Lunch box with ciabatta bread sandwiches on workplace

Here’s How to Stop Spending All of Your Money on Lunch

lunch-savings Recent studies show that employees who take a lunch break are more likely to be productive in the afternoon and avoid long-term burnout. So, we now know that taking lunch can have a positive effect on your productivity, but we also know that taking lunch can have a negative effect on your wallet. Think about how much money you spend on lunch daily if you eat out? Studies show that eating out for lunch can cost between $1,500 and $2,500 per year!

But, with some planning and preparation, you could possibly spend as little as $5 per lunch if you packed your own lunch. Here are three tips to jump-start your new lunch habit.

1. Shop N Save

There are several ways to trick yourself into saving money while grocery shopping. First, bring your headphones! Listening to upbeat music makes you shop faster and buy less of what you don't need.

Second, do a pre-checkout audit of your cart. Grocery stores design their checkout lanes to discourage people from returning items to the shelves. Don't be afraid to pass off any items you realize you do not really need when you get to the register.

2. Think DIY

In the land of lunch, sandwiches rule. One thing that can change, though, is pre-sliced deli meats, which can get very expensive. There are a few alternatives.

First, you can order large cuts from the deli counter and slice them yourself. With some practice, you'll get sandwich-sized cuts of deli meats for a fraction of the cost.

Second, think barbecue. Most proteins cooked in barbecue sauce are delicious; a slow cooker makes it easy. Drop your cuts of meat in the pot, cover with sauce and cook on low for a few hours. You can shred them with a fork for delicious barbecue sandwiches all week long.

3. Plan Ahead

When you have finished your economical shopping, you still have to make and eat your lunches. After your first few packed lunches, you may start missing your old going-out-to-eat lifestyle, but stay with it. Luckily, there are some strategies to help you adjust to the change:

  • Pack ahead. Prepare the pieces for all your lunches at the beginning of the week and store them in the refrigerator for convenience.
  • Be prepared to turn down co-workers who invite you to eat out with them by thinking of a response in advance.
  • Taking your lunch does not mean you are chained to your desk. Weather permitting, you can eat in a nearby park or sit in your car. Still getting a "break" with your lunch will make the transition easier.


About the Author

The PrimeWay Team


The PrimeWay Team combines each individual’s powers to create one big marketing giant. When the team comes together there is no stopping them. The PrimeWay Team works best when fed, so many of their greatest ideas come when they have emptied a bowl of chips and salsa, or chips and queso, or chips and guac. Usually it’s all three.