Living Frugally – Brown Bagging It

When you’re hungry in the middle of the workday, temptation calls and you end up feeding from the snack machine, the drive-thru burger joint around the corner, or the pricy cafeteria.

While these stops can work in a pinch when you have nothing prepared, it’s financially unwise to eat out for lunch everyday when you can build healthy lunches at home.

You can save as much as $3,000 a year in expenses simply by brown-bagging it on a daily basis. Not only are there significant cost benefits, but health and well-being benefits as well.

Keep these brown-bagging tips in mind when considering whether or not to make your own lunch:

1.  Savings. Making your own lunch will typically cost between $1 and $3 per meal, effectively saving you as much as $15 or more for every work week.

2.  Food Preferences. You can make food exactly how you like it. Add your favorite condiments and vegetables to spice up a sandwich, or toss shredded cheese and goldfish crackers into your favorite cup of soup. You can spruce up your own homemade lunches quickly and easily.

3.  Leftovers. Leftovers make excellent brown-bag lunches the next day. Make a little bit of extra dinner to accommodate for a lunch or two and

3.enjoy reheated chili, soup, casserole, pasta, and other favorite dishes from the night before.

4.  Prepare your meals the night before. Because mornings can be

4.unpredictable and hectic, prepare your lunch the night before. Pack

4.everything together in preparation for the next day so you can just grab your lunch and run out the door in the morning.

5.  Keep track of your savings. Saving money by brown-bagging your lunches will only be effective if you keep track of the savings. Take the money you save on a weekly basis and keep it separate so you can enjoy it later on. Make your effort count by ensuring that the money you save actually goes into your savings.

6.  Designate a specific lunch time. Eating lunch at your office, rather than going out, also saves you time and gas money. Designate this extra time to do something relaxing or productive to get even more benefit out of brown-bagging your lunch.

Bringing your homemade lunch to work every day offers numerous benefits. Not only are you benefiting your wallet and your savings, but your health and your productivity at work as well!