My company just moved locations from the CBD to a more suburban technology park. This series outlines the money related changes I've made for myself as part of the move.
Lunch was easily a $10-$15 a day experience for me, if not more. Food courts offering too many tempting choices, there was no need to plan or bring my lunch. Or so I thought.
Of course there was a need for me to plan and bring my lunch as I was sinking myself deeper and deeper into debt!
I needed to find a way to get the 'leave the office for a while' benefit of buying my lunch, with a payoff of not spending anywhere near the amount I have been.
I've found a solution. One of the guys I work with was also keen to bring his lunch instead of buying it. So we’re running a very friendly 'ready steady cook' style competition.
We've blocked out time on Mondays to walk down to the nearest shopping centre (mall), hit the supermarket and buy our lunch materials for the week. Still get to go out & buy lunch this way, plus some social interaction and a nice walk in the sunshine.
The fun part (for us anyway) is to break down the cost of each individual lunch we make, see what each other makes and make a call on who 'won' for the day. Lowest meal cost is 50% of the score, with 'plate appeal' making providing the other 50%. I didn't want it to be just about low cost, but about genuine value for money.
This is how this week's daily menu broke down for me
- Rolls $0.82
- Butter $0.11
- Mustard $0.07
- Lettuce $1.09
- Tomato $0.74
- Meat $0.64
- Apple $1.16
- Banana $0.71
- Water $0 (we have iced filtered water at work)
For a total of $5.34 a day! If I use an average of $12.50 a day over 46 working weeks a year for the old spend, that’s a saving of around $1645 a year on work lunches!