Save the Pennies- Picking the Perfect Packed Lunch

When you have a busy schedule it can be tempting to grab food on the go, but the cost of this soon adds up… Melissa talks about the financial benefits of making time to prepare lunch at home.

There’s nothing quite like an exciting lunch to look forward to after that mid-morning lecture has finished. That feeling of going to the café to get your favourite sandwich and those all-important salt and vinegar crisps.

When I first came to university, I quite enjoyed the convenience of buying a sandwich every day from the many cafeterias that the university has to offer. The sandwiches taste great and I love a good Mars bar after an intense lecture. I quickly began to realise how much money I was spending on lunch each week, so a cheaper option needed consideration.

I quickly started making a packed lunch everyday with fresh food from my local supermarket to eat on campus. Not only could I eat what I wanted everyday (which varied from sandwiches to healthy salads) but I saved a lot of money doing this, on average £10 a week. By bringing my own packed lunch, I was saving £40 a month, which made my money go further across each semester.

It is important to remember that packed lunches can really save the pennies and pounds in your pocket. A sandwich you make yourself costs a fraction of the price of a pre-packaged one, and you can buy bread and ingredients in bulk to make enough sandwiches for a whole week. If you think about how much you could save by bringing a packed lunch, you could end up saving on average £400 a year; that’s enough to make me continue making my own sandwiches and buying my salt and vinegar crisps from the supermarket.

Top tip- the ultimate lunchbox? Try my favourite: French bread, sliced mozzarella cheese, a handful of rocket and 2 slices of prosciutto ham. Add to that a sprig of grapes from the fruit bowl at home and a refillable bottle of water to keep you going throughout the day, and enjoy the fact that you’re eating a delicious lunch and saving money at the same time… maybe spend the savings on a posh lunchbox.

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