4 Ways to Save Money on Work Lunches

hamburger-494706_1280Work can be tiring some days which makes it easy to view your lunch break as a brief escape. Many people dine out for lunch. While it’s perfectly find to purchase work lunches, if you start paying attention to the money you spend, it may surprise you.

For example, if you spend an average of $6 on lunch each work day, that’s a total of $30 per week or $120 per month which adds up to well over $1000 per year especially if you make extra purchases at work like for coffee and snacks.

Last year, I started avoiding costly work lunches and luckily this is easy for you to do to if you’d like to save money without sacrificing a healthy and tasty lunch to enjoy during your break.

Here are 4 ways to save on work lunches.

1. Bring Your Own Lunch

The easiest way to save is to just bring your own lunch. When I started packing my lunch, I decided to incorporate that expense into my weekly grocery budget and you can do this too. Just shop for your favorite lunch items when you do your regular grocery shopping for bills. Your grocery spending may slightly increase when you start doing this, but it won’t add up to as much as you would spend purchasing lunch each day.

To save time in the morning when you’re trying to get out the door, try to prepare your lunch the night before and prep your meals and snacks. If you work a job that keeps you on the road all day, you can still pack your lunch and avoid pricey gas station foods and restaurants.. While you’re on the road all day, purchase a lunch bag with an ice pack or mini cooler to keep your water and food at a comfortable temperature.

2. Gift Cards

Gift cards are great to receive for any occasion. If you receive giftcards for a holiday or birthday gift, it’s a good idea to use them strategically to cover an extra expense that you want but don’t really need – like dining out for example.

Bringing lunch to work each day can get old and you may want to switch it up with a takeout meal every now and then. This is where giftcards can come in handy. It’s the perfect way for me to save money on my lunches because a large amount of gift cards are for restaurants. This way you can treat yourself to a free lunch or two guilt-free. You can also try to earn your own gift cards through sites like Swagbucks so you can consistently receive gift card rewards every few weeks to redeem.

3. Coupons

Newspapers are full of restaurant deals and coupons so if you plan on going somewhere for lunch, take the coupons with you. Don’t make it a habit to dine out for lunch, but coupons will help even if it’s just once or twice a week.

When grocery shopping, you can also look for coupons for some of your favorite foods so you can stock up on lunch foods for cheap. The Sunday paper usually has all the coupon options you’ll need.

4. Leftovers

Running out of ideas for lunch? Make your dinners a little larger than usual so you can take some leftovers to work. This is a great way to knock out two birds with one stone and feed yourself twice with the same main or side dish you had the night before.

Some food may not as good when reheated so make sure to have that in mind when you’re planning which meals you’d like to turn into leftovers for lunch at work. Some food is delicious no matter how many times you place it in the microwave so this can definitely be a cheap tasty way to make your lunch.

The few restaurants near your job are probably tempting but think about how much money you can save to use for other expenses and goals when you try these methods to avoid costly work lunches.

What do you do for lunch? How often do you go out for lunch?

Posted in: Food and Grocery

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