Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bringing Brown-Bagging It Back!

Shopping is definitely one of my biggest weaknesses and the ongoing, outrageous sales are not helping me in my effort to save. Since I know that I will have a hard time resisting a reasonably priced dress, I have to be smart and cut back spending in other areas. My cutback of choice has been dining out during the week.



For the last few weeks, I've been consistently bringing my lunch to work. I prepare my meals for the week on Sunday or simply grab an inexpensive microwavable entrée. Buying pricey lunches can add up quickly. Studies have shown that you can save up to $2000 a year by packing your lunch for work. Plus, by not going out for lunch can eliminate the temptation of stopping in a store to splurge. Looks like being frugal is in fashion!

Do you brown girls brown-bag it? If so, what meals do you usually bring? Please share your easy, inexpensive lunch ideas.

**The winner of the fitness DVDs is T!! Please email me your mailing address. Congrats!

28 comments:

Tamstyles said...

I agree..this is the number one saving money issue..eating out at work...my sister has been taking her lunch to save and it helped alot.

antithesis said...

taking my lunch was the best thing ever but i got lazy because i hate grocery shopping almost as much as i hate cooking. i used to take left-overs from dinner to work or pretty much anything that would fit in my glad ware. i was doing lean cuisine and healthy choice but that mess had way too much sodium and thwarted my weight-loss efforts.

Wes said...

Wow, you're good- last two weeks? I used to be that good, though recently I've been bringing in my lunch (it only works up until Wedn.)... Usually by Thurs I end up paying for it, lol.

Product Junkie Diva said...

When I am consistent I definitely see the financial reward (eating in the city isn't cheap..lol) but I fall off the bandwagon way too often and I need to get back on pronto.
PJD

Whit said...

I am struggling with this too! And now I'm starting a new job next week. So I HAVE to bring my lunch.

I really like Lean Cuisines. but I'm always still hungry. I think I will start bring a salad with them and more fruit.

I also fall the bandwagon because I too hate grocery shopping!!!! UGH!!!!!

mimieyes said...

Eating lunch for me is a torture. I refuse to pay $10 dollars for a salad that I can make for less.
I do bring yogurt and fruits and nuts and I have a power bar.
But it does get boring.
I'm looking forward to reading others suggestions.

Nerd Girl said...

I am a brown bagger for life! Rarely do I spend money on buying lunch. Bringing my lunch is cheaper and I'm guaranteed to like whatever it is I'm eating - I made it.

My favorites: Spinach salad, wraps plus fruit, or a steamed veggie plate. I also try to keep hummus, raw veggies and crackers on hand for those days that I'd rather snack than eat a real meal.

Jay said...

I bring my own lunch in the start of the week bu like Wes says by Wedns, I get lazy, and the deli is calling me. I need to get some great lunch menu ideas... This is a great post, I am going to try so much harder on this. I also notice that if I brown bag-it, I don't eat as much, and lose weight!!!

K-Bear said...

Brown bagging it is tough for me. I just have so much to do already but I do know that I spend tons on eating out everyday so I've been trying to do better. In fact, I started weight watchers yesterday (don't laugh) and brown bagging it might be the only way I can resist the bad stuff!! So, count me in as a brown bagging fashionista! Gots to be super fine in 09!

hiphopmuse said...

Brown-bagging helps me save money and watch my waistline. I stay mostly consistent with it, though there are days I fall off the bandwagon and end up buying lunch. I go online and find quick and easy recipes, and I also get ideas from the food channel.

T said...

HEY! I love your blog (and not just because I won that DVD).

I do brown bag... often. This recession is so hard on me because I'm already frugul...

I basically buy my lunch for the week, SmartOnes, LeanCuisine, Bowl Apetits, Campbell's Soup and sometimes those horrible lunch in a bowl noodles.

My company has free fresh fruit and drinks, so that's all I need.

ThummyB said...

I pack my lunch most days of the week.

Typically I take instant oatmeal for breakfast and either a soup bowl or frozen meal for lunch. If I cook, then I may take left overs, and when I have fresh fruit, then I take that for lunch or a snack.

I also always take a couple of 100 calorie packs as snacks throughout the day.

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

@Whit and T: I buy Lean Cuisines and SmartOnes all the time!! Not because I'm trying to lose weight, but because they are tasty! Plus, I can get them on sale all the time! They are a bit high in sodium, but that's ok because I end up drowning it in even more sodium with soy sauce and salt anyway! LOL

I'm on my way to high blood pressure, which really is no laughing matter. I must do better!!

Leslie C. said...

