The Real Cost Of Eating Out During The Work Week
I recently switched office cubicles, moving just a few isles within the same building. My team had become fragmented with personal changes over years, and management was moving people around to place team members within close physical proximity of each other. I noticed that there were three teammates that went to lunch together. Almost like clockwork, at 11:30 am they roll their chairs into the isle and discuss that day’s lunch destination.
They go out to eat for lunch every single day.
When I realized this, I did some quick calculations to figure out how much going out to eat for lunch each day would cost. We have a team lunch once a week which I attend when I don’t have a conflicting meeting. Each time I go with, the average bill is about $10. That would be $50 a week, or over $2500 a year.
Going out to eat every work day would cost over $2500 a year.
Granted, my calculation doesn’t take into account days off, but that’s a substantial chunk of money. I like to think of going out to eat as a special event, not an every day occurrence. I started thinking of things that we could do with an extra $2500 a year:
- Pump up our retirement account
- Go on a family vacation
- Do an extra home improvement project each year
- Save up and buy the boat I’ve always wanted
All of the above give my life a whole lot more value than going and eating (semi) fast food every work day. There are also two other bonuses to NOT going out to eat for lunch during the work day:
- Clean out the fridge : What exactly would I do with my leftovers if I didn’t take them for lunch the next day? Likely, they’d just get thrown away.
- Time : Guess who leaves an hour earlier than these coworkers? Yeah, that’d be me. That extra hour allows me to mow my lawn, get in a workout, or spend time with my son that I may not have the time to do otherwise. An hour may not sound like a lot, but if you think of 1 hour a day multiplied by 5 days a week multiplied by 52 weeks…that’s 260 hours.
Over the course of a year, I have almost 11 more days of productivity because I eat lunch while I work at my desk.
I work hard for my money, and my time is precious. Going out to eat for lunch wastes both of these precious resources.
Do you eat out for lunch during the work week? Have you ever thought of what you could do with the extra time and money instead?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock