LittlePeopleWealth came up with an interesting article which lists 97 Ways to Save Money. I believe most people are already implementing some, if not most of the tips, as they go about stretching their budget.
What caught my eye was a tip about packing lunches to work. I am inspired to elaborate with my own experience. Since my wife was retrenched, she has been packing lunch boxes for me and from reviewing the family budget, we can save approximately $100-$150 per month.
Not only is the food more healthy, I can escape the same cafeteria food and there is also time for me to exercise, have fun, network, catch forty winks or get some work done during lunch hour.
Some of the tips to take note if you want to pack your own lunch box:
1. Choose one with ample capacity. You don't want to squeeze everything into a tiny lunch box and have the food or sauces spilling out, or have the contents all mashed up.
2. Insulate your lunch box well. You will not be having lunch right away, so with a good insulation and a freezer pack to keep things cool, your food will not go stale easily.
3. Try out the carrying handles or straps. Make sure they are sturdy enough, especially if you are carrying your lunch box by hand. There was once when I took public transport and my lunch ended up on the floor because the lunch box handles couldn't withstand all the jostling.
4. Easy cleanup. No matter how carefully you pack, your lunch box will end up with crumbs and spills in it, so think ahead when you buy about how easy it will be to wipe or rinse out.
5. Prepare the food which should comprise a main dish (such as a sandwich, soup, salad), fruits, snack, and a drink. Aim for variety in your lunch box each day.
6. Plan and prepare your lunch box in advance. Lesser time will be wasted in the morning and you your desired items can be purchased in bulk from the stores. I never buy food (milk, fruit juice, etc.) in single portion, it is too costly in the long run.
7. Place your lunch box in the refrigerator once it is packed, to keep perishable items from spoiling.
8. If there is a pantry in your workplace with a microwave or refrigerator, you can add even more variety to your lunch box by packing leftovers from dinner, a jar of soup (canned or homemade), or just about anything.