Seven Ways to Cut Your Lunch Bill

Recession special: Learn how to trim costs and put more cash in your wallet.

ByABC News
February 26, 2009, 4:12 PM

Feb. 27, 2009— -- You're not going out for dinner anymore. No more fancy trips. And you've said goodbye to the daily latte.

So where else can you cut you budget? How about lunch?

We often eat breakfast and dinner at home but spend up to $10 a day for lunch at a restaurant around the corner or the corporate cafeteria. It might not seem like much, but that's $50 a week, or $2,600 a year. Doesn't seem like chump change anymore, right?

You still need to eat, but there are several easy steps that can take the sting out of your midday meal.

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Brown Bag It: Yes, we all know you aren't in kindergarten anymore but that doesn't stop you from making a sandwich and bringing it into the office. That's why you have a refrigerator at work in the first place. For the cost of lunch out one day, you can buy a loaf of bread and enough lunch meat to make it at least three days, maybe more.

And experts say that we eat healthier portions and better foods when we make it ourselves.

Ditch the Soda: If you are already paying $6 or $7 for that sandwich, why add another $1.50 for a soda to that check? If you are out for lunch, ask for water instead. If you are at your desk, take a trip to the water cooler.

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If you must have that noontime carbonated fix, consider buying a case of your favorite cola at the supermarket and bringing it in to work. If you spend $4 on a 12-pack of name-brand soda, you will make up that cost in two or three days. Total savings: about $7 a week. If you buy a generic brand, you could save even more.