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How much do you save by packing your own lunch?

Alex Ritchie avatar
Alex Ritchie
- 3 min read
How much do you save by packing your own lunch?

It takes a very organised person to pack their lunch every day, and let’s admit it, most people don’t feel like they have the time or energy to prepare a week’s worth of food. But how much does buying lunch every day really cost us? And what could that money be better spent on?

Whether you’re a sandwich kind of person, or you’re indulging in a burger and chips, your daily lunch spend could range anywhere between $5 – $25. For argument’s sake, let’s say you’re spending on average $10 a day on lunch. This amounts to around $2,400 a year (depending on annual leave, sick leave etc).

If you’re preparing your lunches at home, you’ll have a few advantages under your belt. A sandwich you’re buying out will probably cost you $6 more than one you prepare yourself using ingredients you already have at home. Not to mention the cost of making a large serving of pasta that will last for a few days’ worth of lunches versus your average $7 – $12 or more pasta at a café/restaurant.

If you’re spending on average around $4 per meal you prepare at home, you’re saving $6 a day. This amounts to a saving of around $1,400 every year, which is a significant amount to lose by not making your own lunches.


What could you be spending this on?

There are a multitude of ways you could spend this money to save for your present, but you should really be thinking about your future.

If you put these savings of $1,400 a year away for your retirement, you will have an additional $42,000 after 30 years. This amount would be invaluable for anyone looking to spend their retirement, and a great incentive for those of us who struggle to bring themselves to spend Sunday evenings packing lunches.

If you open a savings account with a base amount of $1,400 and an interest rate of 0.25 per cent, while adding $1,400 every year saved on packed lunches, you will have a balance of around $15,500 after 10 years. After 30 years, the balance of your savings account would be around $44,800.

It may not be realistic to expect every lunch you have for the remainder of your working years be pre-made, but if you try to do this as much as you can, the savings will be worth it.


This article is over two years old, last updated on March 10, 2017. While RateCity makes best efforts to update every important article regularly, the information in this piece may not be as relevant as it once was. Alternatively, please consider checking recent savings accounts articles.

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