The Hidden Cost of Buying Your Lunch At Work

As an avid personal finance blogger, and someone who meticulously tracks where every penny goes, I can’t help but wonder why people chose to throw away hundreds of dollars per month on lunch. As someone who was in the working-field for 8-months I saw first hand people who bought their lunch everyday and how much it cost them. Leslie Scorgie, a graduate from the University of Alberta Business School writes a great article on how brown bagging your lunch can save you $120,000 over the corse of your working life.

Many people don’t see the cost at first, and sure it takes effort to bring your lunch everyday. Heck, my peanut butter and jam sandwich or left-over pasta may not be as tasty as your $8 subway sandwich, but my choice is based off of the back that I do not see value in spending my money on cafeteria food.

When working eight hours a day it is definitely tempting to just buy your lunch on your break, I know I was tempted and sometimes I did end up buying my lunch, but I did try to keep it to a minimum. It’s easier, because you don’t have to think about it and you don’t have to plan ahead. Working all the time is tiring, sometimes packing your lunch just seems like a hassle.

Buying your lunch while at work can cost you hundreds of dollars a month and it is easily justified as you are no longer living off of a student budget. By bringing your lunch each day not only you will you save hundreds, you can use that money towards something else. Perhaps, you really do value food; instead of buying lunch you can treat yourself to a nice dinner out, which will likely be cheaper than the cost of lunch everyday.

Below is an info-graphic for that outlines just how much you can save by bringing your lunch. It’s hard to make sacrifices once you are no longer a student (or are on a work term), but these small sacrifices can definitely make a difference over the long run. Not to mention packing your lunch is the more health conscious option!

Brown Bagging Infographic

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