Money

The One Tiny Change That Saved Me $2000 This Year

At the beginning of this year I made a tiny change that has revolutionised my budget, AND my health. Over the year, it’s saved me over $2000. When I tell you what it is, you’re probably going to be underwhelmed. But hear me out: it’s super simple, and you can totally do it too.

That one change: bringing my lunch to work.

I’ve bought lunch five times this year. I used to buy my lunch around three times a week, and at about $15 on average, I was spending over $2000 on something that I could totally make myself for a lot less. Not to mention all the times I bought something that wasn’t good for me.

A little bit of planning, a lot of pay off

I don’t believe in going to extreme lengths to save money, so I’ve made the whole thing as easy as possible. I plan what I want to make for my lunches on a Sunday, then I go and get groceries. I make Sunday night’s dinner, and ensure there’s plenty of it so I can turn those leftovers into a couple of lunches. And while I’m cooking I also throw together another lunch option.

That little bit of effort on a Sunday means I have healthy lunches sorted throughout the week. I know that if I had to prep my lunches after a long day at work, it just wouldn’t happen, so I remove the obstacles and get everything ready before the working week.

Bonus: it’s healthier

Making meals myself means I’m avoiding the added extras that you often get when you’re eating out, like added sugar or salt. If my lunch is in the work fridge then I’m not going to be tempted by the “add fries for $1” deals at the local Greek place.

What little changes will you make?

One key step to saving money is figuring out what you can do without. I like eating out for dinner, so I continue to do that every so often, but it’s a treat, instead of a default option. But I’ve decided that buying lunch isn’t really worth it for me: I’ve had way too many disappointing pastas and sad desk salads.

Maybe you’re the opposite: maybe you love to buy your lunch. I’m not saying you should sacrifice something you love – instead, figure out what you’re spending money on that you won’t miss.

Want some tips on meal prep? We’ve got some meal ideas that will help you coast through the week.