I’m a big believer in making a little bit more food for dinner and then eating leftovers for lunch the next day – it’s just so simple and such a easy way to save yourself money.
Last week Brad spoke about how cooking your own meals was a great way to save money, and he also briefly touched on eating leftovers. Today I want to go into leftovers in more detail to really emphasize the point on just how much money you can save by utilizing leftovers.
In general when our family has dinner, we make enough food to feed my wife, my son and me for both dinner and lunch the following day. Normally making the meal costs us anywhere from $10 up to about $20 – every once in a while it will go over that, but in general that is what we spend.
So even if we use the higher amount of $20, that works out to only being $6.66 per person, or $3.33 per meal. Now those figures are a little bit inaccurate as my son is only a toddler and so he doesn’t eat as much as an adult (although sometimes I wonder how true that statement is).
If I was to start buying lunch from the work cafeteria or a local takeaway shop then my costs would be significantly higher than $3.33 per meal. The work cafeteria charges between $6 and $10 per meal, and local takeaway shops are in the same range.
So if I decided to eat out for lunch at either of these venues then my cost per work week (5 days) would be between $30 and $50. Then if my wife and son also ate out for lunch every work day as well, then our total cost would be between $90 and $150 – and that doesn’t even include weekends!
Now you might be sitting there thinking – so what? It isn’t that much money, and I don’t have to spend any time on preparing the food.
My counter argument to that would be that it is expensive over the long term. Considering that a home made meal that costs us $3.33 per person (for 3 people) per meal – if we were to eat leftovers for lunch every single day for a year we will spend $3,646 on food for lunches. If we were to spend the $6 to $10 on lunch per person for the year, we would spend between $6,570 to $10,950 per year.
Using the figures above, eating leftovers can save you a massive $2,924 to $7,304 on lunch expenses every year! Imagine how big of a difference all that money could make to your finances if you invested it properly, or if you put the extra money into your mortgage. No matter what you do with the extra money, I think this shows the power of eating cheaply, and how leftovers are an easy way to start saving money.