Bringing Lunch to Work vs Buying Lunch. Average lunch cost

Does bringing lunch to work actually save money?
There are many posts on websites that talk about your health and your lunch routine should be equally treated as breakfast, but many people buy their lunch from outside and have junk mostly in their meals.

This is a regular thing. You see where ever you go, in offices, the percentage would be 7/10 – 70 percent of people like to have junk food in their lunch at lunchtime and usually bought from outside.

The tendency of a person to eat is less than, it is in the morning time. So as far as I see many people do not have much appetite, it is a social or peer pressure that most people are bound to have lunch in cafes or restaurants.

According to one of the American research, it is said that most people in America spend around the figure of 3000 dollars in a year on their lunch at work (research done by Workonomix survey by Accounting Principals). Whether they bring from home or buy from outside. It is quite a shocking figure like you can buy something valuable or you can double this money by investing this amount somewhere else. Why people have to spend this much on their lunch ONLY?

Average lunch cost in US

Let us start first with one question. What is the average lunch cost in the US?

The average lunch cost is $8 in the United States based on research made by TSheets on survey 600 Americans. Average lunch cost research results show that 19% of respondents spend around $3, 29 percent of respondents spend between $3 and $5, 39 percent of respondents spend between $5 and $10 per meal end rest from $10 to more than $25 per meal.

TSheets lunch break surveyOpens in a new tab. shows that 63% of U.S. respondents are more productive when they take a lunch break.

Bringing Lunch to Work vs Buying Lunch

Home-made lunch is the economical option you can have and you can save more than 100 dollars in a month with not having lunch from outside, bring your lunch from home can make you healthy and others will follow the healthy routine in your circle.


Reasons for having lunch outside and their solutions:

  • The first reason, people mostly spend more time outside like at work or at the office, more likely with their friends. So peer pressure is the first reason. That bounds the person to spend money and have the junk from outside.
  • Showing-off money. Then comes the class of people who like to show off their money since this being the case, they gather other friends and let them spend their money and have the junk too.
  • Habit Those people who are right now doing jobs in the offices their age lies between 25-35, in this age category it is quite normal for people to eat outside and with the passage of time they get this into their routine and they make this their habit and does not like to have homemade lunch.
  • Addiction A lot of the people do not have the nerves to taste the home lunch though it is economical.
  • Low confidence and then there comes the class of people who badly want to save their money and want to have their homemade lunch along with them, but with the peers around they feel low with themselves.


Socializing with co-workers benefit.

When you try to bring your food from home to work, you can share your meal with others. It is the best chance for you to socialize with your colleagues. You can make the stressed-out environment into a happy go environment. This is just a single advantage to bring lunch from home.

If you take a look at the quantity you have outside and what quantity of food you are bringing might have a huge difference. You can even try out your friend’s favorite food at home and surprise them at work. It will help you to make new friends too and maybe turns your enemies into your friends too.

Disadvantages are more than the advantages of eating outside.

Everything in this world has advantages and disadvantages too. If you look at one side of the picture and ignore the other side, the other might be more beautiful, so you simply cannot ignore the matter without taking the look on both sides and then make the decision.

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There might be a lot of reasons to eat out at lunchtime, maybe you like to have fun and want to enjoy yourself with friends or want to try one taste in the street or whatnot is there for you to think of. Every reason seems quite satisfying but you cannot ignore the bad side so easily. Make a decision after you measure the good and bad side f this matter. If you see the good side is more reasonable then you can keep on having lunch outside.

The bad sides are not just furious but have the horrible effects on your health too. The first disadvantage you will be having after this addiction or the habit is the stomach or stomach blockage.

No? This never has happened to you, you are keeping good luck with you. The worst effects are here as well. The more you eat outside the more you will have to bear the consequences of bad health routine. Your stomach is getting old by working so hard day and night. Your mind is being slow down day by day, after having unhygienic and junk food. The fats are happily floating in your stomach but you won’t feel it has the negative effects so early.

Because junk food always acts as a slow poison. We teach our kids from a very young age to eat healthy food at home and pack them their lunch boxes from home to their schools, so they get bound to avoid any junk from outside. The main reason behind that is not that many people cannot afford to have their kids having meals from outside but to see the bad side of having food from outside bounds the parents to stop their kids from having it.

