Saving Strategy: Brown Bag Your Lunch!

Canada
January 5, 2007 1:53pm CST
I’d like to talk about a savings strategy that I use that saves me around $1300 / year (or more for some people). This simple strategy that a lot of people don’t use is brown bagging your lunch! If buying lunch everyday costs $8/day compared with a brown bagged lunch which costs me around $3/day, you are saving $5/day ($1300/year). You can save even more by packing up those left overs for lunch the next day. I personally enjoy left overs. Easy meals that are ready to go that just need a few minutes in the microwave. I must admit, I like to eat a lot. So, what does a food glutton like me do? I cook in bulk, separate the food into tupperware, and store it in the freezer. Cooking in bulk can save you a lot of hard earned cash. Where do I get my recipes? I find that AllRecipes.com is a great resource. My favorites are the quick and healthy meals. For you home chefs out there, where do you get your recipes? FT http://www.MillionDollarJourney.com
7 people like this
37 responses
• United States
5 Jan 07
Im horrible at cooking so when i cook, i try to cook in bulk as you say. I do have a FOODSAVER and i seal all my leftovers by single portions and label them and freeze them. Whenever i dont feel like cooking, then i go to the freezr and pull out single portions for everyone in my family. I feel like we have saved hundreds of dollars this way not having to throw leftovers. Since the vacuum sealed leftovers are good for 3 years in the freezer, we dont have to worry about freezerburn and we can enjoy this years left overs next year. Thanks for the topic
3 people like this
• Canada
5 Jan 07
How do you find the FOODSAVER? Is it worth the money?
• United States
5 Jan 07
OMG!!! Yes! Its definitely worth every penny! I should be a salesperson for Foodsaver because I just about sell these things to all my friends and family. It is just so worth it!
2 people like this
@momknows (284)
• United States
6 Jan 07
Yes, it's awesome. No more freezer burn.
• Malaysia
6 Jan 07
wow!!!Congratulations..you have accomplished your mission. i wish i could save money..i wish i can cut my spending this year. i spent too much money not just for food, clothes but also to rubbish2 things..damn....thousands of money just thrown away every month....hope can use your tips to save money..thanx dude
2 people like this
• Canada
6 Jan 07
I find a great easy way to save money is to pay yourself first. Assuming you are employed, take a portion of each paycheck and transfer it to a savings account that you won't touch unless it's an emergency. The trick is, set up your bank account so that the transfer happens automatically. For example, if you saved $300/month and invested that with a return of 9% / year, you'd have over $270 000 after 25 years. Just in time for retirement! :) FT http://www.MillionDollarJourney.com
1 person likes this
@resasour (378)
• United States
6 Jan 07
I like About.com you can go to their search box and type in any kind of recipe and see lots of results to choose from. You can navigate to the food section on the left side of the screen if you just want to browse by category. It's a great site for just about everything. I am not a lunch eater, but I used to have to pack lunches for my husband/kids. I thought is was cheaper than them eating out.
• Canada
6 Jan 07
Thanks for the tip! I will check them out! Oh, and it is a LOT cheaper than them eating out. FT http://www.MillionDollarJourney.com
2 people like this
• India
6 Jan 07
well, a lot of my earning are also directed towards eating..but cutting cost at my lunch is not something I am finding..easy....its very very difficult..really.... I guess,I will ned a lot of time to lears such money-saving techniques
2 people like this
@annieroos (1846)
• United States
6 Jan 07
My husband takes his lunch to work every day.. He works at night and when i cook dinner i just serve him a plate to take to work and i do agree that i does save so much.. there are times when he has bought lunch there and it does cost a good 5 dollars.. when i cook its free.. I think brown bagging it is a great idea
2 people like this
• India
6 Jan 07
It is a good piece of knowledge you share with us and I do appericiate your idea of cooking in bulk. I would like to go thru the site once to know is this would be applicable to me too as I am a vegetarian.
2 people like this
@momknows (284)
• United States
6 Jan 07
Brown bagging to work and also watching how ofter you go out to eat period. One of my favorite sites is Cooks.com. Most of the Recipes there use every day items instead of buying a special spice you use once and find out you don't like the meal anyhow.
