Going out every day for lunch will cost you a great deal of money. By shopping carefully and preparing ahead of time, you can brown-bag it and save big bucks. Here are three ways to save on bagged lunch!
1. Save while you shop
There are a couple ways to trick yourself into saving money at the grocery store. First, bring your headphones! If you listen to upbeat music while you shop, you will shop quicker and be less likely to linger in aisles, so you will end up buying less of what you don’t need.
Second, don’t forget to do a pre-checkout lane audit of your cart. Grocery stores have designed their checkout lanes to discourage people from returning items to the shelves. Don’t be afraid to pass on any items you realize you don’t need, rather than buying them just to avoid awkwardness.
2. Think DIY
In the land of lunch, the sandwich still rules. It’s hard to beat the versatility of delicious fillings between two slices of bread. One thing that can be beat, though, is pre-sliced deli meats. Beyond being packed with unhealthy preservatives, these can get pretty expensive, especially if you opt for higher quality or brand names. There are a few alternatives.
First, you can order large cuts from the butcher counter and slice them up yourself. With a little bit of practice, you can get sandwich-sized cuts of ham, turkey or chicken for a fraction of the cost. Plus, you will have leftovers to use for soups and other easy dinners!
Second, you can go beyond the slice. Pretty much any protein cooked in barbecue sauce is going to taste delicious, and it is very easy to do. A slow cooker can take most of the work out of the process. Just drop your cuts of meat in the pot, cover them in sauce and cook them on low for a few hours. You can shred them with a fork for delicious barbecue sandwiches all week long.
3. Plan ahead
After you have done your grocery shopping with your newfound shopping wisdom, the only thing left is to make and eat your brown bag lunch. As with any life change, it is going to take a little practice. After your first few bagged lunches, you may begin to miss your old going-out-to-eat lifestyle, but stay with it. Luckily, there are some strategies to help with that, too.
One is to pack ahead of time. If you have to add “make lunch” to your already rushed morning routine, it will be tempting to just not do it. Instead, prepare the pieces for all your lunches at the beginning of the week and store them in the refrigerator so you can grab them and go at a moment’s notice. Also, don’t feel like a brown bag lunch means you have to eat in the breakroom each day. Weather permitting, you can take your lunch to a park or an outside area and have an impromptu picnic, or you can sit in your car and listen to the radio.
For more savings opportunities, consider upgrading your basic checking account to a Benefits Plus® checking with SeaComm! Once you enroll in Benefits Plus®, you will have access to a full-suite of discounts that can be used at the grocery store and other retail locations. Your membership also entitles you to a free Grocery Coupon Club with printable coupons. Click here for more information, or visit your nearest SeaComm branch to upgrade your checking account, today.
For complete information, terms, conditions and exclusions please visit www.benefits-plus.org or call 866-329-7587.