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Brown Bagging Can Save You Big Money

Are you trying to save money now that the holidays are in your rear-view mirror?

I always try to be frugal, but I’m especially careful this time of year. Thanksgiving and Christmas bring with them all sorts of extra expenses. Add property taxes and higher winter-time energy costs, and my financial outlook dims.

One of the easiest ways I save money is by taking my lunch to work with me, commonly known as brown bagging. It’s a fairly simple thing to do and a great way to save money. I had leftover venison chili from Saturday for lunch today. I baked a couple of new red potatoes, which are approximately the size of a golf ball, and had an orange for dessert. It was tasty, filling, and economical.

There are numerous brown bag options if you have a microwave and refrigerator at work. I often bring things like cans of soup, roast beef sandwiches, Lunchables, frozen dinners, and leftovers. I’ve even brought raw eggs, veggies, and cheese to make frittatas and omelets before.

Consider the cost of eating out. In my area, the average fast food meal is around $10.00. Multiply that by the number of days you work per month, which for most people is 20. That’s $200.00 a month on the noon meal. Even if you could eat for a more conservative $6.00 per day, you’re looking at $120.00 per month just for lunch. Do you realize how many groceries you can buy for that amount?

I work fewer days per month than most people due to my 10-hour work days. If I eat out every day at $10.00 a day, I’d spend $160.00 a month on lunch. At $6.00 per day, I’d spend $96.00 a month on lunch.

The cost rises exponentially if you dine in a nicer place. The sit-down restaurants I enjoy have meals that cost between $15.00 and $30.00 each. I don’t visit them very often, but I really enjoy them on special occasions. Do you realize I’d be spending $300.00 a month if I ate a $15.00 meal five days a week?

If bringing leftovers isn’t appealing or you have no leftovers, you can still bring your lunch. I realize that not everyone likes sandwiches or soup from a can, either. You can still save big by buying frozen dinners.

Frozen dinner quality and selection isn’t what it used to be. It’s so much better than those old TV dinners that we ate of the metal trays. You can get the cheap ones for around $1.00 each. The dinners I like are less than $3.00 each. I really like many of the Healthy Choice dinners.

I do enjoy a big juicy burger or a chili cheese coney from a fast food place every now and then. We all deserve to indulge once in a while. For the most part, I save money that allows me to do other things by not spending so much on lunch.

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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