Make Your Lunch, Make a Fortune

Millionaires are made ten pounds at a time. Invested efficiently, ten pound increments can become a fast route to some serious cash. But there are things that can quickly eat into your tenners; one of these is lunch.

Statistically the most expensive meal of the day for the average working professional, the ONS (Office for National Statistics) claims that the typical Joe Bloggs in the UK spends roughly £6.60 on lunch a day! Now when I read that, I almost personally fertilised some Money Trees, but after taking one look around my office and seeing the Itsu bags, M&S ready meals and Wagamama logos I felt obliged to voice my concerns over this rather shocking piece of data.

While £6.60 for the average person doesn’t sound like that much, anybody looking to become a financially independent rebel should hear the word ‘average’ and start rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of already being above average when it comes to cutting costs! But for those still dancing quite close to the number above, here are some more numbers for you to consider:

£6.60 on lunch averages to about £143.55 per month*.

Compounded over 15 years** at a rate of 6% per year is

£42,308.05!

Humour me, and compare that to MTM’s lunch for just a second… I documented the amount I spent on food for lunch for 3 months. I used a different bank card to my usual one so that I could accurately track the cost of ingredients and my average daily lunch costs came to £1.83. No the decimal point isn’t in the wrong place, my average packed lunch really is less than £2!

 

£1.83 is just £39.80 per month.

Compounded over 15 years at 6% that is

£11,730.13.

 

That makes the opportunity cost of buying your lunch compared to making it a staggering £30,577.92!

 

Now I can already hear the type I LBS (Little Bitch Syndrome) sufferers screaming, “but it takes so much time to make my lunch!”… It takes me 30 minutes on a Sunday to make my week’s worth of lunch. If I factor in the cost of my time at my personal minimum wage of £20 per hour that is £10 a week that I need to add to my lunch costs bringing me to a daily grand total of £3.83 I spend on lunch per day – almost half of the average daily amount for UK working professionals…

The gains are not solely financial either. While making your own lunch, you are more likely to cook healthier food. I, myself personally take pride in my curries and my soups. I also make a bolognese that would make most Italians slap their own mothers!

It also sets you up in a good position psychologically. If you are religious in making your own lunch, you are bound to be more frugal in other aspects of your life.

So give it a try. If you buy your lunch a lot, try making it yourself instead and you may accidentally end up making more than just food…

 

 

*365 days in a year minus 104 weekend days = 261 days. Divide this by 12 to get a rough estimate for monthly figures.

 

** Length of time it will take MTM to reach financial independence

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23 Comments

  1. So today I made my lunch (well leftovers from last nights dinner) and didn’t buy a Pret from up the road. Crazy to see how much it all adds up over the years!! Thanks for pointing this out to us MTM

    1. you really do se the diffence it makes over time. and once not buying lunch becomes a habit, you find yourself with a surprising amount left over at the end of the month

    1. You would be surprised at the top quality meal you can get for that price if you plan your food shop in advance. All it takes is a little organisation

  2. Thinking of the lunch boxes my mum made me as a kid and thinking of the amount of money I may now owe her after considering the interest for all that time.

    1. Compounded for basically a lifetime at a rate of 6%… you may have to ask for your mum to simply forgive the debt haha!

  3. Won’t lie, when I saw ‘money trees’ I though, wtf is this about? Have had a good long read and I have found the motivation to save some cash

    1. Hi Eoin, thank you for reading, I appreciate the support! Always happy to help motivate others =]

  4. Awesome example. It blows my mind when I see Co workers go out for lunch everyday. All I can see is the dollars burning away! I have always brought my own lunch into work which helps with the expense end.

    1. I know right! I feel like it is a peer thing. If everybody is bringing in lunch from home, you are less likely to go out on your own. Hopefully we can set a good example for the rest!

    1. Hi Danielle, Thanks for reading! And yeah I agree. Too often, I think people look to their largest expenses when it comes to cost cutting, but that is not always where the biggest financial gains can be made

  5. I’m gonna start with saying that I’m soooooooo damn lazy, and that, primarily, is why I haven’t paid any heed to this whatsoever.
    I’m fully aware that I can make my own lunch totalling about £10 for the week but the idea of drab bread based sandwiches every day just doesn’t appeal to me, I wanna eat what I want!! I like going to the pub at lunch, steak burritos, beer battered cod, venison burgers, tapas… the lot! And a cheeky beer or ale to go along side! Zero complaints! Yes this did result in me spending above £200 on average just on lunch alone… literally for consuming 1 meal in 1 hour of my free time… but I was happy to spend that extra cash on delicious meals that I enjoyed! (Still am in a way)
    Compound that figure over 15years at 6% and I think it’s clear to see that I have a problem! A delicious and rewarding problem – spoken like an addict.
    It has taken 3 and a half years, but this weekend I have finally seen reason. I got up early and went to the local market and picked up an absurd volume of meat and fish for so little! (Supermarkets are one horrific rip off). But the key thing here is that is wasn’t cheap cuts, I got great steaks, crab, lobster, salmon… so not skimping Anyway I spent just north of £70 all in all and when I got it all home and put it all into meal portion sizes and loaded up the freezer. I counted 38 meals I could make from what I had bought. Which works out at around £1.84 per meal.
    Now I’ve never been fussy about how much I’m paying for a meal, but when was the last time anyone had a huge portion of lobster mac n cheese garnished with full lobster tails and truffle oil for an average cost of £1.84? It was enough to make me sit up and take note of my naivety hell, stupidity.

    All being said, I’m definitely taking lunch into work tomorrow! Who knows how much longer it’ll last, as I am incredibly lazy, but potentially triggering this good habit now could save me well over 30k in opportunity costs over the next 15 years!

    Providing I don’t spend it on Scotch! 😉

    1. HAHA this may be the best comment I have ever had! Glad to see you’re still reading, Ash!

      OK, you have said a lot so I will make sure to address each of the points you raised so amazingly with a good reply.

      You sound like an intelligent man with good taste – I mean first off you’re reading this blog so that confirms that. You can still enjoy good food without the price tag, it simply requires a little effort on your part. Grabbing yourself a book like Lean in 15 for example is a great way of maximising the orgasmic taste and minimising the off-putting effort.

      Secondly, kudos on appreciating what that money compounded looks like on paper… think of the serious holiday-age or whatever that that could afford you. You say you have an addiction, well that compounded number can be like the gross sticker on the front of the cigarette pack, and your quality homemade food can be your patch!

      Thirdly… nought any man of sound mind doth ever wasted monies on scotch but yeah, reign it in and you could find yourself with some serious cash in the not-so distant future…

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