Lunch Budget: When Simple Math Makes Me Feel Like a Fool

This summer was a hectic one and grocery shopping and lunch making became somewhat impossible. When we got home from Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon, we took a quick walk over to our Treasure Island to grab something for dinner and I noticed a few choice Boar's Head meats and cheeses on sale for 1/2 price. This is the week we get back to making our lunches, I thought to myself.

I did the math while I waited at the counter: A lunch out is roughly $10. I work in the office three days a week, Matt is in the office five days a week. If we each eat lunch out on those days it's about $80/week. The math is like a slap in the face, especially when you factor in the yogurt parfaits I often grab in the morning along with my coffee, which is another $6 or so. All together I figure we're spending $100/week on coffee, grab and go breakfasts, and lunches. That quickly becomes $400 each month.

I picked up a 1/2 pound each of chicken, ham, and cheddar cheese, which cost me about $8 total. Not too shabby considering you usually have to pay $10/pound for Boar's Head. I bought yogurt to bring to the office for $3. A loaf of bread and other lunch snacks added about $10 and I dusted off my travel mug for home brewed coffee. So, we're looking at about $21/week. No more than $100 a month, even with a cup of coffee here and there.

My goal is to stay on top of lunches and get back to my meal planning as fall approaches. If you need a good exercise to give you and your budget a swift kick in the butt, I suggest you start with your lunch.

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