Are we really saving any money? Either way, money has to be spent right? Not to mention the extra time you have to make for cooking prior to going to work. Any thoughts?
I think your savings will all depend on exactly what you're eating. If you're sticking to the dollar menu at McDonalds you just could end up spending less money than you would if you are making an elaborate lunch to have at work. One thing is for sure though... you can definitely easily save buy bringing in your drinks rather than buying them out. A 20 oz. drink in the vending machines at work cost more than the 2 liters at the grocery store on sale!
When figuring out how much you're spending eating out versus bringing your own lunch don't forget to factor in the gas spent driving to restaurants during your lunch hour.
When looking at the time you're spending, don't forget to count your driving time or the time spent waiting for your food at a restaurant versus the time spent grocery shopping and packing a lunch at home.
Overall, the time spent packing a lunch is worth it in my eyes due to the significant amount of money you can save.
The way I eat, I save tons of money packing lunch.
I usually pack leftover from dinner, like roasted chicken and green beans, with Tuscany bread and fresh fruit.
It would be much more expensive to buy each day a lunch like that.
To make packing quick, I store leftovers in the refrigerator in portion size plastic containers.
In NZ we've always believed that financially, it is far more prudent to 'put your money to work' rather than expecting food to work!
edit: Mind you.. thinking about, as people, we are referred to as Kiwis!
All in all - I really think you save more money, time, gas and other factors by bringing in your own lunch or snack. It probably would be nore nutritional, you know what is in it, you know who made it and you know what you like instead of being surprised by something you thought you might like and don't.
I don't know about anyone else but I ran some numbers when I still worked in the office instead of at home. In the office I'd run about $200-$300 every two weeks on food, snacks, sodas, etc. Since I started working from home, I spend about $100 to $120 every 2 weeks in groceries. Of course it's just me and my wife so your mileage might vary depending on how large your family is.
It depends on what you are eating for sure. But a home made meal is "usually" healthier than take out.
Also if you are a germaphobe you don't have to worry about the food preparers at the take out giving you something that is dirty, passed its expiration date, was sneezed on, nasal deposits falling in it by accident, hair follicles from others, bare hands (jack in the box (**cough **cough) preparing your food, food it not low cal, wasting time to go get it at the establishment, paying tax on it.
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