Tara Crooks
Limitless Contributor

When we moved into housing here at Fort Sill, Oklahoma one of the things my husband promised me was that if I lived on post versus living off post was that he would come home every day for lunch. It was an attractive proposal for me - get to have lunch with my husband and save a couple bucks. That worked out for us for about the first two weeks of our stay here. He's a workaholic so I think it upset his work flow to leave the office. In his own words he describes lunch hour as the "time to get work done when the soldiers aren't there." Still, I wasn't letting him off that easy - even vending machine lunches can whittle away a paycheck.


He's not a hard guy to please except for that one time when I packed up his lunch in a soft-sided black lunchbox from Thirty-One with "Crooks" printed in lime green on the side, he has never complained (what?!? I thought it was cute). A quick sandwich with chips - your typical "brown bag lunch" is always fine with him. For variety we might throw in some of last night's casserole. In typical military fashion he's always game for anything you can find wrapped up in a tortilla - anything.


I'm not that easy though. You'd think working from home that it would be easy to make sure you had a lunch. The fridge is right in the other room - right? I get bored and I want to get out of the house. I think that many office-type workers can relate. It's mundane and you want a change of scenery. I don't do it often but I do have an occasional lunch date with a friend or co-conspirator...er...co-worker. Apparently, I'm not alone. Earlier this year a survey of American workers by Accounting Principals revealed the average cost spent on workday lunches was an average of $1,924 per year.


Wowsers that's a lot of money for a mid-day munchies! If you're one of the spenders and not one of the ones with GI Joe lunchbox here are some ideas for ways to save on your lunch date.


  • Order a kids meal
  • Look at the lunch specials or ask for half-sized portions
  • Order an appetizer as your meal
  • Drink water and skip dessert


And hey, here's a great idea and a new trend share by the folks at US News - lunch clubs. The idea is to team up with coworkers and collectively organize a lunch menu, then take turns providing lunch for the group one day each week. Instead of the individual brown bag sandwich each day you can lunch on a home-cooked meal. The jury is still out on whether or not I wish for my husband to know about this idea - it does save money but I have a feeling I'd be the one footing the casserole workload.




What is your favorite thing to "brown bag" or have as leftovers for lunch?
How often do you treat yourself to lunch outside of the "office"?
How much do you typically spend on lunch (whether from home or out)?