@KrauseHome (32858)
• United States
5 Jan 07
Well, I know eating out can be Expensive. I try not to eat out too often, even though it seems to be easier. A Lot of times lately, I have been buying stuff for lunches, etc. at work, and making do. It does save $$ and time when you do this, and if you do it right, you can Eat healthier too which never hurt anyone either.
@babs0818 (1192)
• United States
6 Jan 07
I do the same...I don't eat out for lunch...it is much cheaper to pack my own lunch...I don't work to eat out...the savings are wonderful from a brought lunch.
1 person likes this
@Zhanec (1653)
• Malaysia
6 Jan 07
wow..i never thought of it before.Thanks for sharing here.i will try it someday.However i'm 1 lucky guy that doesnt need to cook..haha.mOM Does all the cooking job and sheis a great chef.i'll share this info with her :P
1 person likes this
@venshida (4839)
• United States
6 Jan 07
I have use the Allreceipes.com website, and found some very good receipes. I also like the Food Network, Paula Deen is my favorite host. I agree with you about brown bagging lunch, It is really a budget saver.
@patootie (3593)
6 Jan 07
When I worked .. many years ago ... I used to batch make my sandwiches ... then freeze them until I needed them.. I'm single and buying small amounts of anything always works out more expensive .. yet you don't want to have the same sandwiches everyday until you've used up the bigger portions .. To save money ... and I really did need to do that in those days .. I made a lot of sandwiches at once ... then wrapped them into daily portions ... and put them all in the freezer ... not only does this save money by using the cheaper portions of sandwich fillers or left overs .. it saves a lot of time too ... I mean how often have you run out of time to make a sadnwich before dashing of to work .. if it's all ready in the freezer it's easy to do .. And I found that the defrost time worked perfectly .. by lunch time everything was properly thawed yet still cool and fresh ... and much safer than having your sandwiches warming up in a hot office and developing food poisoning properties before you get to eat them ... obviously you have to keep your fillings to things that can be frozen but there's a huge amount of choice ...
1 person likes this
• India
6 Jan 07
i would always prefer home made food which is fresh eatin out once in a while is ok coz its costly as well as its unhealthy
1 person likes this
@lingli_78 (12852)
• Australia
6 Jan 07
thanks for the tips... i entirely agree with you... i always cook and bring my own lunch everyday to work... so does my husband... and indeed, it will save you at least $ 1000 of your hard-earned money every year which we can use for holidaying... :-)
1 person likes this
@sahergul (774)
• Pakistan
6 Jan 07
well... nice infor... yet to be considered...
1 person likes this
@AskAlly (3627)
• Canada
6 Jan 07
If you make your own lunch at least you know how the food has been handled and that it is fresh. You always have the right amount of mustard or mayo, which is very important to me. I like my own cooking better than what you can get at fast food joints. I think it is much healthier as well
1 person likes this
@Thiru178 (460)
• Sri Lanka
6 Jan 07
It's Cleaner Production that you have been praticing deer. For a sustainable world I think Every one should utilize minimum resources as possible for the sake of our decendents. I also practice cleaner production tactics everyday everywhere bcos I simply love it. Reduce Reuse Recycle --- its simple
@vanities (11351)
• Davao, Philippines
6 Jan 07
well thats a great way of saving ...i admire you for that..thanks anyway for your tips on this...
1 person likes this
@berta67 (176)
• Virgin Islands (British)
6 Jan 07
its not a bad idea, but will the food be healthy? How do you keep it cool and fresh?
• Canada
6 Jan 07
The food is only as healthy as the ingredients that you put into it. FT http://www.MillionDollarJourney.com
@jonezy (293)
6 Jan 07
that is a good point to make. but you will never realise that you are saving that 1300$ a year unless you have constantly eat out all year long, which i dont think many people do. myself i always take my own lunch which i have created at home. it usually just consists of some sandwiches or similar but ihave started venturing out onto tuna and pasta now. i will look into some online websites because i am in need of some new recipes for easy meals which i can take out with me, the only problem is that where i work there is no microwave.. all we have is a large water boiler.. this is usefull but for only small meals which can be heated this way, or for drinks like tea that sit alongside my meal, that is why i currently eat things like pasta because it can be enjoyed cold. khris
• Canada
6 Jan 07
Jonesy, Where I work, my co-workers eat out ALL the time. They're also the same co-workers that complain that they constantly have no money. :) FT