Balancing act: Lunches out are fun, but are they worth the money?

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • splitme2 West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:46 p.m.

    I used to eat out a lot more than I do now-I mean 15-20 years ago. I almost always take time now to put a lunch together or at least bring a can of soup with crackers to eat. I maybe eat out once or twice a month and spend $10 each time. I see people I work with go to lunch every day-every day! I can't see spending that much money and I just hate trying to decide what to have. Maybe because I used to do it all the time a just got tired of it.

  • Older Mom Roswell, GA
    Oct. 23, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    Years ago my husband and I looked at his eating out for lunch daily. His company has an onsite cafeteria, so lunches usually cost under 5 dollars, offsite, it is about 8. We had to look at what the meal I sent would cost subtracted from the meal cost at work. We found that is was only about 2-4 dollars a day more. At 4 dollars a day, we would be saving about 80 dollars per month.

    However, this is only part of the equation. There is something about leaving work, or at least your office, that helps break up a very stressful day. My husband has a very good, well paying job, but he has a lot of responsibility and we found it worth it,to have nice hot lunch or a tasty salad out. He usually puts in a lot of overtime and it is expected because he is a salaried employee. We have found other ways to save. He does not hunt, fish or golf so this is something he enjoys and I am fine with it. Also,if he drove home and back there would be no savings either with the cost of gas.

  • Ronnie W. Layton, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 1:28 p.m.


    You are absolutely right. $8 for every work day of the year ends up being about $2000 dollars. If you put that in a 401k instead of eating out at lunch for 20 years, even with a below average return rate you could have around $80,000!

    Oct. 22, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    After graduating from grad school and when we started to get a paycheck, I finally felt like I could eat out without the guilt of living outside of our means. After a couple years of this so called "freedom", I quickly realized how much we were spending on eating out. We recently went to a cash only system for lunches. I get $30/month in cash for "lunch money" and my wife gets $60 a month (she runs around w 4 kids and sometimes needs to get a quick bite for everyone if time doesn't allow). This has been a great system for us. We spend less, eat more healthy, and force ourselves to pay more attention to our spending habits. I think if everyone sat done and wrote down everything they spent each month, they would be shocked at the totals. I am a dentist and I am shocked at how much money is spent by my staff on lunch. They eat out for lunch almost daily! And I know they don't make as much as I do. I think they would be shocked to see how much money they could be saving if they changed their habits.