Packing a lunch isn't just for kids. In fact, it's a very adult money saving strategy. Although dining out for lunch during the work day may feel habitual or be a positive point during your day, there are other ways to enjoy the lunch hour. You can still socialize, take a walk, and enjoy a meal with coworkers without spending money multiple times a week. In fact, the average American spends about $3,000 on dining out. Now, think about how many times on average you eat out for lunch and instead imagine that amount sitting in your savings account. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
If you're not sure how to make the homemade lunch feel less "brown bagged," try a different method. With a little planning, you can prepare a healthy and delicious meal to-go. Nowadays, there are countless ways to pack a fun lunch. With the help from blogs, Pinterest, cooking sites and even your friends, you can think beyond the brown bag.
- Meal Prep Try preparing multiple meals in one cooking session. For instance, if you make one big batch of stir fry, you can eat that for lunch a couple times during the week. You'll have lunch ready to grab-and-go, making the weekdays a little easier.
- Lunch Swap Team up with a friend at work and plan to prepare meals, then trade! If you discuss preferences and eating habits ahead of time, you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised by a lunch that is prepared for you. And vice versa! Also, you can show off your cooking skills.
- Mix It UpPick a theme each week and challenge yourself to cook in that category. For instance, you could decide to "travel the world" in a month and try traditional foods from various countries. This way, your meals won't fall into a boring routine, and you might learn some cooking skills along the way.
Packing a lunch can be fun, especially if you think beyond a peanut butter and jelly. In addition to saving money, you might learn a new cooking skill, eat healthier food and socialize with different people at work. That's a win times four.
Next Tip: Small Goals make for Big Wins. If goals are hard to reach, they become unattainable. Try scaling them down to be bite-sized and easier to achieve.