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Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Lunch

This article was written by in Career and Work, Saving. 6 comments.

For as long as I’ve been working here — nay, as long as I’ve been working — I’ve taken the easy, lazy way out by buying my lunch every day. Usually it’s from the cafeteria, but a filling and sometimes creative company lunch, even though subsidized, still costs more than six dollars. Eating at the local Blimpie is cheaper, but less “multicultural.”

I finally decided to bite the bullet sandwich and make my own lunches. I spent $30 on a Thermos lunch cooler (red), a freezer ice pack, bread, yogurt, and enough lunch meats to last about a week and a half. For drink, I will simply fill a cup with spring water from the cooler in the office copy room.

Assuming the food will last only a week, I won’t save any money the first five days. However, I won’t have to buy another cooler or ice pack next week, so I foresee a decent amount of saving in the long run.

This whole system hinges on the two unlikely propositions that I continue finding time and motivation to make my lunch ahead of time and I don’t get bored of cheese/salami/bologna meals. Stacey believes her procedure works well: make all the lunches for the week on Sunday and store them in ready-to-go plastic zipper bags so I can easily grab one from the refrigerator each morning.

All this effort makes me wonder if the cost savings is worth it. After all, the cafeteria does come up with some pretty tasty meals, and I often rely on a larger lunch to ensure I’m satisfied with a smaller dinner at home.

By the way, I recognize I never got around to recording that podcast I mentioned. I’ll get back into that at some point, but it isn’t a priority at the moment.

Today’s articles:
* Real estate price forecasts in 100 major markets to 2006
* Seven creative ways to buy your first house

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published May 16, 2005.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

avatar 1 Anonymous

Try bringing your lunch 3 days a week, and eat at the cafeteria the other 2.
Best of both worlds.

avatar 2 Anonymous

Good idea, Kevin.
I’ve been bringing my lunch for years due to being permanently on an “eating plan” (a/k/a Weight Watchers, “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle”!!)Sometimes I bring all my food in for the week – yogurts, cottage cheese, fruit, bread, popcorn, etc. I know this isn’t “man food” but the principal is the same if you have a safe fridge at work! :) I can’t even imagine how much money I’ve saved…thousands, I’m sure! Try to vary your food; that should help. Good luck!

avatar 3 Anonymous

Try making the lunch before you go to bed, if you remember while in bed, get up and do it- that way it will become routine. Atleast it works for me.

avatar 4 Anonymous

I always found two problems with bringing lunch. First, I would get bored of whatever it was I was bringing and would get to lunchtime and not want to eat it, and so I wouldn’t, thereby wasting money. Second, I often found that I wanted to get out of the office for the hour, so I would go out anyway. I like the idea of doing it three times a week, or even one or two times a week to gradually get yourself used to it.

avatar 5 Anonymous

I bring my lunch in for four days and eat out on Fridays, I find that you save a ton of money and it’s better for your health.

avatar 6 Anonymous

Once or twice a week you can take leftovers from dinner the night before, for variety from the sandwich.