Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A different kind of eating contest

This post over at Give me Back My Five Bucks has me inspired. It’s a lofty goal that I always have, to bring my lunch to work instead of eating out—but it’s also an intimidating goal (I have to PACK my LUNCH every DAY for the REST OF MY LIFE?!?!). I usually compromise by saying if I bring lunch three times a week, I can eat out the other two days, but that’s a slippery slope that I usually wind up sliding down.

This is a much more doable goal: to bring my lunch to work every day until March 31. That’s only 29 work days. And of those, six are Thursdays (my traditional Lunch Ladies’ outing—I will end up buying once during this challenge), one is a book club meeting day (lunch typically provided—will have to check if that’s still the case), and I will be taking two, possibly three, vacation days. So that leaves only about 20 days that I actually have to think ahead and bring food to work with me.

The harder part will be to stay away from the vending machine in the afternoons. Sometimes I just get a CRAVING for some peanut M&Ms. I’m going to work on it, though. This weekend, I’ll hit a nice little produce stand I found in my new ‘hood and see if I can get some apples or something—or just get some granola bars from the grocery store. If I’m going to be totally realistic, the only way to stop going to the vending machine is to make arrangements and have something else on hand to snack on, since I’m going to get hungry whether I pack or not.

This is good timing, too, because my morning bagel vendors just today raised their price on my standard breakfast by 25¢ (a 50% increase!) and I won’t feel as bad about continuing to buy from them if I am saving money on food at other meals. (I can’t go anywhere cheaper for my bagel with butter—they just now became competitive with the other vendors in the area).

4 comments:

  1. I'm really good at bringing my lunch everday. Pretty much because I love pb&j and could and do eat it everyday. However, I do fall into the trap of hitting the vending machine. My advice is to bring something with a little chocolate in it, granola bars and trail mix are my favorite. Sometimes I can eat an apple and still crave those peanut m&m's (they are so good!).

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  2. how about buying the stuff u crave for (m&M's, peanuts et al.) in bulk at costco so that way u can always have something in your purse when u get the munchies?

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  3. I like the idea of trailmix, asgreen--seems a little healthier than M&Ms but gets the chocolate fix in.

    anonymous, I don't have a Costco membership and I've really been weighing the pros and cons of getting one. I live alone and have pretty much no storage space, so I'm not sure I can benefit enough to save the $50 over a year's time--and bulk M&Ms have problems other than storage!! It's not a bad idea to stock up, and I've been trying to do that at the regular grocery store for now--but I really should do an analysis to see if that's actually saving me money.

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  4. in that case... will power! it's definitely hard not to spend money on lunch. i used to waitress and after working a huge lunch rush i just want to sit down and buy food at work (50% discount for employees) and multiply that to about 4-5 times a week and yikes!!!

    good luck with your eating contest!

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