Thursday, January 11, 2018

Take Your Lunch to School or Work and Save Big!


Yes, this has been said so many times and it's common sense. Spend a couple of bucks at the grocery store on ingredients to take your lunch somewhere or spend $5+ on a meal out. Let me give you a glimpse into what this means for my family if I could get my crap together on this one.

So we homeschool and only go to co-op one day a week. But that one day a week ... oh, it is easy to hit Chik-fil-A for lunch while my bigger kids are in Mass. And I end up spending at least $45 including drinks, and I never work it into the budget. My salad I love there is $8+ alone. So here's my plan for the rest of the school year, starting today:

  1. I went to Aldi on Monday and made sure I remembered to put on my list LUNCH FOR CO-OP TWO WEEKS. Conversely, I also knew we were going to the zoo on Thursday and I'm planning on packing in all our food for that as well. A key to planning stuff is REMEMBERING. EEK! Always keep an ongoing grocery list in a prominent place in your house!
  2. For the kids: I got bread at 25 cents a loaf, already have peanut butter and jelly, got some Pringles, got a package of Hershey bars (splurge) for $4 for for 6 (the extra bar is either for my husband or for the sweet little kid who always comes to me for sweets in the lunchroom ... or maybe for our buddy who sits with us at our table!). I have things like oranges and carrots at home.
  3. For me, I had some huge packages of these cool salads that I get at WalMart Neighborhood Market for $2.50 each. I can eat the entire bag if I have time and it fills me up and gives me energy for the day.
  4. I also grabbed juice pouches at Aldi.
Let's figure this up:


My food = $2.50 (I drink water)
Bread = $0.25
Peanut butter = $1.00
Jelly = $1.00
Bag of baby carrots = $1.00
Hershey bars = $4.00
Pringles = $1.45
Juice pouches = $2.45 for 10 of them ... we like to share them or the bigger kids might have two

Total for lunch AND dessert = $13.65 versus $45 eating out ($2.28 per person)

What could this save us in a month? $124. And if I did that three months in a row I would theoretically have enough to make an extra payment on my van.

I know I could save even more if we drank water and I got a $1 bag of cookies for our treat but I'm starting small for now with where my brain is. I'm not trying to make saving money painful for my family. I just want us to be more aware of what we mindlessly spend money on just because it's EASY or QUICK.

P.S. I changed my mind at the last minute and we are having hot dogs instead. $1.99 for the cheese hot dogs and $0.85 for the buns.

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