Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brown Bagging It (Well, Cooler Bagging It)

My husband is pretty good about bringing his lunch to work everyday. I say he brings it 90% of the time. I try to help out - I prep the morning coffee the night before and I try to make his lunch during this time too (but I'm only about 70% efficient at this task) . What does his lunch consist of? My husband has to leave for work at about 6 am everyday. So his "lunch" also includes his breakfast.

2 sandwiches. Usually Peanut Butter and Fluff, but every now and then he'll want lunch meat or tuna)
1 Yogurt
1 Fruit Cup
1 can of soda
2 bottles of water
3-5 "snacks" - snacks include poptarts, fruit snacks, chips, granola bars, cookies, etc.

I knew for the past week or two, our supplies have been dwindling. Why do I know this? Well for starters, the husband complains that there isn't anything for his lunch. Secondly, I see stuff on our Debit Card statement like this:

Scali Deli - $8.39
McDonald's - $11.93
Alex's Pizza - $14.99 (he said he bought a sandwich for a friend and himself)
Dunkin Donuts - $4.87

Here I'll break down how much it costs for him to bring his own lunch & breakfast to work:

- Last night I spent $50 ($49.45 to be exact) on "snacks" alone for his lunch (should last 2 months). Assuming 26 days of work a month (he usually works Saturdays), that's .96 cents a day.
- A yogurt - Avg. .40 a cup
- Dole fruit cup - round up to .50 a cup
- Cereal - A box lasts a week. Avg. $1 a box, that's .14 cents a day
- 1 cup of milk - .13 cents ($2.12 per gallon, 16 cups per gallon)
- A can of soda - .17 cents.
- 2 waters - .09 cents each = .18 cents
- 4 slices of bread for the sandwiches - (1/5 of a loaf of bread) is .34 cents (Assuming $3.39 for a 2 pack of Wonder Kids at BJ's)
- Peanut Butter & Fluff - maybe 10 cents. If he has meat or tuna, assume an extra .75 cents.

Total for him bringing his junk (assuming PB & Fluff sandwiches): $2.82
Total for him bringing his junk (assuming tuna or meat): $3.47

Around $3 for breakfast and lunch isn't that bad - Much better than almost $5 for breakfast at Dunkin Donuts and $10 for lunch downtown Boston. So even though I dropped over $70 last night on his lunch supplies - if I didn't, he'd spend that and then some out to eat just this week alone. Was it worth going over my "budget"? I say "yes!"

On the flip side - it is good for him to splurge on a lunch out every now and then. It keeps him happy. Just not every day. I have to say my husband is a really good sport about this. He actually prefers to bring all this stuff.


Kara said...

My hubs packs his lunch, too - he at least has a relatively cheap cafeteria in his building, but it's still easily $6 for him to buy lunch. His big splurge is a weekly Starbucks - I can't deny him that!

MaryAnne said...

My husband is great about bringing his lunch, too. I'm lucky because most of his coworkers also bring their lunches, so he's not the odd one out.

Queenbuv3 said...

I guess I'm lucky my hubby walks down the street to come home and eat leftovers for lunch with me everyday. I forget how expensive it is for someone to eat lunch at work even brown bagging it!

My daughter will be starting school next month and I won't let her eat school lunch this year because I don't think the food is good quality and nutritious. So I'm already trying to stockpile things while they are on sale.

My hubby spends so much more money buying a sandwhich here (when he can't make it home for lunch), a bag of chips there and a soda over there, etc. I try to keep stocked up on his favorites too because I get them much cheaper!!

Suz said...

My Hubby brown bags it almost every day too & much like yours, I know when my supplies are down when I start getting debit card receipts for local restaurants.

My Hubby usually takes leftovers if we have them available.. I usually make extra just so he can take them along. He doesn't mind them, actually often prefers leftovers to the greasy stuff the guys always get. A PBJ is not his idea of lunch, so I often have microwavable meals for when we eat all of dinner.

He does enjoy the occasional meal with the guys, and I encourage it. Makes him feel good to get something different, and gives me a day off from trying to be sure I've made enough for leftovers :)

Money Saving Maine-iac said...

Becky what a great blog! We can so relate to the small debits surprising us and eating into our budget. I like your taking the time to break down and compare. I like stockpiling and putting treats, like the Starbucks frappacinos that were .25 at Walgreens last week, in his box. Looking forward to more of these type blogs!

Bargain Becky said...

Mad props to the thrifty husbands!