Money-Saving Tips for Brown-Bagging Your Lunch

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Posted on 06/02/2008

Bringing your lunch as opposed to buying it can save you big bucks. Even conservative estimates show a yearly savings of hundreds of dollars. Assuming packing a lunch saves you just $3 a day, that equals out to $750 over the course of a year. Follow these tips and you'll be a pro-brown bagger in no time.

Prepare the night before. Mornings are hectic enough. Pack your lunch the evening before and it won't be one more thing you have to squeeze in to your already manic mornings.

Cook a bigger dinner. If you love leftovers, taking your lunch to work will be a much happier experience. Make extra food the night before and just take what's left for your lunch the next day.

Invest in plastic containers. Storage containers will only cost a few dollars, but they'll save you plenty of time. Make sure you have enough to last you the whole week.

Buy in bulk. Stock up on lunch-time staples like granola bars, fruit snacks or crackers. In a few seconds your lunch bag will be ready to go for the next day.

Use baggies. Rather than buying chips or cookies in separate snack-size bags, try buying them in bulk, and packing them in sandwich bags yourself. You pay extra for the convenience.

BYOD. That's right, bring your own drink. Let's say you score a 12 pack of Coke for $2.99. That means you're paying about a quarter a can. If you decide to hit up the vending machine instead, you'll probably spend double or triple. That's a $125 yearly savings right there.

By Alison Storm

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