Daily Savings at Lunch for an Extra $1,000

Daily savings at lunch is part of the wise decisions that help accumulate wealth.  The accumulation of small savings is what helps build wealth over time. Something as simple as taking your lunch from home. While this may seem irrelevant, the savings from making the conscious decision to take lunch from home can lead to big savings.    This can be combined with daily savings for breakfast to supercharge your financial life.

The Simulation

There are few things more exciting charts and data tables so here we go. By taking every weekday for a year and making three categories (lunch taken, lunch bought and mixed), you can easily simulate the cost over a year.

  1. Lunch taken: cost between $0.50 to $2.00
  2. Lunch bought: cost between $4.00 to $8.00
  3. Mixed: cost between $0.50 to $8.00

The value could be anywhere in that range for each category. By running the simulation this way, some real scenarios quickly provide information that is useful. The Excel model isn’t terribly complex and provides a dynamic table using the random number between function. The chart and data table are displayed below.



Some simple observations about the chart and data table.

  1. Mixed lunches significantly increase the annual expense. This hints at making a conscientious decision of either taking your lunch or not.
  2. No matter how often I ran the simulation the results were surprisingly similar.
  3. The cumulative result provides a stark contrast between taking lunch or buying lunch.

What does it all mean?

By making the conscientious decision to take a lunch rather than buy a lunch each day you go to work, you will save over $1,000 per year.  When it comes to an efficient budget, the data table provides a good reference for the range that you would need to budget for in any given month.  Most of the time this does not really factor in since the lunch is simply the leftovers from dinner the day before.

What works the best?

We make a large dinner and reserve some of it before anyone fills their plate.  We have toyed around with sandwiches and other traditional lunch foods, but we have found that simply taking some leftovers provides a great variety.  Occasionally we have a couple crock pot soups that work well also.

Bringing it all together

This article is about choices and actively maintaining financial efficiency.  Making the conscientious effort to save with some of the smaller things will provide significant saving over the long term.  We are not trying to fix all of your financial problems by just taking your lunch to work, but a series of choices like taking a lunch will adjust the way you look at your budget.