Routine essentials and regular treats can add up alarmingly. That daily chocolate bar comes to hundreds of bars a year. Your daily lunch, whether it is a prepacked sandwich, a selection of the local burger outlet’s finest, or a three course lunch at a local restaurant adds up to a small fortune. Taking a lunch in to work immediately cuts this cost by at least half, and usually more. It will probably also be healthier and nicer.
All you need to make sandwiches are a loaf of bread and some filling, which should last a week. These basic costs roughly equal the price of just one sandwich bought ready made. If time is short in the morning then either make them the night before, or even take in the makings and make up in your lunch break.
You can ring the changes by using different kinds of bread. Fill up pittas with hummus and salad, add some leftover chilli and sour cream to a tortilla, or have a bagel for lunch. This is a good idea if you get bored of cheese and pickle on sliced bread every single day.
Cans are cheap enough and make a filling, healthy lunch. You can save more money by bulk cooking soup at home, freezing in portions, and picking up one for lunch everyday. Add some bread if you are especially hungry.
Leftovers make great lunches, especially if you have a microwave at work. Take in that portion of chilli, pasta, or curry for a tasty lunch that effectively costs nothing. You could even cook food specially if you like a gourmet lunch. It will still cost much less than the same food in a restaurant.
Cold meals are good too. Salads will be enough for a real meal if you include rice, beans, cheese, or pasta shapes along with the vegetables. They are also good with crusty bread.
If snacks are an important part of your lunch then save money on them by buying multipacks in the supermarket. Crisps (chips), snack crackers and chocolate are all far cheaper when bought in bulk. They aren’t very healthy though, so it might be best to get out of the snack habit altogether or have fruit instead.
Daily expenses are easy to forget. In themselves they aren’t a lot but will come to a major expense over the course of a year. It is easy to save on many of them with a bit of planning. Lunch is a great place to start.