Friday, May 11, 2012

Save $1000 This Year: DAY FIVE: Take A Lunch

Welcome to the last post for this week (don't worry there's more to come next week!) in the quest to "Save $1000 This Year!) If you missed any of the previous posts you can catch up here.

Today's post is probably the simplest, most straightforward point in the series. Most of us know the impact that taking a lunch can have on ours budgets. So why don't we do it? Perhaps going for lunch is a group activity and you don't want to feel left out? Perhaps you don't feel like you have the time to prepare a lunch? Or maybe, if you are like me, you work from home so it is your significant other who has the big "latte factor". Bringing your partner on board with "the plan" can be met with some resistance. Take it gradually and make small changes, then build on those. Pre "the plan" my hubby's "latte factor" looked something like this:
  • Breakfast- $5x5= $25/wk
  • Lunch= 4x$5 and Fridays was group outing for lunch- approx. $20= $40/wk
  • Coffee/afternoon snack= $2x3/wk= $6/wk
 Total weekly "latte factor"= $71 (conservatively)

We started slowly by cutting out a couple of breakfasts and I began packing him a lunch once a week (he now comes home since we live closer to his office). I also send along boxes of granola bars, jars of peanuts and other snacks for his desk drawer. I don't wait until he says he wants a snack for the afternoon, I just send them along at the beginning of the week that way if the impulse strikes he's less likely to head for the drivethru! If you hubby spends a lot of time on the road try doing the same for him, its an easy (and healthier) alternative that can have a big impact. If you work in an office try having a group "bring your lunch" day and go to a nearby park to enjoy lunch together. Now my hubby's weekly "latte factor" looks more like this:
  • Breakfast- 1x$5=$5
  • Lunch (on Fridays)= $20
Total weekly "latte factor"= $25 (a savings of $46/wk or $2392/yr!)

Of course we could cut this back to zero but the goal is to develop a plan that you are able to live with. Complete denial just results in falling off the wagon (kind of like a diet) so it is worth finding ways to feel that you are still indulging, making it easier to stick to the rest of the plan. If you were to take just 1 breakfast and  1 lunch to work a week instead of purchasing them (or send them with your significant other) you can easily save $10/wk or $520/yr!

Total Savings Day 1+2+3+4+5=  $1412/year
( Looks like we've already reached our goal and there's still more to come next week!)
 ***Today's assignment: Plan ONE breakfast and ONE lunch for next week. Add the items that you will need for those to your grocery list. Have a great shop and a great weekend! See you next week for more money saving tips!***

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