REstaurant and cafeteria food is overrated, IMO.

Keep all of the necessary food at work, that way you'll never forget it at home.

Personally, I use my lunch break on Mondays to go to the grocery store to buy my breakfast and lunch for the week.

I used to do this but chunked it for several reasons:

* Extra expense at the grocery.
* Extra time to prep the meals at home.
* Got tired of being in the office or cube for 8-10 hours straight without leaving the building.

To each their own but I cherish my time not spent in the office. I only get a 2-3 hours of free time a day. The less I have to do the happier I am. Yea it adds up but I justify the money well spent on my piece of mind.

You need to realize that brown-bagging your lunch has a cost. Everything costs something and it's not always monetary.

Good advice. Remember that you don't have to brown bag for all the 5 days to save money, even 2-3 days would do it.

Most kitchen at work has simple cooking facilities such as a sandwich press or a microwave. You could use this and cook up some simple meals. At one place, my colleague actually brought in his own gas burner, and cooked his lunch every day. It certainly smells good!

I've tried many times to bring my lunch, but I hate doing it. I work in a city, where I can get all kinds of nice food, some of it quite inexpensive.

I am fortunate to have a cafeteria availible at work, where I can consistantly get a very large portion of a very healthy meal (i.e. grilled chicken on a salad with veggies, turkey wrap with a cup of soup, etc) for $4 or $5. Since my savings would only be about $1 or $2 a day to go through the effort of making my own lunch, I don't bother. I prefer the cafeteria.

I also agree that getting out of the office is nice! It substantially helps my degree of focus for the second half of the day. When I leave the building (i.e. when I don't eat at the cafeteria), I'll often spend about $7 at a chain lunch-based restaurant. If I ever go to an actual sit-down restaurant for lunch, I often order an appetizer for my meal, since the portion is about the size of a normal lunch and it is much cheaper than ordering a 2000+ calorie meal from the menu.

I always bring lunch to work. Spending money at a restaurant or at some fast food joint isn't appealing. I just take leftovers from dinners, or canned chili/soup, but mostly I make myself a couple of sandwiches with a variety of meats. I figured out that the cost of the bread, a little mayo, and the deli meat costs me less than $1 each day for 2 sandwiches. Those savings really add up.

At one of my jobs I brought a george forman grill and kept good in the fridge. With the help of the microwave I could make grilled fish and rice, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, all kinds of stuff.

I dont mean to be nit-picking, Richard, but those are some of the worst reasons I've ever heard.

Extra expense at the grocery? As opposed to extra expense going out to eat every day.

Extra time to prep the meals at home? A) This takes like 5 minutes. B) If you really dont want to spend those 5 minutes every day, keep the food at work and prep it right before you eat it. It's still going to take less of your "free time" than ordering a meal will.

Tired of being in the office? You still get a lunch break. You're allowed to leave, you just can do something other than eat. Run some errands that you would have had to do after work, go to a park and relax or read a book, stop home and visit your kids or dogs or hamsters or whatever, go for a walk, visit the gym, do *anything you want*.

The simple fact may remain that you just LIKE going out to lunch. That's perfectly fine and valid. But if that's the case, just say it. Don't drum up bogus excuses.

Cory, these aren't bogus excuses, for my life situation they are valid. I wanted my comment to give another perspective to this discussion.

I want people to realize that there are trade offs to everything you do. Life is not about watching every penny in your checking account.

And to counter your assumption that I like to eat out. It gets old after a while, however, it's not as old as eating leftovers, sandwiches or frozen store bought lunches. I did that for too many years.

No one has to implement every savings idea that they hear about. If you don't want to make your lunch every day, that's your choice and you don't have to justify it.

The point of the post is that it's generally cheaper to bring your lunch to work rather than eating out.

The trade off for saving money is often time and most people realize that.

I actually save time doing this as I don't have to drive anywhere and eat at noon. I generally work during lunch which then allows me to leave work on time (versus staying late.)

My husband and I bring our lunches everyday, and I love it for a variety of reasons:
1) It's cheaper
2) I like my own food better
3) It saves me time at work, like FMF says, and I can get out on time
4) Fast food is unhealthy

I think this is an especially smart option for twentysomethings out there. Many of my peers eat out daily, and I don't think they realize what a difference a couple of dollars a day makes. Frankly, I'd rather save or spend that money elsewhere.

I've brought my lunch for about 10 years now, about the time that I've been able to bring my lunch. It's just what I do. I eat pretty much the same thing every day - sandwich, yogurt and fruit. I mix up the flavors, but I still like it.

There are days when I want something different. I'll grill the sandwich (it's like Quiznos, but $7 cheaper) or bring leftovers.

I also keep a few of the instant noodle bowls in my office for those days when I really don't feel like fixing anything.

I can't imagine how much money I've saved over 10 years, and it's absolutely worth it to me.

I always bring my lunch to office. We prepare a bit more stuff for dinner so a days lunch is leftovers from previous days dinner. This way, i get to eat home cooked food which is *way* healthier than restaurant food, and also saves the commute time.

Or, just telecomute and graze the refrig all day...

meh, I just go home for lunch at noon and come back by 1pm. I guess it helps that my home is 5 miles away from my work.

I usually bring lunch which is leftovers or a microwave dinner I buy on sale & with coupons. I try to avoid the cafeteria/dining services because I work at a university and they charge an arm and a leg. If I want to eat out I walk across campus and across the street and eat at a fast food place off campus.

I bring my lunch everyday because I am on a diet. Eating out ruins my weight loss. Now DH used to do it everyday because I would make him lunch with mine (not as weight loss conscious though).

Though as of one week ago he get $10/week for lunch.

I love eating out, but I always felt like I had accomplished something when I brought my lunch. Now that I don't work, I can focus on my husband's lunches. He loves these 90 sec rice dishes from Trader Joes, and for some reason, has no problem eating the exact same thing every day for months. If he gets tired of it, he gets Subway. But I think having the food there at work is a big boon. Office refrigerator FTW!

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