Author Topic: Lunch - salad bar at work worth it?  (Read 5176 times)

NumberCruncher

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Lunch - salad bar at work worth it?
« on: January 22, 2013, 08:51:53 AM »
I have not been bringing lunch from home...but my typical salad is about $1.30-$1.70 at work: baby spinach, a couple cubes of feta, healthy scoop of pine nuts, and a little balsamic vinegar. I usually supplement it with some kind of snack from home later in the afternoon and can sometimes resist the temptation of grabbing dessert or a drink...even when I can't, it's maybe $3.00 total. (Just checked my transaction history and decided I definitely need to cut back on extra cafeteria purchases...)

I also essentially get 6% back - 1% back credit card and $5 for every $100 spent at the cafeteria.

If I give myself a face punch and stick to just the salad/supplements from home - would there be much benefit to packing a lunch? We have a fridge and microwave, so that's not an issue.

James

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Re: Lunch - salad bar at work worth it?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 09:10:02 AM »
I'm in a similar situation, I can get a salad at work for a couple bucks so I have a hard time saving money packing lunch.  The key for me has been to start bringing food that is "free".  Leftovers sometimes get thrown in our house, so bringing leftovers can result in a free lunch.  But if I purchase specific foods for lunch I can't really beat the cafeteria price.

I found I couldn't resist the drink, so I stopped trying and keep a diet caffeine free coke in the fridge for lunch.  It costs me about 25 cents.  Not mustachian, but better, cheaper, and more enjoyable than paying for a drink every couple days in the cafeteria.  The deserts still tempt me, but I only splurge about once a month, and I try to make it something I really like, not just because I'm feeling extra vulnerable to the idea of desert that day.

So I think you have a solid plan, but like me you have to make sure you stick to it or it can revert to the mean of cafeteria lunches, which ain't good.

mlipps

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Re: Lunch - salad bar at work worth it?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 09:25:14 AM »
If it's just for simplicity that you're using the lunch bar and you have a fridge at work, why don't your price the following at the grocery store:

Bag of Spinach ($2-$3 likely)
Feta Cheese ($3-$4)
Pine Nuts (Expensive, but probably will last you a long time, maybe $6-$8)
Bottle of dressing (Bonus points if you make your own)

Take a bowl and a fork to work to keep at your desk.
My hunch is that it's not going to save you more than a couple dollars a week, but if going to the cafeteria leaves you tempted to also buy other things, you're probably better off just taking your own ingredients.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Lunch - salad bar at work worth it?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 09:41:45 AM »
I think you're taking advantage of a great benefit and you should continue to! I know for me, often I end up not using ingredients I intend to use for salads. Plus, there is something to be said for eating a great salad that you didn't have to prepare. Plus, you're getting your veggies daily!

I say it's a win.

Jamesqf

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Re: Lunch - salad bar at work worth it?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 11:17:24 AM »
If it's just for simplicity that you're using the lunch bar and you have a fridge at work, why don't your price the following at the grocery store:

Bag of Spinach ($2-$3 likely)

'Cause as a single person, if I buy a bag of spinach, lettuce, etc at the grocery store, half of it spoils before I get around to eating it.

Quote
Pine Nuts (Expensive, but probably will last you a long time, maybe $6-$8)

Unless you live where I do, in which case you can get a bushel or so for the effort of driving/biking out in the hills & picking them up :-)

bo_knows

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Re: Lunch - salad bar at work worth it?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013, 11:22:19 AM »
Ha, I've had a similar thought about my office's breakfast options.  They offer an omelet that I estimate is 4-5 eggs and can include everything they have (various meats, veggies, potatoes, etc) and it cost's $2.50.  I think if you include all of the additions, you'd be hard pressed to actually make this at home for cheaper, though I do question the quality of the ingredients :)

If we run out of my typical fruit/nuts breakfast in between shopping trips, I'm always grabbing an omelet at work.

RoseRelish

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Re: Lunch - salad bar at work worth it?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2013, 04:44:57 PM »
Wow! I'd be riding that omelet train all the time! Sound fabulous. Are lunch options that reasonable too?

OP, I'd continue to buy lunch at work if your costs are that low. Sounds like a great deal.

GoStumpy

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Re: Lunch - salad bar at work worth it?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2013, 05:10:22 PM »


'Cause as a single person, if I buy a bag of spinach, lettuce, etc at the grocery store, half of it spoils before I get around to eating it.


Unless you bring it to work every day, you'd be surprised!  It spoiled in the past because you didn't eat it and used the cafeteria instead...

Just sayin!

grantmeaname

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Re: Lunch - salad bar at work worth it?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2013, 06:29:09 PM »
'Cause as a single person, if I buy a bag of spinach, lettuce, etc at the grocery store, half of it spoils before I get around to eating it.
You must eat like a bird if you can't finish 16 oz of spinach in five meals.

gooki

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Re: Lunch - salad bar at work worth it?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2013, 01:01:24 AM »
That cheap as hell. Keep paying I say.

bo_knows

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Re: Lunch - salad bar at work worth it?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2013, 06:43:17 AM »
Wow! I'd be riding that omelet train all the time! Sound fabulous. Are lunch options that reasonable too?

OP, I'd continue to buy lunch at work if your costs are that low. Sounds like a great deal.

Not really.  Everything is the typical $6-9 range for a meal.  I sometimes wish they served omelets at lunch :)