Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Reader Profile: BW | Main | Reader Profile: LS »

April 24, 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I eat out every single day now. I eat with someone new at least once a week just to make the connection. I know it costs me several thousand dollars a year but I really enjoy it, have no debt and a large 6 figure savings at 27 years of age. Eating out is one way I live a little after 5+ years of saving 60% of my income!!

I always bring a lunch. 2 sandwiches and some fruit at a minimum.

I go out occasionally with co-workers, but we average once or twice a month.

We have a subsidized cafeteria in my building so I get $2 turkey burgers everyday that are delicious. Most everyone else usually gets the combo meals for $6-7.

I forgot to mention I spend about $20 each weekday on lunch and coffee. During my last contract I negotiated another $3 an hour into my bill rate (6Kish a year) just so that I could eat out every day guilt free. I have enjoyed the heck out of the relationships I have cultivated this year over these meals. I should put that in some additional context; I make 15K a month and save about 9K of that after tax and household expenses. I don't have cable TV and a drive a 10 year old paid-for Lexus that looks brand new. My lunch money isn't flying out of my hand out of control - the expense is very intentional and deliberate; I enjoy the heck out of it!!

I'm okay with sandwich and an apple, but I absolutely love leftovers. I usually try to make large meals so that I have leftovers - stir frys and pilafs always work well.

I usually eat out 4 lunches per month. Sometimes buying something quick across the street, other times somewhere nicer with an older co-worker in another department who has been a good mentor to me.

I wish there was something to do/exercise at or near my building on break, but I work for a nonprofit and we have few of those perks.

That's the benefit of working from home now. Virtually every day I can just grab something out of the kitchen. When I was in an office I took lunch in over 90% of the time. It saved me time and money, plus it's generally healthier to boot.

I love leftovers from my wife's cooking. She asks about my work schedule from week to week to make sure that our dinners provide enough leftovers for my lunches. I don't need a break in the middle of the day - I spend a total of about 15 minutes heating and eating my lunch, and I leave work earlier than I would if I were to take a full lunch break.

I figure we save in several ways:
- the $9 a day for a sandwich (a total of about $2k per year)
- the additional 20 minutes a day it would take to go get the sandwich, and it takes longer to eat than a typical leftover (a total of perhaps 4,000 minutes a year, or nearly 3 24-hour days!)
- since I am eating our leftovers, we reduce food waste
- since we prepare larger meals (in order to produce leftovers), we can buy more food in bulk

Leftovers seems such an weird concept (I would say American). If you roast or grill something, whatever remains is a leftover, usually not so tasty, and you have to think how to reuse it in another dish. But if you cook a stew, or a soup, or a casserole, it's not leftover, just a meal that you eat over several days and it gets better as it stays and the flavors meld. I don't think I've heard a "leftovers" concept outside of US

More on point though, I go to the office 1-2 times a week. Depending on work and what I have at home, I may take a Bento box with cooked food from home (I really like the Bento box concept, they are pretty and hold small portions, I also use it to pack my daughter's lunch for school). Or I may go and grab Mexican or Chinese, usually around $8-10 and I often have some left for dinner. Or if I have too many calls around noon, I go without lunch and just grab a snack from the office. It's fine either way. I think I probably spend less than $20 a month on office lunches and we can certainly afford it.

I definitely ate out a lot when I went to an office. I'd have a lot of 10-13 hour workdays, so it was a way to get a break and give oneself a 'well-deserved' treat (something I usually understood as something people say just as they enslave their future in their own weakness, but obviously this was a weakness of mine so I didn't see it). The fact of the matter is truely 'good' food out seemed to take too much time and money for middle of workday every day, so I almost always ended up with something not good for me and not terribly good tasting.

I admit never truly fixed the problem. Now, working from home has definitely helped both the wallet and the waistline. I do still have a healthy 'dining out' budget, but its all spent on good dinners with good people having a good time, much more worth it.

I don't love bringing brown bag sandwiches every day for lunch, but I admit they are a time-saver and way less hassle than going out every day. I do try to mix up my "sides" (chips, carrots, etc), and have things like soup in the winter and salad in the summer. As much as possible, I eat outside on nice days just to get away from my desk.

But yeah, time AND money savings from brown bagging are worth it.

I almost ALWAYS bring my lunch to work. Every Thursday (or every other Thursday) I usually go out to eat with my fiance though.

I work at home, so when I do get a chance to go out for lunch I jump at it! That being said, my lunch usually consists of whatever is in the pantry, so not sure what it is costing me. :)

When I was working at an office, I go to the gym at lunch then eat brown bag lunch at my desk afterward.
These days I just eat at home with the kid.

I exercise two days a week during lunch and brownbag it on those days. The other three days I go out with work friends, more of a social thing. Usually averages about $25/week or less.

