Off Topic: Lunch Money

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It's an experience most people have or recognise from growing up — the packed school lunch, filled with treats, a sandwich wrapped in glad wrap, a roll-up or two, maybe a chocolate, slices of apple, dried apricot. You get the drill.

Some carry this habit into their working lives, preparing food, storing them in communal kitchens, whether it be at a nearby food court or cafe somewhere. Thing is, that costs a bloody fortune.

Also before we go further, let's just take a moment to appreciate those unwashed, unpeeled carrots. Tasty stuff.

Anyway, I'm curious to know: how much does it cost you to buy your lunch on a daily basis? What do you usually get? Where do you get it from? Do you get a coffee as well? Do you have the kinds of places that will do a special deal after a certain hour?

I haven't been great lately about bringing my own food, although I do have a reputation in the office for ... er ... coffee and yoghurt.

No, really. I'll get some tinned fruit — I've got a jug in the office fridge full of the stuff — and I'll put that in a bowl, lather it with yoghurt, and drop a ton of instant coffee on the stuff and mix it. It tastes better than it looks.

It's also cheap as buggery; about $13-14 for two tins of fruit and a full tub of yoghurt. That's better than going downstairs and paying $12-14 for a single meal that I'll probably feel pretty bad about come the late afternoon.

For those of you who bring lunch from home, what do you like to bring if you have the choice? And how often do you do it?


    Definitely one thing to consider in all this discussion, is that while $10 for lunch every day might not seem like a lot of money, it adds up. It's $50 a week, and $200+ a month. For people working part-time, families living off a single income, or just anyone who is trying to save money, $10 a day on lunch just isn't possible, and for some, even $4 a day for a coffee is an extravagance they can't afford. As a few people have mentioned here too, if you have strict dietary requirements, eating out can also be very difficult.

    I've been in workplaces where "going out to lunch" is pretty much the only social interaction that happens, and for people who can't afford it, they can feel left out, or risk being labelled as antisocial because they've chosen to bring their lunch from home.

    So perhaps, now and again, consider getting some lunch delivered to the office and eat together, or choose to eat outside in a park so people can byo. And make sure that there are other ways for people to hang out that don't involve them spending a lot of money, like a walking group or bring a plate morning tea.

    *climbs down off soapbox*

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