A Somewhat Frugal Lunch

by Kevin on January 23, 2009

I’m running around really busy today. Taking a half day from work in the afternoon to prepare for a church trip this weekend. Fun, but busy times.

I meet with clients throughout the week for lunch meetings. This means my lunches cost $10-15 per person, which I pay for up front with my AMEX. This isn’t a big deal because I get the lunches reimbursed from work (and get to keep the cash back!).

Yesterday, I went home for lunch to let our dog out and to relax a bit. My wife typically doesn’t plan on me being home so we don’t have much in terms of lunch food.

A Quick Grocery Store Run

Instead of doing what I typically do — grabbing something quick, unhealthy, and relatively inexpensive — I shocked myself by going to the grocery store and searching for a meal there. I walked the aisles and ended up with two bananas, a box of store brand wheat thins, and a large block of cheese.

The total was around $8 and change, which is still rather expensive. The kicker is I only used a portion of the box of wheat thins, and a portion of the cheese. So the cost of the meal was dramatically less than $8.

I added some pineapple orange juice (that we already had) and some Cheetoh’s that were set to expire next week (that we also already had).

It wasn’t perfectly healthy — cheese has a lot of fat in it, to my surprise — but overall wasn’t the typical burger and fries meal you would expect.

This may seem like an odd, random post to most of you. It is. It may be too much information. You don’t care what I had to eat yesterday.

But sticking with the frugal mindset has been hard for me with lunches. This is the first time I’ve ever gone to the grocery store to try and make myself a cheap lunch.

What do you do for lunch?


Ashley @ Wide Open Wallet January 23, 2009 at 10:56 am

Yesterday my son and I went to get pizza for lunch. $5.50 for both of us. And I love that place because they play cartoons and I can do my homework.

Today we are having leftovers from dinner the other night.

Fit Wallet January 24, 2009 at 10:46 am

I usually bring leftovers, but on those days when we don’t have any or I forget, I head to the grocery store a couple blocks away. I usually end up with a random meal involving a piece of fruit, crackers, and maybe some cheese (or string cheese). For some variety, yogurt is good in place of cheese and has a lot less fat. Sometimes I pick up a container of hummus for the crackers, or even get some pita bread. That will last me at least a couple of days in the office fridge (better put your name on it though!).

Em January 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm

We don’t eat out in restaurants – so I suppose I’m still a bit taken aback by the cost of meals out. I spend one day in the kitchen a week, cooking grains, vegetables, a soup during the winter months and all that is re-heated and eaten during the week for lunches, etc. Your $8.00 lunch (or to say, dramatically less than) is more than what I spend a day on food for all meals and snacks per person. And we eat well balanced, nutritious, healthy meals. No cheetoh’s or anything like that (no nutritional value, empty calories = wasted money). My food budget is a little less than $6.00 per day per adult. I hope that helps.

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