I bring my lunch Monday-Thursday and treat myself on Friday. I like to bring Lean Cuisines or a sandwich, fruit and a drink. For a low calorie treat, I bought a box of See's lollypops in a variety of flavors. They hit the spot when that sweet craving kicks in.

Mike TRIBE! said...

In today's economy you aren't being frugal you're being smart! The average cost of a "meal" these days is in excess of $5; more if you are eating at a restaurant and not a fast food chain.

These days it just makes sense to bring your own lunch. If not for financial reasons then surely it would be worth it from a health stand point. You can resolve to eat healthier (as I have) by staying away from "Mickey D's" and choosing healthier foods.

Oh! As far as what I generally eat at work: I take a very light lunch (usually a turkey sandwich on wheat bread w/ lettuce and light mayo), juice and baked chips. I also take a variety of trailmixes, granola bars, etc. to curb the need to hit the vending machines for junk! It works so far; I've lost about 10 lbs. LOL!

ShellyShell said...

Hi! First time commenting! I bring my breakfast and lunch 4 days/week. Although my job has a cafeteria that would put some restaurants to shame. We have great Sushi,grill station,carribean, pizza,salad and pasta station. The food is really good!

I usually cook 2 different things on Sunday. This past Sunday I made pasta w/onions,mushrooms,peppers, shrimp and chicken tossed in a Cajun Alfredo sauce. I also made pork chops with veggies and rice. I hate eating the same thing for lunch and dinner! Or I'll make a pan of lasanga that should last me for the week!

lymariposa said...

Aside from saving money it's also a way to eat healthy and keep to your diet. I don't mind doing it in the winter cause I hate going out in the cold. But it is so hard to do in the summer months when you want to go out and enjoy the day.

MakeupByRenRen said...

i agree that bringing lunch definitely helps out the budget...i usually just bring leftovers and the same sides...a jello, string cheese and nuts as my healthy snacks

faith said...

i tend to bring lean cuisines or smart ones at least twice a week. sometimes i might bring fruits and nuts and yogurt. if i do buy lunch, i go to the cafe in my office and buy a small salad or soup which is around $5 so i don't feel too bad.

kitty vodka said...

right now i am eating pasta salad with peas, radishes, cranberries and red peppers. yum. thanks 4 the pasta tip last week.

Miss Mika said...

I am a big fan of "brown baggin" lunch to work. I started doing it after wondering where all my money was going and realizing "Hey, I spent almost $50 on lunch alone this week!".I love it when local grocery stores have Lean Cuisen meals on sale (like $1.99 a piece or 12 for $15.00) so that way I can stock up on them for lunch. They are proportioned perfectly and don't have a lot of calories!

-::brown sugar::- said...

i miss blogging. especially yours! girl...i try to brown- bag it everyday! i noticed one month i spent close to $400 on food alone...no bueno. leftovers is usually my take..if not...sandwhich, fruit and water it is ^_^

oh. and i always..no matter what try to drink about a liter of water everyday with lunch. its hard lol i do it. my goal is to get to two. : )

that guy said...

i bring my lunch to work monday-friday. that's the best way to go. nice post.

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

@ShellyShell - Thanks for commenting! WHERE DO YOU WORK!! Can I apply, just for the cafeteria! LOL

@Miss Mika - What grocery store do you go to? I want to go there!!! The only deals I get are the Lean Cuisines 4 for $10 or the SmartOnes 5 for $10.

@Brown Sugar - Thank you!! I miss your blog too. I went over the other day and it was the New Year's post. I need to make my way over there now!

married to it said...

I always take my lunch to work partly because I"m cheap but mostly because I only get 30mins. That really is not enough time to run out get something actually taste and enjoy it. I take whatever I had the night before or a forzen meal. When they go on sale we stock up. Its quick, easy, and cheap.

Be Just said...

Brown bagging it?! Shoot, those brown bags cost money! I've decided to stop eating during my lunch hour, so I can support my shopping habit. I'm hitting Macy's big sale tomorrow!

Dominican Enigma said...

Yes I have been dong it every day. peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. lol

Jeanie said...

I try REALLY hard to bag it these days. I agree that it makes a huge difference in spending, and I'd rather let that lunch money accumulate and by something cute... It's also healthier. I like to incorporate baby carrots, low fat jalapeno pepper jack cheese, and an apple into my lunch bag. Also, I've realized that bringing a pack of tea bags to work really eliminates the coffee runs/tea runs!

With that said, sometimes my schedule is just too hectic and I don't have the time to restock my fridge with lunch supplies :(