I am always looking for ways to save money and this post on the benefits of bringing lunch to work aims to do just that and more.
The money spent on lunch constitutes a significant portion of the budget or ordinary Americans.
A decent lunch should set you back by about $5-$10 daily. That should add up to about $25-$50 per week and $1300-$2600 per year.
This is money that we would all be better off saving or investing.
If you think this is a small amount think of what $1000 investment in the Amazon IPO in 1997 is now. I was actually pleasantly surprised by this and I could not believe my eyes when I first read this on the net.
According to the CNBC, if you had invested $1000 in Amazon in 1997 it will now be worth over $1.3 million. That is a lot of money for most of us.
This is why it makes no sense to spend all that money on lunch when you can invest it and reap the benefit later. It only takes a few hours from preparing your food to packing your own lunch in your bag.
Benefits of Bringing lunch to work
Below are some of the advantages of preparing and taking your own lunch to work.
1. Save money
It is far cheaper to prepare your own lunch at home than buying it at a restaurant. On that there is no debate whatsoever.
Of course, you may have to spend a little bit more on your groceries but that is nothing compared to buying lunch.
Because you are now buying more you can take advantage of sales at your favorite supermarket or wholesaler.
You can also buy directly from farmers if you live close to farms. I have friends who buy fresh produce directly from a farm near where I stay.
Here you have some control over your costs which you lose when you buy from a restaurant. In a restaurant you get whatever the restaurant has prepared. They may put more salt than you want in the food or more oil than you want.
It is, therefore, a straight forward choice between spending more by buying lunch or spending little by preparing it at home.
2. You will eat more healthy meals
By preparing your own lunch you control the nutrition content of your food.
You can make sure that you have a balanced meal which is difficult to do when someone else prepares food for you.
At home, you can control the amount of cooking oil you use which is not the case in a restaurant.
While the rich can go to good restaurants where the food is much better the common man will go to take away and buy deep-fried food.
No wonder we have an obesity epidemic in America and other western nations. A few years ago I visited one of western nations which I will not mention here, and I was shocked with the obesity epidemic in that part of the world.
I think it is high time the government intervened and sorted out this problem. The cost of inaction is just too high to ignore. Too many lives are being lost for something that can easily be controlled.
Failure to act has lead to an increase in cardiovascular diseases that continue to trouble us.
3. It can help you lose weight
If you cook your own food you can control the amount of calories, etc you consume.
You can also control the portions of food that are high in calories.
This is difficult to do if you are buying food from a restaurant. In a restaurant all the patrons get the same food.
It is rare to find special meals in a restaurant unless if it is one of the very expensive restarurants out there.
Therefore it makes sense to prepare your own food when you are trying to lose weight.
4. You reduce food waste
When you prepare your own food you can control your portions based on your needs and how much you usually eat.
This control is lost when you buy in a restaurant.
You are more likely to get more food than you need leading to waste.
This waste has to be processed somehow and that is a cost for the local government in your area.
And if this was not enough there is a problem of greenhouse gases from food waste.
The earth will be better off if we all reduced food waste. So prepare your own food every day.
5. You will have more time to rest and chat
When you buy food you lose time by going to the restaurant or take away restaurant.
This is time you can use to rest and chat with colleagues at work. This is difficult to do during working hours as everyone is too busy to talk.
If you are single this could be the time to find the love of your life.
As a blogger, I also use lunchtime to work on my blogs.
For others, it can also be a wonderful opportunity to earn money online through surveys, etc using the money-making apps on your phone..
Time is money and we need to use it wisely.
What are good cold lunch ideas?
Here are a few ideas to help you as you plan for your good cold lunch.
Prepare the bulk of your lunch the day before
You obviously don’t want to be scrambling for lunch in the morning when you are preparing your kids etc. You may end up preparing food that will not appeal to you or food that you will be embarrassed to take out of your bag
It is, therefore, better to prepare the bulk of your lunch box in the evenings, every day. You at least have all the time in the world to prepare your food without any pressure.
Do all the grating of your carrots, cutting of vegetables, etc during that time.
Consider doubling your dinner
Doubling your dinner means you will have leftovers that you can pack in your lunch box.
You will, therefore, avoid having to prepare your lunch box meal separately. I prefer that as I am not a big fan of cooking in the morning.
Use a lunchbox you like
Another cool idea is to use a lunchbox that you like. You don’t want to bring to work a container you are not comfortable with, otherwise, you won’t enjoy taking it out of your bag.
At least this will give you some extra motivation to bring lunch to work. After all your food will be in your favorite container.
Focus on the benefits
When you feel like giving up focus on the benefits of taking your own prepared lunch to work.
The money you are saving and the health benefits of preparing your own nutritious food.
We all need some motivation to keep doing the right things and the benefits will keep you motivated.
Stock up on your veggies and other staples keep them refrigerated
If you are like me who prefers to use leftovers from dinner for my lunch then you need to consider stocking up on your veggies.
You can buy them over the weekend and stock up in your refrigerator. Just make sure that it does not stay too long in the refridgerator. Food loses its nutritional value the longer it stays in a fridge.
In the morning you can just prepare some salad from these veggies and add them to your leftovers and be ready to go.
Below are some links to some wonderful lunch ideas that you can use to prepare your own food that you can take to work every day.
You need variety in your food, otherwise, you will get bored and be tempted to go back to your favorite restaurant or take away restaurant. We all like variety in whatever we do.
Roasted Salmon with Green Beans and Tomatoes
I am someone who loves beans and would definitely enjoy this very much. I will give this recipe a try.
Chicken and Red Plum Salad
For those who like chicken salads, this is for you. It definitely looks yummy even though I don’t eat chicken meat.
I hope I have now managed to convince you of the advantages of taking lunch to work every day. It will save you money and possibly your own health. Most of the diseases that are ravaging the 1st world are caused by our lifestyle and food.
An the main culprit for this are the take away restaurants of today. They prepare food that has too much salt and oil. Unfortunately as a consumer you have literally no control over the cooking of food in these place.
You just take in whatever is prepared for you and yet you are paying for this food that harms your body.
Besides saving money, you will once again control what you put into your body. You won’t surrender this important area of your life to fast food restaurants.