When you’re looking for categories in your budget to cut spending, one of the toughest to change is the grocery bill. Eating is a necessity after all. There are several ways to lower food costs, like coupons, loyalty programs, and buying in bulk. By far the most effective way, however, is to pack lunch and avoid buying expensive restaurant meals.
It Pays to Pack Lunch
You may not consider buying lunch to be part of your grocery expense, but that just means there are food costs you’re probably leaving out of your budget. Whatever you spend to buy lunch each workday, you can probably cut it significantly by purchasing the groceries to pack lunches at home. Then use the savings for getting rid of debt instead!
Let’s look at a hypothetical lunch spending scenario. If we estimate that the cost of a fast food meal is $6 and a dine-in lunch is $10, then the average cost of lunch is around $8. (It’s probably higher!) That means eating out every day costs almost $2000 a year. Cutting this cost is easier than you think.
Easy Ways to Save on Lunch
Start by shopping sale items and seasonal fruits and vegetables. This will cut the total bill, and it’s likely healthier than eating out. Next, use leftovers from dinner as a quick lunch for the following day. Chances are good you end up throwing most leftovers out anyway if you don’t eat them quickly. That’s just like throwing money in the trash rather than using it to eliminate debt.
If you don’t often have leftovers, consider buying lunch ingredients at the beginning of the week. You can get sandwich meat, bread, and fixings for a week’s worth of meals for less than two crummy fast food lunches. Or you can make a big pot of chili at the beginning of the week to have a hot meal every day. The point is, a minimal effort can maximize savings on food, and you can still get variety in your meals.
No matter your financial goals, buying lunches frequently is holding you back. To improve your debt management strategy or save up for other expenses, start with packing lunches to save on food.
Looking for debt solutions? Call 800-769-3571 today to speak with a certified counselor at American Consumer Credit Counseling.