Whether you realize it or not, spending money on food while at work eats into a huge chunk of your personal budget. Grabbing a cup of coffee at the café downstairs, grabbing a quick sandwich or salad at the nearby cafe, or ordering in dinner when you’re working late might seem harmless, but those dollars tend to add up very fast. Suddenly you’re spending a few hundred dollars on take out each week.
To help you save, here are some tips on how you can save money on food while at work:
1. Begin with breakfast
Starting your day with a wholesome breakfast will prevent those midday hunger pangs and save money on food by avoiding expensive snacking at the nearby café. A $2 coffee can quickly become an $8 snack with pricey bagels and muffins tempting you. Also, these foods are high in refined flour and sugar and make for unhealthy meals. Simply eat a wholesome breakfast that keeps you full until lunch. A good breakfast can include oats, fruits, multigrain toast and butter, cheese, and homemade spreads.
2. Pack your lunch
This one might seem like a no-brainer, yet it is the biggest chunk of your food expenses at work. One of the biggest ways to save money on food at work is to pack your lunch from home. Saving $10 a day by not ordering in fast food will leave you with savings in your account worth $300, along with a healthier lifestyle.
3. Create an office coffee pool system
Some offices do not have coffee machines, which can have you running to buy that expensive cappuccino, setting you back by $100 to $150 a month, depending on how strong your caffeine cravings are. A great way to work around this is to start a coffee pool system at your workplace. Get together with your colleagues and set up a coffee machine. See whether you can get the office to purchase the machine or simply chip in and maintain the cost of a kettle, coffee, cream, and sugar together. This becomes a lot cheaper than running to a cafe each time you need that shot of caffeine to get through the day.
4. Stack up the snacks
Keep dry snacks in your office drawer to curb those midday hunger cravings. These also work well when you are chasing deadlines and need to postpone your lunch by a couple of hours. Granola bars, salted almonds, and even oat biscuits make for great and healthy snacks. Just ensure that you always keep an eye on the expiration date so that you never consume edibles beyond that.
5. Switch to tap Did you know that spending money on bottled water can burn a hole in your pocket? Simply switch to tap, just like you do at home. Alternatively, like the coffee pool, try to start a water pool where you can contribute as a team to maintain a filtered water supply that everyone can share. This becomes a way to save money on food rather than having to purchase individual bottles that cost a lot of money. Plus, it’s environment-friendly.