How to Save Money on Work Lunches

Prepping meals for the week can be a surprising challenge, especially when our lives are filled with work obligations, chores, and hanging out with friends and family. We’ve all had those weeks where Monday comes around, and we find ourselves at the café two blocks away from work, purchasing an overpriced salad. Eating lunch out can become expensive really quickly, but how do we make the time to prep when our lives can get so crazy? If you’re like me and have a hard time bringing your lunch to work and avoiding eating out, check out some of these tips I recently learned and start saving yourself some serious money!

Tasting soup.1. Cook in bulk and take leftovers for lunch

One thing I like to do is cook a big dinner on Sundays and then take the leftovers with me to work Monday through Wednesday. Making food in bulk ends up being cheaper in the long run and allows you to make 3-4 meals all at once! Some of my favorite “make ahead meals” that last me throughout the week are homemade pizza, Thai or Indian curries with rice, and baked pastas! Check out this link for more bulk recipes.

2. Have nutritious and filling snacks at work to munch on

Apple Slices with Peanut ButterSometimes we can only afford that $2 slice of pizza and that has to last us throughout the day until dinner time. To avoid spending money on a sandwich around 3pm to fill you up, try keeping some snacks at your work station. Great ones include trail mix, fruit, peanut or almond butter or sources of protein like cheese or yogurt!

3. Keep groceries at work

Another common issue I have is having enough time in the morning to pack myself a lunch before leaving for work. One tip that I recommend is to keep some sandwich supplies in the fridge at work. That way you always have a meal ready to go already at work and you can sleep an extra 15 minutes at home. Bring a toaster or toaster oven to make the sandwiches even better!

Appetizing pizza4. Designate one day of the week for eating out

Does your favorite taco truck have a special on Tuesdays? Do you and your co-workers go out to lunch every Friday? It might be helpful and a nice reward to designate one day of the week for eating out. This way you save money on lunch for the rest of the week but still get to eat out every once in a while.

I hope these tips help you to embrace the brown bag lunch! Trust me, when you see how much you save each week on eating out, it’s worth it!

You can find more healthy lunch tips here. Please share your own best tips in the comments!

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Author My First Apartment
Anna R.

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Anna R. is currently a research assistant in a biology lab in the Bay Area and is interested in pursuing a Ph.D in Genetics. When she’s not daydreaming about food and browsing recipes on Pinterest, she likes to spend her free time dancing, paddle boarding and swimming. She’s been through a number of different housing situations and is eager to share her experiences with other MFA readers!

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