Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Free Lunch (Almost)

I took my lunch to work like I do almost every day.  As usual, I carried it in my giant insulated lunchbox.

My giant insulated lunchbox!
  This lunchbox is HUGE- check out how big it is compared to the pen next to it!  

Today's almost free lunch menu:
1) About 1 cup of raw "baby" carrots, 30 days past the "use by" date on the bag.  I count these as free since they were basically rescued from the garbage.

2) A small container of guacamole with garden vegetables that no one at my house liked- including me!  My wife said to just throw it away, but I decided I would be hungry enough at work that it would taste good.  This trick worked.  Things do taste better when you are hungry.

3) A few corn chips for the guacamole.  I took a bag from home that was already open and brought it back.  The entire bag cost about $2.50 and I would say I took about 50 cents worth of the chips.

4) Office baked macaroni and cheese.  We had some leftover plain pasta noodles from dinner last night.  I added a pat of butter in the glass Tupperware container when I packed the noodles in my lunchbox.  I also brought a small hunk of cheddar cheese.  I used the real knife I keep at work (don't worry, it is only a bread knife and is OK to have) to slice up the cheddar on top of the noodles and butter before microwaving.  This turned out pretty well.  I am sure no one would have eaten the noodles.  The butter was probably 10 cents worth, and the cheese maybe another 50 cents.

So, the damage for my lunch today:
  • Expired carrots, let's call them free.
  • Unwanted guacamole, let's call it free.
  • Corn chips from an already opened bag, let's call it 50 cents.
  • A pat of butter and a small block of cheddar, let's call it 60 cents.

Total: $1.10

OK, so it wasn't a free lunch, but as they say... there's no such thing as a free lunch!

I have saved tons of money over the years scavenging stuff from home to take for lunch and snacks in my giant lunchbox.  I try to grab stuff that would otherwise get thrown away and have it for lunch, as long as it is not spoiled.

If you haven't developed the habit of packing and taking your lunch, you are missing out on an easy way to eat healthier and save some real money.

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