The Power of a Packed Lunch
We all enjoy eating out. Having someone else do all the work and having no dishes afterwards is fun. Sadly, it is also expensive.
Are you in the habit of buying lunch? You may do so for a variety of reasons: you may be bad at cooking, you may work long hours and have little time to prepare food for the next day or you may get up so early in the morning that you stumble around in the dark quietly while your family sleep trying to be quiet. Perhaps you just love tasty food, from fast food places.
Obviously, your doctor will not recommend a regular diet of fast food for health reasons (having some now and then is probably fine). However, consider the financial power of the packed lunch vs the price of fast food.
Buying Lunch Is Just Plain Expensive
A Debt Counsellor too will be quick to tell you that if you are in this habit you may be able to save a significant amount of money over time by switching from bought lunch to packed home mad lunch.
As an example, lets say that you love a burger and chips for lunch Maybe this clocks in at around R50 on a lunchtime special. If you work 22 days a month (average) then you are paying R1 100/month and that means it is a really hefty R 13 200 a year.
Suddenly you sit up and say: “What?” R 13 200 a year! That’s some serious $$$.
‘If you work 22 days a month (average) then you are paying R1 100/month and that means it is a really hefty R 13 200 a year’
Think You are A Cheapskate?
Perhaps you are more of a pastry aficionado and prefer a burger pie as opposed to a plain old burger. A cheap pie can set you back R20 roughly. Then there is the obligatory cooldrink to go with the pie. What’s a Pie without a nice cold Coke to wash it down? That adds on another few Rand. So, in a month you could be spending around R660 on lunch on work days. However, considered over a year once again that becomes R7920.
You Should Be Eating Lunch
Skipping meals is a bad idea and can lead to bad health and poor work performance (due to low blood sugar etc). So, rather than try to cut out all costs for lunch all together by skipping lunch consider making lunch at home. If you can keep things relatively simple you can enjoy a small meal to keep you going during the day.
Take a moment and Google suggestions on affordable lunches that you can make at home and you will see a variety of choices from small wraps, avo toast, pap and chicken and a whole bunch more. There are healthy and naughty suggestions for you to mix it up. A general rule of thumb is that you should easily be able to cut your costs in half by making the switch. That means if you were a burger or Pizza kinda guy or pie and coke gal you could be saving as much as R6600 or R 3960 a year respectively.
‘you should easily be able to cut your costs in half by making the switch’
One website shows how you can enjoy a healthy snack including a Chicken and Brie Cheese sandwich with some nibbly snacks and dip for a lot cheaper than any fast food meal.
Imagine how much faster you could pay off your debts if you had an extra R6000 or R4000 available each year. In many cases, you can even cut the costs down by much more than half if you plan ahead, work in some leftovers into the mix and that means more money to spend elsewhere will still using much of your savings to pay down your debts.
‘rather than try to cut out all costs for lunch all together by skipping lunch consider making lunch at home’
Be Proud To Save
Recently, a security officer who works at a mall told a Debt Counsellor that all her colleagues eat in a communal lounge together and everyone buys lunch at one of the many food outlets within the large mall. Bringing your own lunch box gets a few raised eyebrows and she felt embarrassed eating her homemade meal.
Well, if everyone around you wants to throw money away then they are the ones who should be embarrassed. This is not to say that you can never dip into your budget allowance for food and grab yourself a nice pie or pizza slice. If you have budgeted for it every now and then and find a good deal then go for it. The trick is not to fall into the habit of spending more than you need to every day on fast food or takeaways.
If you want tips on how to save funds elsewhere in your monthly budget why not check in with your local Debt Counsellor who will have lots of suggestions. For now, make the switch and behold the financial power of the packed lunch.