Showing posts with label lunch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lunch. Show all posts

How To Save $2000 a Year

It has dawned on me that being frugal is boring. I know that sometimes I think its exciting to go recycling on Monday nights (Yeah! DH went with me last night too), and writing about coupon cost saving shopping trips, but y'all probably just skip the post after the first sentence, or even after the title. Today though is another boring tip that you probably already do, but maybe you didn't realize how much money you are saving by doing it. Its really simple. Brown Bag it. Yup, bring your lunch to work. It will save you thousands of dollars a year. But its boring because we do the same frugal lunch most days.

DH & I have been having homemade salads for lunch at work for over seven years, I've been doing it longer -close to ten years. And I'm not bored with it. Its really convenient to just grab it out of the fridge and eat, no waiting in line for the microwave, heating time or assembly. More on that some other day, we do have an assembly line when we make our salads on Sundays. Anyway, to avoid boredom with our lunch, we change the salad to Olive Garden greek salads, or BBQ pork salads, or Taco Salads, but mainly its grilled chicken salads.

There are always the comments in the lunch room as we get our salads, "Oh another salad day, how exciting!", Or "Gee what kind of salad today?", or "You're going to turn into a rabbit eating salads like that everyday". But we make GR8 salads that are easy and healthy. Sure we put meat and cheese on it, but you've got to have some fat in your diet. We portion the salad dressing into snack size ziplocs and put a bag in each bowl so its easy to bite off a corner and squirt it on and toss the bag - easy to clean up too.

But one of the best things about bringing a lunch everyday is that it saves us over $2000 a year. It's even cheaper now that we use coupons, and when we get our garden producing, it will cut the costs by another third. A typical lunch purchased at the Deli would cost about $6/day or $1440/year. Our salads cost $1.51/day or $362/year each, so thats about $724 total household cost, compared to $2880 cost of Deli lunches for both of us.

I know its boring, but VERY satisfying to save money. I've attached a yummy picture of my salad for today, and cost analysis (CLICK TO ENLARGE) so you can figure out how YOU can save money by packing your lunch and using coupons.

Dieting Hurts

My stomach is growling with hunger. I ate a good breakfast of oatmeal with cinnamon apples. And I had a banana for a snack. And some melon and strawberries as another snack. But my morning commute on the bicycle makes me really hungry. My metabolism is higher all day long. And makes my stomach hurt. I am craving carbohydrates, and those couple bottles of water just aren't making me feel full or satisfied. I want some bread or crackers, but my lunch will offer no relief with just a salad and yogurt packed in my bag.
 
I have a snack drawer here in my desk with cereal bars, snack bars and protein bars that I am resisting. It is to prove to myself that losing weight is not easy. It takes a lot of will power to stick with it. I know a 120 calorie snack bar won't make or break my efforts, but its the point. You should know and feel if you are dieting. If you are hungry, or exhausted at night and fall asleep in one minute, or your muscles are tight, or your ischial tuberosity is sore from the bike saddle - these are gentle reminders from your body to your brain that "Hey, I know what you're doing and it hurts".
 
The effort to lose weight is tough if you're doing it the right way, with proper nutrition and exercise. Do you eat breakfast everyday, at home? If not, you're probably overweight or have unhealthy issues. Do you prepare your own lunch? If not, its probably out of box or a restaurant meal and you're probably overweight or have health issues. Do you exercise at least thirty minutes every other day? If not, you probably are overweight or have health issues. These are three simple things that are frugal and will lead you to a healthier lifestyle, where you can control your weight.
 
But it won't be easy. It will take some effort on your part - you have to wake up earlier to make breakfast. You need to prepare your lunches ahead of time which requires planning, time and effort. Exercising is the easiest of all to fit in. Just slip on a pair of walking shoes and head out the door for 15 minutes, twice a day on your break at work. Or park in the back of the parking lot at the store. Take the stairs instead of elevator.

So, I sit here and my stomach still hurts, but my jeans are looser. Only a few more minutes to lunch time. I think I can do it.