When my husband and I first got married, my dad gave me The Total Money Make-Over by Dave Ramsey. Once I started reading this book and understanding how small changes and smart choices could lead to financial freedom, I wanted to learn more.
As the famous saying goes, “time is money” and we pay extra for daily convenience. On the flip side, a lot of money-saving hacks take up A LOT of time.
Our food budget is our third most significant expense. I wanted to find a way to eat healthily, not spend tons of time cooking or meal prepping, and feed my family for under $200 per person.
What if I told you packing your lunch can be easy, healthy and saves you tons of money?
On average when you grab lunch, you will spend between $10-$13 per day. Multiply that amount by 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, and you spend $2,860 a year just on eating out during the week. If you ate out for lunch 7 times a week, then that annual spending jumps to $4,000 a year and that’s just one person.
Packing your healthy lunch can cost you between $1.74 - $6. Multiply that amount by 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, and you spend $780 a year.
Take the price you spend a year on buying lunch and subtract that by the cost of packing a lunch.
$2,860 - $780 = $2,080 savings a year!
But time is money; we are all busy. Here are my favorite, healthy and yummy grab-and-go lunches:
Black Bean Burger with Guacamole $1.75 Served either over rice or on a bun
Quinoa Bowl - $2.50 Cook quinoa in a rice cooker, mix in leftover vegetables from dinner add pre-cooked grilled chicken
Amy’s Soup -$3 I love this with an apple for dessert
Trader Joe’s Salad - $4 - $6 If needed, I can add in pre-cooked grilled chicken breast for extra protein
With a little planning, most of the meals above are grab-and-go, healthy and very affordable.
This is what I call a win-win in my book!