Save $200 per month on lunches and dining

I used to think my boss was crazy for bringing his lunch every day to the office. However he has a second house in the mountains while I don’t. Hmm. Point made.

Here are some simple ways to save money on eating at the office. At my office lunch costs around $8 without a drink. With a soda or tea it is ten dollars per workday. Ouch. Over 20 working days a month $200 per month.

  • Bring your own lunch most days. Just take leftover from last night put them in a microwaveable to go container and voila. Think leftover pizza, the burgers or brats you grilled in the summer etc. You can also make sandwiches. If you have kids bring some little snack cakes to liven it up.
    • If you want to make frugal meals to last several days to bring to the office then there are blogs and sites that help you do that too.
  • Try to snag free lunches from time to time. My office usually has plenty of lunch meetings so invariably there are leftover sandwiches and wraps to be had in the hallways on certain days. The catering staff just throws them away anyways. Given the meetings are over at one you can eat lunch later or take one to put into fridge for tomorrow. That’s seven dollars per wrap in your pocket.
  • You can also bring leftovers from when you go out to eat. At most restaurants the portions are far too big for one person anyways (1800 calorie meals = fat). Take that huge portion and split it in half. Set aside one half and eat the other half. Then ask for a to go box for the half you did not eat. Bonus points if they offer bottomless fries too. Ask for an extra order then put those in the to go box after eating a few.
  • Frozen food, instant ramen cup of noodles, burritos and TV dinners are cheap but unsatisfying. I wouldn’t bring those very often but they will do in a pinch if you have no other options.

BTW you don’t need to bring your lunch every day to save money. Try first for two days or three days a week and buy your lunch on the other two days. Remember we want to save money wisely without unduly suffering.

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