Lunch money - MoneySense

Lunch money

If you buy lunch at work every day and spend an average of $10, it’s costing you about $2,500 a year. Add a cuppa coffee in the morning, and a snack in the early afternoon, and you’re up to about $15 a day or $3,750 a year.


Find a way to trim your “outside food” costs down by half by packing lunch and making your own coffee and you could boost your savings by $1,875 a year. Save that for 30 years in a TFSA at an average return of 5% and you’ll have over $130,000. It’s got to be worth a little time packing lunch to save $130,000!

Creating a lunch for work does take some time and planning. The first thing out of most people’s mouth is, “I don’t have time in the mornings!” Really? Then get up earlier! Are you telling me it’s not worth almost $2,000 a year to you (in after-tax dollars) to get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning? Give your head a shake.

Some people say they buy lunch because they love the social aspect of eating out. Hey, I’m as social as the next guy, but being social at the cost of not saving is DUMB. Pick one day of the week when you’ll eat out with friends and give yourself something to look forward to. Maybe you’ll choose Wednesday (hump day) or Friday to celebrate the end of the week. Whatever day you choose, lunching out once a week instead of five will cut your spending a ton.

Start a lunch club at work and pick one day a week when you each bring something to contribute to a group lunch. Or challenge each other to find the cheapest good food in your area, and take advantage of the Lunch Special. All-day breakfasts at $2.99 can’t be beat for value.

Be creative. The idea is to have a great life and save some money too. It may take a little noodling, but if you create the right recipe, you can have your cake and eat it too!