When we grow up we seem to have the freedom from our parent’s restriction, but it is never like this, and actually, we got to do the next decisions of our life on our own and we will be bearing the consequences too. This is insane but a reality many of us have ignored or might not have seen this.

Those days were awesome when we enjoy the great health, what happened now? Is that we lack in making decisions of our own. We know that eating outside on daily basis is the extreme thing we are giving to our stomach.

The second worst effect it will be giving you is to your wallet, the most precious thing now is your health that you have decided to ruin, the other valuable thing left is the money you are earning by working day and night, and still, you choose you to spend it on a lame thing.

Have you ever imagined that eating out costs you the same amount of money that you can save quite easily and spend a whole week vacation with your family with that money if you save them? If you have not thought of it then think now. It is never too late to change your mind and choose another path.

Going to have lunch outside may not actually save you any time.

It is definitely not an economic option even if you argue with more reasons to have lunch outside. I used to think about it when I was doing a job in the office, I was junior to my coworkers. So when the time of lunch break starts, they asked me to have lunch with them and I could not bear to say NO, just for one time in the first 3 months of working there.

The bold thing I feel upset about is that I bring my lunch with me from home and I really like to cook so I spend even 20 minutes to make my favorites for the next day, but I had to spend money and eat outside with them and eat that lunch after reaching home. Since I get very upset about it I tried to make excuses to not go outside the office like having leg cramp etc. and I noticed that one or two of my other coworkers refused to go for lunch and they stayed in the office with me too, this was the first time after three months that I had my lunch from home.

So if you say that having lunch outside can make you get to socialize with your staff or coworkers then think again, there might be other people who might not like to have lunch outside.


You’re spending money on gas going to and from the lunch spot.

You are working in the office in the middle of the city, while you are going to eat in a restaurant it is not on foot but on the car. Is it? The cost you spend on gas or fuel is way more adding up to your expenses than to have lunch from home. Lunch from home is not only saving you the double cost one you are spending on your meal outside and the second you spend on fuel but will save your health too.

In lunch from home, you can use even the leftovers you have had last night at dinner. When you are cooking the dinner just cook a little bit extra so that you can have the leftovers for the next day’s lunch. In this way, you can cook whatever you like to eat at lunch for the next day. It will be healthy and economically.

Economic and easy to grab Recipes:

If you are addicted or habitual to eat outside but want to save money, then these options are for you. There are many options for you to make at home and it tastes like outside. First, decide what you want to eat the next day, then make the same meal at home before night.

Try chicken marinated rolls, it will not much of your time and not even costly, take chicken drum sticks and dip it in soy sauce and other spices as much you like to have and leave for some time then bake it. And TA-DA here you go. You can eat this at the office lunch hours and you won’t be feeling to eat outside.

If you do not know how to cook or you do not like to cook then download the app called munch. It will guide you or even you can add your available ingredients in your kitchen and it will tell you what can make out of those ingredients.


I know it is quite fun to have lunch with friends sometimes at work or outside. keeping a balanced life does not cost you very much but you must be careful what you are getting habitual of and what you are making your addiction too. Junk food is always the same from start till the end it will never be loyal to you if you keep having it more often.

Be cautious about what you eat outside. be more sensible and have a good amount of time with your colleagues by sharing your home-cooked meal and have the decent chat rather than burn your fuel and compromise on your time and go to someplace to have lunch and again make a huge compromise on your health along with your money to be wasted.

You are clearly making a compromise on your Fuel, health, and money just to have tasty food from the restaurant.

You can save your time for your side job or study.

I always try to make time before night makes some extra food in dinner and pack my lunch box before I go to bed, with this routine I never forget to bring my lunch box at the dining table.

I try to grab some fresh fruits from home too so that I can share some of my time with my coworkers and learn from them by gossiping around. this does not only make me more confident but I also come to know what they had on mind.

The other benefit I got is the time saving, when I have lunch with me I do not have to rush to somewhere else and I spend that time writing articles and make some extra money while writing online as a freelancer. I cannot only save some of my money but I get the opportunity to make some extra bucks too.

Good luck with your decision!

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel:

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