My co-worker told me the other day about one way she saved money. She said she went to work without packing a lunch. Instead of driving to the nearest fast food establishment, she went to her area grocery store and bought herself a salad. She was proud of herself for not only saving money by purchasing a salad, but she also made a healthier food choice.
I have to admit, I grew up on the fast food lifestyle. My parents, who both worked, purchased fast food for our family several times a week. Not only was this not a healthy option, it also can cost our family a bundle.
Now that I have my own family, I try to avoid the fast food lifestyle. As many of know, on nights that our schedules are filled with work, after school activities and homework, I use my slow cooker. I can prep the meals in the morning and do not have to worry about the hustle and bustle of preparing dinners on busy nights.
I also do not recommend eating out during the day.
My husband, who is currently serving as a full-time college student, spends long hours attending classes. Every night, I pack not only a lunch for him, but also extra snacks and drinks for the days his schedule runs late. This helps my husband avoid grabbing snacks and fast food which can cause our budget to take a hit.
Up until this year, I also packed my daughter’s lunches for school. This year my daughter is in a new school that does not believe in serving fried items. Every day she is served vegetables, fruits and a meat. My daughter has been in school over a month and has yet to be served a french fry. The cost of the lunch is a little over $2. In previous years, we did not allow my daughter to purchase school lunches. They were not only expensive, but they largely consisted of pizzas, french fries and fried items. However, because of the extremely low cost and high quality of healthy options we have allowed her to purchase her lunches at school this year.
While my family enjoys going out to eat, we typically try to limit going out to just once a week or less. We avoid the fast food and choose to eat at sit-down restaurants. We cut down on the cost by asking for gift cards for our favorite restaurants from family members for holiday presents and birthday gifts.
If you find yourself without a lunch, I would encourage you to do what my co-worker did. Avoid the fast food trap and purchase your meals at your local grocery stores. However, if you truly want to save money it is important to plan ahead. Pack your meals in the evening and plan for the next day’s lunch. Not only do you save money, but you eat healthier.
Do you have money saving tips? E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.