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National Pack Your Lunch Day


Little splurges add up if you’re not careful. Eating out for lunch a few times per week might not seem like a big deal…until you do the math.

Did you know, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average American spends $3,459 a year dining out?

That’s almost $10 a day if you dined out every day of the year!

And we get it, packing your own lunch isn’t free either.

According to USA Today, eating out for lunch costs an average $11 per meal, whereas preparing your own lunch costs an average $6.30 per meal. Are you looking to slash your take-out budget? If so, we’ve prepared seven helpful ways for you to save by packing a lunch.

Set a goal

Establish a realistic goal for packing lunches, write it down, and keep it visible. Decide how many days a week works for you to bring your own lunch from home. Review your #lunchboxgoals each week, track your progress, and adjust if needed.

Streamline your pantry

Certain foods can be used to prepare a variety of meals. For instance, bananas are very versatile and can be used in sandwiches (peanut butter and banana sandwiches were Elvis Presley’s favorite!); prepared in fruit smoothies; or enjoyed plain! Eggs, rice, and potatoes are other versatile options.

Stack coupons and sales

Sunday’s paper is a great source for paper coupons and sales ads. Recruit a family member, if necessary, to cut out all the coupons from Sunday’s paper. Increase your savings by scanning the sales ads and taking advantage of their weekly deals. Make it a family challenge to see how much you can save!

Buy in bulk

It may seem like you pay more upfront when buying in bulk, but consider the savings you’ll recoup by making fewer trips to the store, spending less on gas, and getting more product for your money.

Meal prep

Packed lunches don’t just happen. Choose a day to meal prep your lunches for the week. Or, set aside a time each day to prepare your lunch ahead of time. If you have school-aged children, recruit them to help pack lunches while you’re preparing dinner. It’s a great way to save time and money while working together towards a common goal. Added bonus: Kids won’t complain about school lunches. And, you’ll only destroy the kitchen once.

Think leftovers

If you’re already cooking dinner, double the recipe so you’ll have enough for a tasty dinner, as well as a fuss-free lunch.

Eat it

Packing a lunch for work is only completing three-fourths the goal. Resist the urge to splurge on takeout, and just eat it. Your wallet will thank you.

The information provided here is general in nature and may not apply to your specific situation.

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