Saturday, 2 March 2013

Money Saving March: Packed Lunches

I'm on a mission to save money in March! I'll be posting three times a week with ideas and challenges. Free free to join in! :)

Hello and welcome to Money Saving March! I will be taking on various money saving ideas and challenges; some lasting a day, some all month!

One of the common frugal tips is to bring your own lunch to work. I do generally do this, however the numbers are in and last month I bought lunch five times! Granted, the £3 supermarket meal deal isn't likely to break the bank, but that would still be almost £200 a year wasted on me being too lazy to make lunch in the morning!

So, challenge 1 for Money Saving March is to bring lunch from home, every single day, NO EXCUSES!

What makes a good lunch?
I take simple lunches to Uni. I tend to make it late the night before, or in the morning while I'm waiting for coffeeeeeeee, so it has to be quick and easy. Examples include:
  • Cheese and pickle sandwiches, a tomato and an apple.
  • Couscous mixed with pesto and a roughly chopped tomato, and a banana.
  • Leftovers, such as lentil soup.
Yep, you won't find me chopping up 100 ingredients for the world's greatest salad or something in the mornings, but I still manage to eat relatively healthily for a fraction of the cost of a supermarket meal deal!

Back-up plan!
I know me. I know there are days when I sleep through my alarm and wake up with seconds to get ready and go! These are the days when I'd say, "Screw it, I'll buy lunch later". I need a back-up plan.

My solution? Keep emergency food at Uni! I've got cheap-o super-noodles, instant soup, bananas and apples that I can store under my desk. If I forget to take lunch, I won't have to resort to going to the shop!

If a homemade lunch costs about £1 a day, I should save £10 compared to last month's supermarket meal deals, and eat more healthily to boot!

Anyone else want to take on this easy challenge? How much do you think you'd save?


amandaa5449 said...

I take lunch to work but have started to slide a bit recently and find myself in our (expensive but nice) canteen buying the odd lunch.

Ive also decided that this is no more! Its lunch everyday even if its just a load of fruit as all I have in!

Just means I have to be super organised to suceed in this!

Moonwaves said...

Do you have some freezer space? During the winter I really like to have a hot lunch and soups and stews win the day every time. Last week I made up two separate batches of soup and put them into the freezer in individual sized portions (I use Tupperware, which I have a lot of since I used to sell it). I've been home sick this week and really glad of it as I didn't need to spend time trying to cook healthy food. Just take a container out in the morning and it's defrosted enough by lunchtime to heat. If I'm in work, unfortunately I don't have access to a microwave all the time so I have to make sure I take it out the night before and heat it in the morning and bring in a flask. But if you have access to a microwave then even if you've forgotten to prepare the night before, having stuff that will defrost by lunchtime is handy.

Pam M said...

I know I would struggle to stick to preparing a packed lunch every night, so my solution is to prepare a large pasta/rice/couscous salad on a Sunday, which provides me with enough for packed lunches all week. I've managed to keep this up for about nine months now, whereas every time I've tried preparing something the night before, I've soon fallen off the wagon! Worth a try if you know you can't be bothered to prepare something every night, and saves me aruond £15 a week compare to eating in the canteen at work.

Baroness Prudent Spending said...

This is such a good idea. I bring my lunch most days but do slide sometimes. (Usually because I am not organized enough.) If I'm having a planned lunch with a colleague, then I can chalk that up to networking but otherwise I need to bring my lunch. Saves so much money!


Quinn said...

I was best about packing a lunch when I was working in the woods all packed lunch meant no lunch at all, and believe me, I wanted that lunch!!
My stand-by was a Portuguese muffin with nut butter and some sort of preserves. My favorite was ginger preserves, but only if I could find a jar on sale as they are pricey.
The muffin and a yogurt and a peeled and sliced apple...ate that every workday for months and it never got old. Nothing like working hard and being hungry to make a lunch seem marvelous!

saving for travel said...

So glad I get a free lunch at school. Must save me a fortune.

Sft x