Bring your lunch to work
Money I Saved: Up to $75 a week
This is one of those things that many people talk about doing, but tend to struggle with when it comes to follow-through. Bringing lunch to work is one of my favorite ways to save money every single week. And like many other things on this list, it requires the creation of a new habit.
I used to buy lunch at work — a lot. These days, there are many options for buying affordable lunch while working in an office, such as MealPal which allows you to select lunch from a variety of participating restaurants at a reduced price (usually around $6.99 compared to what might cost around $10-$15 at a restaurant). And yet, even though a $7 price tag on lunch is better than $15, this is still a lot more than it would cost you to buy ingredients, make, and bring your own lunch.
I’ll be the first to admit it: Cooking can be energy-sapping, and sometimes when you come home from work the last thing you want to do is cook tomorrow’s lunch. But I’ve found that, all it takes is me making some time on the weekends to find some easy, doable recipes that I know won’t take me long to make, buy the ingredients (preferably in bulk), and commit to making meals ahead of time — whether it’s on the weekend or a couple of set evenings a week.
I only buy lunch once a week — max. If it’s helpful, find an accountability buddy at work or split groceries with your roommate or partner. See if you can make cooking fun, instead of treating it like a drag, because it really doesn’t have to be one.
If you think about it, buying lunch every day at, say, $15, adds up quickly. In a week, you’ll have spent up to $75. In a month? You’re looking at somewhere around $300 you could have saved. That’s almost $4,000 a year if you eat lunch out every weekday. And even if you’re MealPal-ing and saving 50%, that’s still money you could have put into an emergency savings account.