How much do you save by packing your own lunch?

Alex Ritchie

Alex Ritchie

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.

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