Why people won't brown-bag their lunch
Most people opt to eat out, rather than saving hundreds of dollars (and calories) by packing a sack lunch for work.
This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.
Sitting at your desk with leftover spaghetti and a salad may not sound like the most exciting way to spend your lunch break. Although it's cheaper and typically healthier than going out and buying lunch, it's still not a popular choice for most Americans.
Filling your belly and saving money seems like a no-brainer, right? Brown-bagging lunch is common personal finance advice for how to save. So why doesn't everyone do it?
Huffington Post contributor Jillian Berman, who saves about $1,550 a year by regularly packing her lunch, wanted to find the answer to that question. She talked to Cornell University behavioral economist David Just, who studies why people choose to eat what they do.
Just told Berman that packing a lunch for work is a more rational choice.
Though it may be less logical, less healthy and more expensive, buying a lunch is the popular choice for most Americans.
Just said there are three reasons for that:
- It's easy. Packing a lunch requires some forethought and time. You have to plan the meals, purchase the items and pack them. Buying a lunch is a quick and easy alternative.
- It's social. The lunch hour is a great time to catch up with friends or co-workers outside of the office. Berman said it can be awkward when people ask her if she wants to go out to lunch. "Usually I respond by pretending to think it’s lame that I brought my own lunch, just so they don’t feel like I don’t like them. Sometimes I propose just walking with the person wherever they’re going, an offer that is typically declined," she said.
- It's freedom. Potentially the most powerful motivating factor to eat out is a sense of freedom. You can eat wherever you want, and order whatever you like. That freedom can also contribute to unhealthy food choices. If you pack your lunch, you're locked into your healthy choices, Just said.
What about you? Do you eat out or pack your lunch for work?
More on Money Talks News:
Ate out once a week and kept a stash of food in the company's commercial fridge for the other 4 days. Had 2 or 3 folks that I chatted with, several I ignored and a few that were lucky I didn't go "Dexter" on their *ss.
Retired now and life is good (and quiet).
My Guy takes most of the left over's (I have caught him a few times going to lunch with co-workers). I work in a small office if I take lunch no one can go with me because the other person has to watch the shop. I tend to run errands at lunch and play my lotto numbers and or prep dinner so it is easy to cook when I get off. I grab a piece of fruit or cheese and crackers from home ALWAYS, never waste money on eating out.
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