Thirfty Thursday! My tip this week is brought to you by my new job situation…ha ha!
Three words: Pack Your Lunch!
It seems like such a simple thing, but can cost you much less than eating out everyday. For me, it’s also about less time spent in the car (less gas wasted driving around), and not losing my prime parking spot (move it and you’ll lose it!).
Pinterest is FULL of amazing ideas for lunches. Whether you are soup fanatic, or you feel that salads are sweet! Think outside the box when it comes to lunches too. It doesn’t have to be boring sandwiches or salads. One of the simplest lunches I have seen involve easy to carry items, packed into baggies or divided containers. Even leftovers from the night before are also a good way to save money on your daily lunches. #1 – you aren’t going anywhere spending money and #2 – you aren’t wasting the leftover food (thus wasting money).
One perk of working where I do, is I have a “free” meal plan that includes breakfast or dinner – BUT, not lunch. I am taxed on the portion of the meal plan I do use, $7 per meal at the end of the year. However, I can also use it with my family, not just on me. Dinner is a buffet, and breakfast I have heard is amazing. I saw grits on the menu, which is a southern staple, but also one of my favorites. Lunch is $5 and you get to choose from a sandwich/soup, soup/salad or sandwich/salad. As well as a drink (including smoothies!). I will have lunch here as an occasional treat or when friends or family come to visit me for lunch!
I found some awesome examples of things to take when you get stuck in that “I can’t think what I want to take” rut here: Following in my Shoes Blog
Examples from my own lunch box (sorry no pics!).
1. crackers, chicken salad, 2 oranges (one for afternoon snack), jello pudding cup
This was great because the oranges came in a HUGE bag, and I was able to use the chicken salad 2 days in a row because it was too much for 1 day. The crackers I had from making a cheese ball at Christmas. The jello was probably about 75¢ a cup (bought in a 4 pack), but next time I will get those from Sam’s Club.
2. carrots, cheese cubes, pepperoni, crackers.
This was a great snacky type lunch on days when I knew things would be crazy at work (my old job). I saw a similar idea on pinterest with easy to eat “finger” foods such as cucumbers (sprinkle them with cayenne pepper for some kick), carrots, celery, cheese cubes, diced apples and grape tomatoes (or even regular grapes!)
Hope this little glimpse will help you make the most of your daily lunches!