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How changing small habits saved $1,200 a month

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Before we moved, we almost never brought lunches with us to work.

Every day, I’d run to the pizzeria next door to my office for a salad (which was always drenched in fattening dressing), or the sandwich shop a few blocks away for a (greasy) veggie panini. Sometimes I’d order sushi or Thai food.

My husband Tyler did the same.

We decided when we moved into our new home that we wanted to be healthier, and we began preparing lunch at home and bringing it with us to work.

No, we don’t do this every day — but our goal is to make lunch at least four times per week. As a result, our waistlines felt slimmer, and our wallets fatter.

To figure out exactly how much we were saving, we looked at our credit card statements and did the math. Before, we were each spending, on average, $11 a day on lunch. That’s a total of $110 per workweek, which is about $485 per month (if a month has 4.4 weeks).

Once we began buying groceries every Sunday night, we were only spending about $25 total on ingredients we used to make our lunches for the week.

So even with ordering or going out for lunch once per workweek, we were only spending a total of about $205 per month on lunch food.

Monthly savings: about $280

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