Just thought I would share my experiences with brown baggin’ it today since I was having this discussion with a co-worker today.
When I worked in Dallas I used to eat out every day for lunch, sometimes fast food which would usually cost about 6-10 dollars depending on the place or at a sit down restaurant for 10-15 dollars.
When we moved to Kansas and I wanted to save money I started brown bagging it more so because there are no restaurants close to work, so I don’t have time to drive across town to get some grub. This worked well since I usually ate some frozen meal like a Stouffers or Hungry man dinner or something at a cost of about 3-4 dollars each.
In the last couple months since really getting serious about every dime I have found some really cheap alternatives. There are probably even cheaper meals, but I like these ones and sometimes that counts for a lot. LOL.
Anyway, here lately I have been taking either baked beans or bologna sammies and a ziploc of peanuts or trailmix for snacking.
Here are the details:
Lunch option 1: Bush’s baked beans.
I buy this in the big bulk can at wally mart, I think it’s a 5# can or something. The cost is $5.62 and I split it into tupperware when I get home for the week. One can will provide me with 7 lunches for a per meal cost of 80 cents. This is a pretty cheap meal, each serving has plenty of fiber and keeps you full all afternoon so there is no going hungry. Plus I love cold beans, so it’s just grab and go. *NOTE* You can also sometimes find good deals on these at Amazon
Lunch option 2: Bologna Sammies.
I buy bread at the wonder bakery outlet nearby and stock up and keep it in the freezer. I get bread for usually 1.50 a loaf for wonderbread or mills pride (good stuff), sometimes I luck out and get the bread that is in the discount section at $0.25 a loaf. Anyway, I also get bologna at wally mart for 1.50 a pack. A loaf of bread is about 24 slices or 12 sammies and bologna gets me about he same. Since I usually chow on 2 sammies for a meal it breaks down to $0.25 per sammie or for a per meal cost of 50 cents.
Snack: roasted peanuts or trail mix.
I buy a bulk tin of roasted peanuts (about 5 dollars) or a baggie of bulk trail mix (about 5 dollars) of which I usually get 7 snacks out of them (I fill a snack size zip lock full). This gives me a fairly healthy protien boost to keep me going during the day if I need a snack and keeps me away from the vending machines. This averages out to a snack cost of about 71 cents per snack. I can buy trail mix from the vending machine for 50 cents a baggie, but my baggies are about 4 times the amount of those so it works out WAYYYY cheaper.
Anyway, the point is this has really helped our bottom line. In Dallas I would spend 50-80 dollars a week on lunches. When we moved here I would spend about 30 a week on lunches plus about 10 a week on snacks from the vending machine. Now I spend around 5 a week on lunches and 5 a week on snacks.
While I often get wierd looks from people at work for eating cold baked beans 5 days a week, I don’t feel bothered because I know that it’s just my way of putting that extra 30 dollars a week towards debt. 30 dollars a week is 1560 dollars a year… it all adds up.
Want more ideas on how to save money? Get our daily freebie email updates – click here!