There’s a huge range in estimates on how much you can save by packing your lunch, from $988 to $1500. It’s impossible to calculate how much you, dear reader, will save – it all depends on whether you’re going from eating caviar-dusted lobster rolls to PB and J or street meat to Spam. Regardless, you WILL save lots of money if you take a few minutes to prep and pack your lunches. Here are a few tips on making lunch prep easier.
1. Make a list of easy meals/snacks that you like. Prep batches of food on Sunday night to have food for the next few days. If you are a creature of variety, consider prepping two different meals and mixing it up throughout the week.
2. Make double the dinner and always pack your leftovers the night before.
3. Buy a delicious condiment or three to brighten up the sandwich life. If the thought of ham and cheese on rye bores you to bits, find a few simple garnishes or spreads that will make you look as forward to your homemade sammy as you would the one you’d wait in line to be overcharged for at the corner deli.
4. Don’t skimp on the snacks. Roast some almonds, slice some fruit, wrap a few cookies. Just because you’re an office drone attempting to cut back on pricey food court fun doesn’t mean you don’t deserve some variety. Not to mention the occasional sweet.
5. Invest in a cool lunch caddy. Unfold your cloth napkin, pull out your silverware and watch your colleagues drool with envy as they stab plastic forks into a squeaky styrofoam container full of grease. Even if your lunch is simple and unglamorous, it’ll taste 42%* better if you pack it in this beautiful container.
6. Don’t be a stickler. Pack your lunch four days a week and splurge once a week on whatever you most crave, especially if it’s something you’d never be able to make yourself (Hello Izakaya!).
•Completely made up but nonetheless accurate statistic.