Saving Money on Food at Work

One of the cabinets in my office is dedicated to snacks. In that tiny little space above my desk I store a random hodge-podge of foods that I can grab whenever I forget to bring my lunch or work so hard I forget to eat.

Over the years I’ve found the perfect balance of snacks to eat in between meetings. I now store canned fruit, (primarily peaches and fruit cocktail), chocolate chip/peanut butter granola bars, crackers, chocolate macadamia nuts, (a gift from my uncle), and dried fruit, (primarily raisins).

This little stash enables me to avoid the vending machine. In fact, since I started bringing my snacks to work I haven’t hit that machine once.

I still eat in the cafeteria every so often, but as a whole I’m doing better at bringing my lunch to work. I find that I eat healthier when I pack a lunch and I’m rewarded by the idea of eating food that I prepared.

I typically bring leftovers of some type, but lately my husband started preparing meals just to bring to work. On Sunday night he makes a big batch of food, (typically some type of chicken and rice), and portions it out into small containers that we can both take to work.

I bought the glass containers two weeks ago. I decided to switch from plastic, (for health reasons), and replaced all of our Tupperware containers with 10 to 12 glass bowls with lids. I’m not sure how to repurpose my plastic containers, so if anyone has any ideas please let me know.

I typically carry a large water bottle to work each day, but when I forget it I resort to filling up an old glass mug from the water fountain.

Since I started bringing my lunch, keeping a cubby full of snacks and using the water fountain I estimate I’ve spent less than $5 a week on food while I’m at work. Even better than the monetary savings is the time savings. Now I can stay at my desk through lunch and leave the office just a few minutes earlier. Those extra few minutes can really shorten my commute.

6 thoughts on “Saving Money on Food at Work”

  1. I have been taking my Lunches to work for years now and knowing how expensive it can be to buy from the van which comes round at break time I figure I,ve saved a lot of money, unfortunately I must have mislaid it LOL

  2. That is a great idea of keeping some snacking foods at work. I bring my lunch to work also as I just can't fit it into the budget for "lunches out". I also make up batches of stuff on the weekend and pre-portion them into containers for our lunch during the week.

    I love the above comment of "I've saved a lot of money, unfortunately I must have mislaid it"

  3. I noticed you said you went to the glass containers for health reasons. I must be out of the loop. Are the plastic ones bad?

  4. @Maureen – 'mislaid it' šŸ™‚

    @Dreamin – I'd never heard of anyone cooking up batches of food just for lunch, but since my husband started doing it a ton of people have come out of the woodwork to tell me they do the exact same thing. I think it's a great idea. What do you usually prepare?

    @spaghetti – A whole bunch of studies have tied the use of plastics to cancer. I don't know if these studies are all true, but I figure it's best to play it safe where possible. So we made the switch to glass. To be honest my grandmother got me thinking about making the conversion when she mentioned that she's used glass her whole life. She's now 88 and until the last year extremely healthy for her age šŸ˜‰

  5. Hi One Frugal Girl, some of things we make is a huge pot of chili (I add a jar of medium chuncky salsa to it and it gives it a nice "zing") I also make both meat lasagna and meatless lasagna, I do of a couple of boxes of Kraft dinner – I know, not the most healty, but I had corn and peas – to bulk it up. I also make a rice and bean casserole – that is to die for. One other thing I do, i make full pot of mashed pototes and then portion it out in containters and freeze it, so that if I'm in a rush at supper I can pull a container out – and just add vegetables/salad and some BBQ chicken breasts – These are just a few of my things. Luckily my husband likes them. I'm always looking for different things to try.

  6. @Dreamin – Thanks for the ideas. I love the idea of making a big batch of chili. I just wonder if it will make my husband too gassy at work šŸ™‚


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