Pack Your Lunch to Save Money, Time and Calories!
By Daniel Rodriguez | Dr. Budgets
This month our focus is on what you can do that is not only good for your wealth, but also good for your health. Last year’s blog on this topic (Drink Water for Your Health and Your Wealth) explained how drinking water (instead of ordering a drink) was good for your wallet and your waistline. In this blog I’ll share with you my top reasons why packing your lunch is also good for both.
1) Save Money. On average people spend $10 per lunch out. Click here for a cool infographic depicting Americans’ lunch spending habits. It will usually cost between $2 – $4 to pack your lunch at home, depending on what food you choose to pack (source). If you only packed your lunch once per week to replace a lunch out, you will save about $300/year. If you eat out every workday now, but instead you pack your lunch every day, you would save over $1,000/year! And, if you typically drive to get lunch, then you will also save money on gas and wear and tear on your car.
2) Portion Control. Portions are typically larger when you eat out, and studies have shown that larger portion sizes cause people to eat more (source). When you pack your lunch, you control your portions, which in turn will help you eat less. Packing your lunch allows you to think before you eat, rather than think about what you ate after it’s too late.
3) More Time. Driving or walking to the restaurant, waiting in line to order your food, waiting for your food to be prepared, then driving or walking back to the office can really eat into your lunch break! If you spend your entire lunch break getting lunch, you can’t make the most of your breaks by taking a walk, reading, daydreaming or just sitting quietly – all activities that are proven to boost productivity and overall well-being. Taking breaks is important to your health, and when you pack your lunch you will take back a good chunk of your lunch hour.
4) Healthier Food. You have full control over how your food is prepared when you pack your lunch. You can cook it in a healthier way with healthier ingredients for less money. Restaurant food can have more calories and more fat because of the way it is prepared – in fact, a restaurant or fast food salad can have more fat and calories than a Big Mac (source). In the long run, packing your lunch can have an extremely beneficial effect on your health, which in turn will save you on medical bills when you get older!
If you want to be healthier and save money, try to pack your lunch more often this year. Start with one day per week, and then see how it goes. Over time you may find yourself packing your lunch more and more! This is just one small way we help our clients save money to achieve their goals. If you want a personalized assessment, contact us today for your complimentary consultation.