Going to a restaurant every lunch provides a welcome break and can be an exhilarating experience for your taste buds (depending on the calibre of restaurants you have close), but you will soon pay the price in both money and time. Here, we will show you how you can save time and money and still get a tasty lunch.
On average, men spend €6.80 for their lunches; the average for women is €5.40. These are the findings of the latest Nutrition Report, conducted by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, which contains interviews from 1000 employees.
The Typical Restaurant Lunch
Depending on your area, a lunch menu normally costs between €5 and €10. We all know that eating out at lunch can quickly cause costs to spiral, and spending close to €50 per week (€2.400 per year) on lunch seems a lot. However, for the unlucky with no shops close, there is no other option. Canteens, you may say, provide a worthy alternative, but often these are only available at large companies with hundreds of employees (and to be honest, when was the last time the mention of canteen food sent your mind off on a food fantasy?).
Going to a restaurant not only costs a lot of money, but also a lot of time. Walking there, deciding what to have, sitting around, waiting for the dawdling waiter, eating the meal and paying the bill – all this adds up. Going out for lunch in under an hour is highly unlikely. One hour is a lot of time that many people simply don’t have to spare. The consequence: the important lunch break is foregone completely.
DIY: Meal Prep
Meal prep at home is a great alternative that saves you time and money. There are two prep methods: first, you get up early in the morning and pre-cook the food. However, if you’re anything like me, even a 6am Starbucks delivery would struggle to make this happen. The second and easier method is to cook a larger portion for dinner the night before and take the leftovers to the office the next day. This way you don’t have any extra expenses for lunch and you can control exactly which ingredients you use – guaranteeing a tasty lunch for you. Besides the cost savings, you don’t lose time walking from the office to the restaurant. The only walk you have to do is the one to the kitchen.
Is meal prep uncool? Not at all – you are in good company. The Nutrition Report also shows that 57% of the people pack their lunch box several times a week.
Buy Smart At The Supermarket
Not a fan of homemade food or likely to set the kitchen on fire? Then there is another alternative for you: buying fresh lunch. In the supermarket, you will find a lot of meals that are great for your lunch with prices that don’t make your wallet grimace. This doesn’t mean instant noodle soup or a processed meal, but rather a healthy meal that has been freshly prepared. This could be a wrap with chicken breast or a Greek salad mix with feta and olives. A pre-cooked quinoa or couscous salad is also tasty and cheaper than eating at a restaurant.
If you want to prepare something in the office, you could buy the ingredients for a salad to throw together; or if you have a microwave, why not some fresh pasta and a delicious sauce? After a few minutes, you will have a fast, healthy and tasty lunch – healthy for you and your wallet.
Tip: If your company has a HelloFreshGO fridge, you can find many delicious sandwiches, bagels, wraps and salads at a fair price.