You hear this slogan very often these days in many websites and blogs. The matra is strong and clear, “PACK YOUR LUNCH“. I am a full supporter of this saving money strategy and the idea works great to save good amount money of your money which can help fund for your kids education over the years.
Are you jealous of Indian collegues who works with you bringing lunches from home everyday? Let me reveal the truth behind it. First, their wife don’t work so they cook very good food. Secondly, they are money conscious folks who like to save and finally they are used to carrying lunch packs from their school days. It becomes a habit over time so they don’t like to eat outside very much. If you can try packing lunch frequently, it can become a habit which is good for your health and as well for your pocket.
What do you exactly mean by “Pack your Lunch”?
Packing your lunch doesn’t have to be a time consuming task. Many of you think packing lunch means preparing the lunch in the morning and pack when you are trying to hurry and get to work on time. It is surely not going to happen and you eventually loose the interest of packing lunch.
No, you don’t have to prepare and pack the lunch fresh all the time. It not about preparing fresh food for lunch which is just one motive. Pack your lunch just means bring lunch from home saving the expense of spending outside. It can be a healthy frozen food which you bought from grocery stores, home made leftovers, freshly made salad or quick sandwich. It can be anything which makes you savior and satisfy your hunger during lunch time. If it doesn’t satisfy you, you will again go towards searching for junk food.
How do I start?
You can start by doing few days a week so you don’t miss out on your restaurant or fast food. By starting slow, you are making a smooth transition helping your body to get used to this new habit. This way, you avoid any upset effect to your body. Just start with leftovers 2 days a week like Monday and Wednesday. Then add one day per month until you are satified with your arrangement to have 5 days from home or keep friday as a going out lunch day.
I bring lunch 3 days a week – 3 day left overs, 1 day frozen food and 1 day submay 6 inch sandwich. Once a month, I go out with friends on friday.
Why many don’t like to pack their lunch?
Many people think that packing their lunch is a shame and crime. They don’t want to heat up or make their food for lunch. They just want to be fed. They also think, it shows your are frugal. Let me tell, there is nothing wrong being frugal. You only should avoid being cheap. There is a lot of difference between being frugal and cheap. According to dictionary.com, frugal means “prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful.” cheap is defined as “stingy; miserly.”
I know its more wordy explanation. To be simple in my terms, frugal people spend rightly(for needs), save wisely(for wants) and give graciously. But cheap people, they don’t like to spend even for their needy things. Even if they spend, they tried to save money buying cheap items. They also don’t
So being frugal is not a bad thing at all. Don’t give silly excuses like others here in the website.
Is it really worth packing my lunch?
Yes. It is really worth saving time, money and your health. You save time atleast an hour going out which can be spend efficiently. It helps you to eat healthy and good. Finally the important factor, saves you money. Even if you go out for lunching in cheap chinese buffet, you end up paying min. $10 with tips. For 5 days, its 5 * 10 = $50/week * 4 weeks = $200/ month * 12 = $2400 a year. Thats apx 3-5% of your gross yearly income.
If just reduce to start going out only once a week, it will only cost you $40/month and $480 a year which is a saving of $1920. Thats a good amount to be save up for your kids education or put away for retirement. You can check out how much you can save by packing lunch using our calculator.
If you are bored of getting lunch everyday, you can try going to sandwich place like Subway once a week. Subway now offers $5 foot long. You can save $2 by bringing your own chips and drinks by buying it bulk from Walmart or wholesale stores.
If you a reasonably family of 3 or 4, you can consider becoming a member in wholesale clubs like SAMS or COSTCO. Costco is my favorite because of its Quality products and reasonable price range. You might have to pay the membership of $50 but you will sure end saving 2-3 times of the membership cost or even more every year by buying things in patties, sandwich buns and so forth. Be careful and don’t get tempted to buy new items introduced every week in these clubs.
Food is an important entity in our life which we tend to spend money every day. So it is easy to spend wisely and rightly and see quick savings at this tough times, helping to keep more money in your bank account.
Need more budget advice? Visit this moneyreallymatters.com approved friendly website: www.GivingGrinch.com