5 REASONS TO PACK YOUR LUNCH
Why pack your own lunch when take-out is so much easier? Below I have listed 5 reasons that I hope will ultimately convince you start packing your lunch! Are there some days where going out for lunch is a welcome benefit? Of course! But we’re talking the everyday grind here, and yes there is a reason to fit almost anyone on this list.
1) Save Money
It’s no secret that eating out costs more than making food at home. Saving money can be one of the biggest motivators for packing your own lunch (or breakfast, or dinner depending on your shift at work). Below is an example of what I would eat for lunch with the cost break down and savings over 1 year. (See bottom of article for full breakdown)
$6.00 (Take-out Salad)
- $4.00(Brought from home Salad)
$2.00 (Savings per day)
OR a $520 SAVINGS PER YEAR!
2) Control your ingredients
To live healthfully, one must take into consideration not only calories in vs calories out, but the types of calories we eat as well. Sometimes we may think we’re eating healthy by trading in that ranch dressing for a lighter balsamic vinaigrette. In theory this is true, however, sometimes companies add a lot more ingredients to extend shelf-life or add to its textural appeal. If you make your own lunch and bring it to work, YOU are taking back control of the ingredients.
3) Avoid the hangry hour
When you are super busy at work, sometimes taking a lunch break seems like more of an inconvenience than anything. You think, if I could just work through my lunch break today, I could leave early on Friday. Which might seem like a good idea, until 3pm hits and the headache, irritability, and lack of focus set in. Sometimes the thought of leaving your desk to stand in line for food just doesn’t seem worth it. Though I don’t recommend eating at your desk (think mindful eating), if you have to, eating while working is better than skipping lunch all together. Bringing your lunch could also prevent you from quickly grabbing a candy bar to satisfy hunger!
4) Stick to a plan
If you have recently made a goal and plan to stick to it, bringing your lunch to work, school, or out for the day could be what helps you do just that. In the end, a healthy balanced lifestyle is one where you can evaluate decisions on the fly and chose what’s right for you; however, when we are first starting on a journey why not make life a little easier for yourself and take away the temptation. I know plenty of people that just feel better when they plan ahead and account for their meals.
5) Take a longer lunch break
OKAY, this one may seem like fluff, but here’s the deal; if you have a cafeteria at your job that you like, standing in line to order and pay could take up to 10 minutes or more off your break! If you go out to eat, you waste almost half of your lunch break just getting to your food. However, if you have your lunch already made and accounted for, think of what you could do with that extra time. Go for a walk, listen to a podcast, chat with a friend, read some of that book you swore to yourself you would start; the options are a plenty! (Or better yet, you could eat your lunch mindfully and enjoy Every. Single. Bite.
Tools: Honestly, I have seen many people bring their lunch in a plastic grocery bag. Though this technically gets the job done, it might not be the safest in terms of allowing bacterial growth on your food. Invest in some good quality Tupperware, and a reliable lunch box that will keep your food in the safe zone until it is time to eat. I LOVE Arctic Zones lunch boxes! (I’ve purchased them at Costco and Target. They are also sold via their website). See link below.
There are many reasons to pack your own food when going to work, out for the day, or if you plan to spend time with loved ones. Many more than 5 reasons; however, you only need to find one, the right one that speaks to you! So try it! Pack your own meals, enjoy some fresh ingredients, some extra money in your pocket, and some extra time during your break. Buon Appetito!
COST BREAKDOWN EXAMPLE:
Below is an example of what I would eat for lunch with the cost break down and savings over 1 year.
Bringing your own lunch:
$3.62(Salad with chickpeas, black beans, mandarin oranges, leafy greens, roasted red peppers, avocado, and sunflower seeds, topped with balsamic vinegar and olive oil)
$0.30(Single Serving of cheese)
+$0.50-$1.00(Piece of fruit)
$4.40 or $5.00 Total for bringing your own meal:($5.50 if you add chicken)
Eating out for lunch:
If you consider the salad alone, you pay any where from $6.00-$10.00 depending on the restaurant. For ease of math, lets round up the homemade salad to $4.00 and use the $6.00 price for eating out. If you were to bring your lunch every day for five days a week for a year, you could save: $2.00 per day or $520 per year!