I am not at a point where I can really afford to eat out very often. As such, I bring my lunch from home everyday. I am fortunate in that I love leftovers and don't mind eating the same thing for multiple consecutive days. We often make soup or salad for lunches for the week. Not only is this a money saver, but it is a time saver as well.

I almost always bring lunch unless the office is going out foe someone's birthday or the company is providing lunch. I do admit I am getting a bit sick of it but it does save money, miles on my car and calories on my waistline!

I bring my lunch usually 4 days a week then eat out once a week. When I do eat out I usually spend $4-8 on lunch and a lot of times thats in the cafe here at work.

I'm a stay at home mom so I eat leftovers at home or make a sandwich. My husband works full time shift work and does not get a lunch or dinner "hour". He brings leftovers or a sandwich 98% of the time and eats them during a slow time. I specifically plan for his lunch/dinner when I cook. On days I fix something that I know he doesn't care for leftover, I make sure there is something else (makings for a sandwich, pull out a serving of soup from the freezer.) He often comes home with requests for the recipe from coworkers who wheedled a taste of his dinner from him. Occasionally there's a potluck type thing at work and he eats there. Only rarely will he get in on the "chow run" where a single person is sent out with a handful of CC or cash from everyone to a typically fast food type establishment. He maybe spends $10 a month on lunch/dinner outside of leftovers.

I used to eat out for lunch every day but back in March I did a bit of an experiment where I wanted to brown bag it; it worked like a charm and I was able to save myself about $200+ per month.

How much you spend on lunch really depends on where you live and what you eat but I found that $10/day was a very safe average to use or about $2,500/$2,600 per year.

We have vendors that bring in a lunch for us to listen to a presentation on products. That usually happens about once a week and sometimes 3. I try to bring a lunch but with two teenage sons in the house pickens get slim but I usually find something.

Friday we go out as a group and it is usually under $6 and as little as $3.20 for dollar menu items.

My husband and I brown-bag it - me five days a week and him four (deli meat sandwich, fruit, yogurt - Fridays are his day out to lunch). Depending on what meat I get at the deli, I guess lunches could run maybe $20-$25 a week for 9 sandwiches... and sometimes I have to bring dinner (another sandwich) for my second job, but that varies. I try to make dinners for a "crowd" even though it's just the two of us - neither of us mind leftovers (at least, he hasn't complained!) so that it's not all sandwiches all the time. I realized well before we got married that he'd been spending $7-$9 on a sandwich for lunch every day, and that I could get a week's worth of lunch meat for that cost... so that was the beginning of me making lunches for us both!

Every now and then lunch will be provided at work (product launch, quarterly company review, VIP visit)... ooh, like tomorrow! But that's just a bonus really, and I often forget :)

I eat out almost every day, it is a social thing. But I don't take $10k vacations, don't drive new vehicles, don't hire others to cut grass or change oil or fix toilets or . . .

80% of the time I eat Out of my desk or pack a lunch. I spend an average of $2 a day when I do that. On the other days I go with my team for some team building stuff. Works for me. I eat at my desk so that I can go home earlier and be with my family. I would like a break from work but it is more important to me to get home to my family earlier. Perhaps when the kids are out of the house in another 6 or 7 years perhaps then I will take a break at lunch. We shall see.

I started tracking my lunch spending years ago with the intent to save some money. The first 12 months I basically just wrote down what I spent, though I'm sure the act of writing it down caused me to spend less. The total was $353 for 54 outings.

Then for the following 12 months I specifically started eating cheaper. That is, I got water not pop, I went to less expensive restaurants, I ordered less expensive entrees, etc. I reduced my expenses to $297 over 56 outings.

The third year I focused on reducing the number of times I went out. My total costs were $243 for 44 outings. Yes, my expenses went down but my per-meal cost actually went up. I think since I was going out so rarely that, when I did, psychologically I wanted to splurge.

The fourth year I stopped tracking expenses because, well, who the hell cares if I spend $5.30 vs $5.52 for a meal?! LOL

Like everyone else I know who works in Manhattan and in my office, we run downstairs, spend $10 or more on a salad or sandwich and then run back up and eat it at our desks. Sigh. I should bring in food with me but never get around to preparing it.

I am an airline employee and spend a lot of time at large airports. As I'm sure everyone has experienced, the food choices may be good, but it is a huge rip-off! They really mark up the cost compared to what you would spend on the street. I've started preparing meals at home before my trip and bringing food with me. I've lost weight, saved a ton of money, and can eat when I'm hungry and not just when I happen to be on the ground.

WOW - I am a little behind catching up on my FMF reading. It is absolutely amazing that I read this today (eating my lunch at my desk) a co-worker just really got upset with me because he invited me to go to a steakhouse with him and I politely declined saying that I had brought my lunch (as I always do) but thanked him for the invitation. Silly little man eating out so much - he has lost his house and two cars in the last year - and a wife that has been laid off for quite a while.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.