It's a constant battle which I often seem to lose. You would think it's a simple thing to prepare lunch for one person, but it's not. Three days a week, it's my battle.
Most of you know I work at a voluntary job three days a week. I'm there from about 8am till about 4pm, but some days it's longer. I need to take food with me. Every day I try to take a delicious, wholesome and healthy lunch. Often I do! However, I get periods when for some reason I don't have time to make something or what I've bought and have stored at work is either finished or someone else has eaten it, and I buy lunch. It freaks me out when I do it because I feel I've let myself down.
I have tried having crackers, cup-of-soup, fruit and cheese on hand, but it runs out and I don't realise it until I go to get it and it's not there.
I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks whenever I'm sitting with my knitting. I've been trying to work out why I do this and how I can stop.
I realised (just this past weekend) that I have such a problem with this one meal because I don't plan for it. Every other meal we have here is planned to a certain extent. My work lunch isn't part of that plan. I never buy anything specifically for my lunch when I'm doing the monthly or bi-monthly grocery shopping. Subconsciously I think that my lunch is "a sandwich" and because we usually have bread and have any number of sandwich fillings on hand that "a sandwich" is taken care of.
I have decided to think about lunch the night before. Lunch is now not always "a sandwich", it might also be leftovers like soup or pasta or something fresh like a salad with cheese or a boiled egg. Either way, it's decided the night before. I've only had one day on this new regime. Yesterday's lunch at work was pasta with homemade tomato sauce from the night before. I heated it up in the microwave at work, shared an apple with a work colleague and had a cup of tea. Perfect!
Today I'm back to "a sandwich" again LOL!! But today that boiled egg is already cooked and will be made into an egg and lettuce sandwich. I have a small container of cherry tomatoes and some cheese cubes packed, and a pear.
This WILL work, as long as I think of my work lunch as part of our meal plan. I think that was what made me fail over and over again. I just saw lunch as "a sandwich" and not something to be thought about and planned, even thought the amount of planning was minimal.
It might seem trivial to worry about making lunch but these are just the things that slowly leak money away. Just as it is small steps to pay off debt, often it's small steps that create it too. If I bought a $5 lunch three days a week, it would cost me $750 a year. It's worth the effort to plan ahead and take lunch to work with me.
So wish me luck, folks. Today, egg and lettuce, tomorrow who knows! Joking, I already know what I'm taking, and hopefully I can tell you in a few months that I haven't had to buy lunch again.
FROM YESTERDAY'S COMMENTS:
Shannan, what a lovely and caring sister you have. I would imagine both families will benefit from your year of living together and you'll all be saving money. Congratulations on working out such a good solution.
Cherrie, that is excellent! I have to make myself a new bag soon too. Keep up the good work.
Nancy, the trick is to buy your supplies when they're on sale. I bought my big basket full of Lions cotton when there were reduced from $11.95 a ball to $4.95 a ball. I can get three dishcloths from one ball. As well as using them myself, I give them as gifts with homemade soap. I think giving this handmade duo is a more thoughtful gift than a store bought soap and dishcloth. The simple act of making things myself makes them special. Some people don't get it, but many do prefer homemade and doing for themselves.
Daharja and Christine, as Suzan said, I hope you find peace with your parents.
Carolemc, I agree, they are investments. :- )
Rose, ask your questions in the comments, please. I'm pretending emails don't exist at the moment. ;- )
Kristi, I agree, Dave's More than Enough is an excellent book, as is Your Money or your Life.
Robin, good luck with your plans, love.