I started a new job last month. At my previous job, I had no problem with bringing my lunch every day to work. My co-workers were all the brown-bagging type, and nobody really took a proper lunch break. Furthermore, my office was not near any sort of restaurant or café, thereby eliminating the accessibility of food out, as well as my craving for it.
The only food nearby was at the cafeteria, which lacked any sort of allure because their menu was so limited and meat based.
For me, it was a no-brainer.
When we didn’t have leftovers, I would bring a sandwich or some other easy-make lunch item so that I didn’t have to venture to the crappy cafeteria for food.
At my new job, my co-workers often don’t bring lunch. They’ll order in and send out a mass email asking whether I want in on the take-out. We take hour long lunch breaks, which are unpaid but built into our day, and we keep each other accountable for actually taking them. It’s expected.
The worst part, is that my new office is within a three minute walk to over 5 of my favorite fast food restaurants. I’m not talking McDonald’s here, I’m talking Wok Box, Menchies, and various other delicious places.
Despite a few slip ups when I first started, I’ve been able to stay on track with brown bagging my lunch and here’s how:
Make it a Habit
It became so easy for me to brown bag my lunch each day by making it a habit at my last job. Because I switched jobs, I needed to establish the habit again at my new office.
If you make a habit to make your lunch in the morning instead of buying it when you are at work, it will become far easier to sacrifice the easy, yet unhealthy restaurant food for cheaper and healthier food from home. Each morning, make it a habit to make your lunch for the day ahead and eat it at work instead of out.
Take Proper Breaks
Many of us fill up our breaks with sourcing food. You have half an hour during your lunch break, and if you didn’t have a lunch from home, you’ll probably spend most of your break – if not all – finding and eating food. We get used to that and if we don’t have to go get food we often feel like we didn’t have a break.
Don’t let brown bagging your lunch cramp your breaks; eat your lunch but make sure to get out and about, if that is what you’re used to. If you still leave the office, you won’t know what you are missing.
Don’t Go Hungry
I know I’m far more likely to buy my lunch if I’m super hungry, even if I’ve already brought my lunch. Hunger brings on cravings, and cravings are the catalyst for a lot of our food spending.
If you know you are starving by the time you go get your lunch from your favourite lunch restaurant, eat a snack an hour before you usually start feeling hungry and it will more than likely keep you on track with just eating what you brought.
If all else fails:
“Forget” your wallet
You can’t buy lunch if you have no way to pay for it. If you can’t stay on track with brown bagging your lunch, “forget” your wallet! I’ve used this method of controlling my spending when I really had an issue with my self control before. Just leave your methods of payment at home, safe and sound, and bring your ID.
Brown bagging your lunch can save you a significant amount of money every month and it’s far healthier, too.