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Bringing lunch to work = higher bills for groceries - Page 2

post #21 of 30
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
But unless you are skipping meals entirely, you aren't adding five meals because these meals would either be consumed at home (already part of the grocery bill) or purchased pre-made at work (more expensive than buying groceries).
Agreed. If you read my last paragraph you will see that I make the same point you are making. I guess I should have said, if you add five meals to the food you are paying for out of your grocery budget, your grocery bill will go up a little but your overall expenses will go down.
post #22 of 30
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
Dh started taking lunch and snacks a month or two ago. Before that he just wasn't eating even though I thought he was. That really isn't acceptable even if it saves money on paper.
Mine too! : I was furious when I started doing the post month financial review and saw NO charges from his cafeteria. Since he doesn't eat breakfast either I had to point out that he comes home starving and immediately starts devouring all our snack foods, which are by far the most expensive things to buy!

I only noticed a $3-5 a week increase in our grocery budget as well. I pack leftovers half the time, and half the time he gets the standby 2 sandwiches, an apple, and a yogurt. Considering the very cheapest thing he can buy in the cafeteria is a soup for $2.50, just two days in each week and we are ahead in the budget.
post #23 of 30
Not really. We usually take leftovers as lunches. Usually in the winter, I'll make a big pot of potato soup (free potatoes, leftover ham bone or bacon) and we'll take that. Or sandwiches with sliced meat I've already cooked. Sometimes I do buy extra eggs if they're on sale and use those alot for lunches, but it really doesn't increase my grocery bill that much, especially compared with how much dh and I would spend eating out everyday.
post #24 of 30
I pack my dh's lunches and breakfasts for him to take. I don't do it on Fridays, because sometimes I need a day off from chores, too, lol.

I pack a big variety of things (he quit drinking beer and found that his appetite has increased ALOT--and no, he didn't drink beer during the day, lol, but he drank each evening and on the weekends). I guess that's a whole nother thread, though...

I pack 2 oranges (I buy them on sale for 10/$1) or 2 apples (whichever is on sale). I pack a couple of boiled eggs, a baggie of carrot and celery sticks, or a baggie of whatever other snackie veggie I bought on sale, or currently I'm sending radishes out of the garden. I pack a baggie of nuts or wasabi peas. I pack a baggie of cheese sticks I cut up myself. I pack a baggie of lunch meat rolled up. I also send a bowl of whatever we had the night before. And I'll send a couple of muffins or cookies. Eating all this he lost 8 pounds in 2 wks, lol. He comes home starved and eats an apple or some cheese to hold him til supper.

Buying stuff on sale or picking out of the garden is how we can send so much and not really spend much more $. I'm hoping his appetite will calm down some soon, but if not, it's ok. So, if you only buy what's on sale, and make enough supper to have a bit left over, your bill shouldn't increase a whole lot.
post #25 of 30
Yes, your grocery bill goes up a little, but you still save money overall. The key is to look at the big picture.

Another idea is you can use your blow money to buy things from the store to pre-pack your lunch. I mean, if your blow money each week is $10, then that is $10-worth of grocery items you can buy and convert into lunch food. This could possibly mean, depending on where you live and how much you eat, a head of lettuce, a bag of bread, and some deli meat -- enough for a week's worth of lunch (well, for me anyway). That same $10 would get you a soup and salad for one day or maybe two days, if you were to buy at work?

Hope that makes sense.
post #26 of 30
Your grocery budget will obviously get a bit higher - but i wouldn't think by much???

DH used to buy lunches out every day before we moved in together. Now that I'm here and doing the sahm thing I make lunches. SOMETIMES it's leftovers, but usually it consists of:

Sandwich (whatever lunchmeat is on sale, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes,mustard,mayo,bread).



Treat (couple cookies, brownie, granola bar, etc - sometimes homemade, usually not).

I probably spend hmmmm...maybe $20 for 2 weeks on his lunches? Probably less, actually. But even then, it's only $2 a day and a lot healthier than a big mac and fries on sale at mc d's
post #27 of 30
I bought a bunch of the 2 cup glass containers made by anchor.They are the perfect size for one serving of something.After dinner I pack at least one of these with leftovers.Sometimes I have 2 or 3 packed and I put them in the freezer.After a while there is a little variety of things in the freezer so my hubby doesn't have to eat the same thing the next day.Sometimes I am super nice and make things that only he likes for frozen lunches. He gets excited about the big pot of curry that doesn't take much time for me to make and my son is excited that he never has to eat curry. It is a win win situation!
post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys.
I definitely agree that this is better both for my waistline, the growing baby and my pocket book in the long run. What I need to do this month is figure out how much my grocery budget goes up and then decrease my blow money accordingly. From what a lot of you say it doesn't look like it will have as much of an impact as I originally had feared. Nothing that will break my budget. I do make extra for dinner so we can take it to work with us but DH usually gets that as he really needs the hearty dinner food more than I do. The guy can eat constantly and is still a walking stick. I am still learning how to make enough that we will eat it but not so much it will go bad.
I will still come out ahead since I will actually have blow money to spend on fun stuff and not wasting it on eating lunch out during the day.
post #29 of 30
I find I need to think economically about lunches from home too.

I was just at the grocery store and saw some canned soups I like. But at $2-$3 a can - no thanks! Frozen entrees, fancy deli meats, even produce can add up.

Like many previous posters have said, I try to pack lunch with what's on sale. If there was a good deal on bananas, that's what I'm taking. If this week they are offering cheap apples, guess what's in my lunch.

I also make my own frozen convenience foods - rice & beans with ham hock and salsa, divided into single serving containers; egg burritos with garden veggies and homemade or on-sale sausage; single portions of leftover that we are bored of eating.

Now, if you are switching from a $7 sandwich out to a $2.50 sandwich from home, that's a great savings! But I probably eat a lunch that costs less than $1 on most days.
post #30 of 30
I send lunch for my dh and dd every day. They work together so I can just send a casserole dish or 2qt crockpot for them. It's more of a pain than I like. It's difficult for me to make enough food to have leftovers.

What I've found is that having the stuff on hand makes all the difference. I don't necessarily meal plan lunches, but make sure I have tuna, cheese, salad fixings, etc. on hand at all times. DH keeps a supply of kosher ramen noodle in his desk, just in case. Between leftovers, misc. lunch fixings and his desk stash they usually do okay.

By the way, Sam's or Costco should be a great source for salad greens if you're going through them fast.
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