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Food for Thought: Ways to Curb Lunchtime Spending

4530045997_7ac9688fcfPlanning to have lunch out with your coworkers? Chew on this: A poll of 1,005 adults found that, on average, we eat lunch at restaurants nearly twice a week at about $10 a pop – or about $936 annually, according to Visa. (And that doesn’t even include coffee-to-go and carryout.)

If you were to save that $936 per year and invest it at a 5 percent annual rate of return, over the course of 30 years you’d have an extra $69,000 to add to your retirement nest egg. Or do the math yourself by plugging your lunchtime expenditures into this savings calculator to see how much you could sock away if you packed a lunch instead.

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The Visa study also found that men outspend women by about $6 per week ($21 versus $15) on lunch at restaurants. Maybe most surprising, the survey showed that participants with annual incomes below $25,000 reported spending more on each lunch out ($11.70 on average) than those with incomes of $50,000 or more ($9.60 per lunch).

If you’re still working, here are some tips for trimming your lunchtime spending.


Now that lunch is covered, let’s start thinking about the weekend with my Cheapskate Tailgating Tips!

Photo: Inazakira/Flickr


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