WPS Health Insurance Blog

Brown bag it!

Posted by Mark Mitchell

Apr 8, 2014 9:03:00 AM

brown bag lunchWant to save money, time, and increase your overall wellness? Bring your lunch to work! “Brown bagging” it, even only a few days per week, is the solution to your problems.

Monetary motivation

Let’s say you spend $8-10 per day on lunch, which isn’t unheard of if you visit a fast food chain, buffet, or even a company-sponsored cafeteria. Packing a lunch typically costs a fraction of that, generally in the $3-5 range. If you save an average of $5 per day, five days a week for 50 weeks a year, it equates to about $1,250 per year in savings. I’m sure we can all find something to do with that kind of savings!

Time

Each day, you fight the crowds in the cafeteria or spend time driving to your go-to fast food restaurant. All of this takes time out of your day—and as my wife frequently reminds me, time is money!

I like to take a slightly different approach and look at the stress management potential of having a few more minutes of break time. The minutes you can save from driving or waiting in line could be used to run errands, make phone calls, read, or even catch a quick midday nap (just remember to set your alarm).

The health aspect

Of course, being a wellness blog writer, I wanted to save the best for last. Bringing your own lunch to work can be a huge benefit to your weight management efforts. You still have to consider healthy eating when packing your lunch, but bringing your own lunch provides you with total control of what is going into your body. 

Some typical staples of a brown bag lunch include bananas, celery sticks, carrots, yogurt, string cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, granola bars, and the list goes on. The majority of these foods are convenient, easy to prepare, and relatively healthy, low-calorie options—especially when stacked against a large fast-food combo meal.

To avoid getting stuck in a mundane routine, include leftovers from the night before, add dressings, and maybe try new recipes. You can also opt to treat yourself to one meal out per week. Try and make it healthy when you go to fast food joint.

Do you pack your own lunch?  What are some of your favorite foods to pack? Share in the comments below!