Many of us live in a world where we rise to the sound of a blaring alarm clock, smack it a couple of times to snooze for a few more minutes, and then pull ourselves out of bed. The rush is on to make it into the shower, out the door, and on our way to work in record time. The rush of the morning made it nearly impossible to pack a lunch, so many of us choose to eat lunch out two to three times per week. One thing that we don’t realize is that those lunches are costing us a lot more than we think!
Your Lunch Break May be Costing You a Better Life
A study back in 2013 found that the average American eats out for lunch an average of two times per week, and spends roughly $10 per meal. Compare that to the $2-3 that it would cost to pack your own lunch, and you’ll see how big of a difference it makes. Over the course of a year, the lunch that you eat at a restaurant adds up to more $1,000…and that’s for the AVERAGE person. Are you average? Or do you eat out more often than that? Perhaps you stop off at a fast food joint, or walk over to the grocery store to grab some chicken strips and some french fries from the deli closer to three to four times per week. If that’s the case, your cost to go out to lunch now doubled. Now you are spending nearly $2,000 per year on food that’s most likely not even that good. Do you have a spouse or significant other that does the same? Now we’re talking nearly $4,000 per year that has been practically thrown down the garbage disposal because you have decided that you don’t have the time, or the willingness to get up earlier or pack yourself a good lunch the night before. I don’t know about you, but even an extra $1,000 can offer me some amazing memories, like booking a flight to a foreign destination to go on vacation. These numbers easily add up, but for some reason a lot of us pretend like we don’t recognize this. Multiply this over a 20-year period, and between you and your spouse, or whomever it may be, we’re talking $40,000 that easily could have gone toward a number of dream vacations, or better yet, some solid investments that can help set you up for a better future.
Oddly enough, the same study as mentioned before found that people who make LESS money actually end up spending MORE per meal than those who make a better income. The report stated that those who make $25K per year or less spend an average of $11.70 per lunch meal, while those making more than $50K spend an average of $9.60. It’s not rocket science, people! Those making more money have just learned to be wiser with how they spend their money, and they learn to make that money go a bit further.
I’m Rich! Bring on the Overpriced Fast Food
Are you one of those people that says, ” I don’t care how much it costs! I’d rather eat lunch out at Chili’s or TGI Fridays a few times per week!” Okay, well, good for you, but let me throw this out at you. Let’s forget about the cost for a few minutes and talk about what a healthier packed lunch can offer you. We all know that most fast food, or chain restaurants offer very little in terms of good, healthy food. Most food we consume outside of our homes is packed with preservatives, high-fat content, loads of added sugars, and mystery proteins that seem to have been processed in a lab. Here’s what I want you to do. Start to pack a healthy lunch that’s made up of lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish), and toss in some greens like spinach, kale, or whatever leafy green vegetables you can stuff down your gullet. Also, toss in some fruits while you’re at it. Don’t think that ONE meal of eating healthier can make a difference? Well, let’s examine: ONE pound is equal to 3,500 calories. So, simple math tells us that if we can just eliminate 200 calories from our diets (this can easily be done by switching from Panda Express to a homemade chicken sandwich), and do this for one year, you will lose more than 20 pounds! That’s right…20 pounds! You don’t have to change anything else about the way you live…just take the plunge and start changing the way you eat one meal. I guarantee you, it wont take long before you start second-guessing what you’re going to have for dinner. You will learn that by maybe eating a better dinner that now you can lose 40 pounds in a year, or 50, or 60! It’s the small steps and the small changes to your lifestyle that will drastically change your life.
One excuse I always hear is that “healthy food is expensive,” which is just flat out ridiculous. Yes, if you start buying all organic, grass fed beef, and other fancy Gluten-Free products the cost could add up, but it’s a complete myth, and this argument is mostly used by people looking for excuses. We’re not looking for excuses. We’re looking for results! Do you want results? I know I do!
The Cost of a Better Life
Do you want extra money to go on that dream vacation? Or how about some cold hard cash to throw down on a new car? Maybe you want that extra income to go toward investing in some assets that can help you make some solid income. Do you want to be healthier and get into better shape? It’s simple. Just start by changing your eating habits at lunch. Pack your lunch and skip the fast food restaurants! I’m not saying to completely deprive yourselves, but make a conscious effort to seriously cut back on those wasted meals.
One last thing…ask yourself this question: DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO SPEND MORE THAN $1,000 per year on something that will most likely result in a unhealthier, and possibly SHORTER life?