Save More By Not Eating Out!
Looking for small ways to cut back on your spending?
Taking your lunch to work can be an excellent way to save money and eat healthy. The average person will spend about $8.57 a day eating out during a typical work day. Over the course of a year, that can add up to over $2000 dollars. Taking your lunch means eating healthier, too, as you will have a lot more control over the amount of calories and ingredients you use in your food.
Start by figuring out a few menus that you know you can make easily.
To make menu planning simple, prepare a few different meals that can be varied by swapping out a few ingredients. Start with the most basic menu you can think of, a sandwich or salad and a piece of fruit. At the grocery store, buy whichever cold cuts and cheese are on sale (and, preferably, that you have a coupon for). Typically, it’s cheapest to buy cheese by the block. By avoiding pre-cut slices such as American cheese you can save money and calories. Use a cheese slicer to portion out the cheese into 1 oz slices, which should be about 70 calories a slice. Be sure to shop for whole-wheat bread; grocery stores typically put one brand of bread on sale each week. If possible, buy your fruit in season and try farmer’s markets or look for sales at your local grocery store.
Salads are healthy and easy to prepare, as long as you make sure not to use too much dressing or croutons. When shopping, look for whole heads of lettuce. While washing and cutting your own lettuce can be a bit time consuming, whole lettuce is usually much cheaper than bagged, pre-washed salad. The same is true for other vegetables, dice whole carrots, radishes, onions, and tomatoes on your own. To add some dairy, shred one of the1 oz cheese slices from making sandwiches. Carefully portion out the deli meat and add that as well. Since cheese and meat are the two most common areas where people add too many calories to their salads, this will enable you control the amount of fat and calories you add to your salad. As you review grocery ads, you’ll notice that salad dressing goes on sale about once a month. By combining these sales with a coupon you can get bottles of name-brand salad dressing fairly cheaply, or sometimes even free.
Pack your lunch in sturdy plastic containers. Consider using disposable plastic storage products for your sandwiches and salads, as these items can be squished fairly easily in brown paper bags. Use small plastic cups for dressings and dips, adding these to your salad or sandwich in the morning will cause it to be fairly soggy by lunch time.