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How Packing Your Own Lunch Saves You Money

Eating a nutritious lunch is important. Whether you’re a child going to school or an adult at work, having a good meal in the middle of the day is important. It keeps you going, it helps your brain and body be productive, and it keeps your weight under control. However, while having lunch is certainly good for your health, buying your lunch every day is pretty hard on your wallet.

Many people believe that it’s too difficult or time-consuming to prepare your own lunch each day. The reality is, this isn’t true. Here are a few tips for how you can save money by packing your own lunch, and how to make the entire process easier. Your bank account will thank you.

Be Prepared

One of the keys to bringing your own lunch every day is to have a plan and stick to it. One major reason why people buy their lunches is because they didn’t have the time to pack one in the morning or the night before.

To solve this problem, come up with a plan. At the beginning of your week, plan out your lunches just like you’d plan out your dinners. Make a grocery list that includes several healthy lunch items. Then set aside some time to chop, slice, and prepare your lunch (and possibly lunches for the whole family). If you have a plan, and you get into the swing of things, you’ll be a lot less likely to forget your lunch.

Shop for Deals

Just like you’ll want to find deals when you’re shopping for food for dinner, you can often find good deals on lunch foods as well. Saving money on lunch is as important as saving money on dinner. Get into the habit of including lunch items on your grocery list. Shop for foods that are easy to carry with you to work or school and, depending on your situation, ones that don’t require refrigeration or reheating.

Another way to save money is to buy larger portions and then divide them up into smaller ones yourself. For instance, you can buy a large bag of nuts at a warehouse or discount store and then divide the package up into small sandwich bags. You’ll save a lot of money compared to buying several small bags and you’ll have convenient snack to take along with you. Need some other ideas for how to save? Check out our article on Ways to Save on your Grocery Bill.

Cut Your Own Ingredients

Just like buying a big package of food and dividing it up can save you money, you can also save a lot by cutting your own vegetables, fruits, meats, and cheeses. Rather than pay extra to have them cut up at the store or the factory, do it yourself. For instance, it’s a lot less expensive to by a block of cheese or a whole melon and cut it up at home than it is to buy sliced cheese or a packaged fruit salad.

Make in Advance

Making your own lunches can save you a lot of money, but how can you find the time to do it? This is a problem that a lot of people have. One trick is to prepare a large amount at once. For instance, on Sunday night, spend some time chopping up fruit and vegetables for the entire week. Then put them into reusable containers in the fridge. This will make it easy for you to quickly throw some into a bag before you head off to work or school.

You can also pre-make meals and freeze them. Then all you have to do is take then out the night before and you’ll have a ready-made lunch. This is also a great way to save money, as you can stock up on certain foods when they’re on sale or in season, freeze them, and use them later.

Use Leftovers

A great way to save money and time is to use dinner leftovers for lunches the next day. This saves you the hassle of having to make two separate meals, and it allows you to buy larger portions, which are often less expensive. You won’t have to worry about wasting food if you’re going to eat your leftovers the next day.

If you don’t want to eat the exact same meal two days in a row, you can still use some parts of your dinner for lunch. For instance, if you’re making chicken breast for dinner, make an extra one. Then you can slice it up and put it in a sandwich for your lunch. The result is a meal that’s different enough that you won’t feel like you’re repeating dinner, but you won’t have to spend a lot of time preparing it.