Have you ever wondered how much your lunch costs you over time?
Visa just released the results of a survey the company did this summer that tracked how much people spent on lunch throughout the year. On average, respondents reported spending an average of $53 a week on lunch – adding up to $2,746 per year. For out-to-eat meals, they spent about $20 per week, or $1,043 per year.
Nat Sillin, global head of financial literacy at Visa Inc., said, ‘At home or ordering food, small choices have a big impact… most people may not realize that they are spending over $50 a week on lunch.’
Students reported eating out for lunch more than any other group — $27.47 on average — while retirees averaged $13.92 per week. Homemakers ate out less than other groups but reported spending $17.60 a week.
The survey also found that Americans in the South eat lunch out most often and spend $1,240 dining out every year. The second highest, Northeasterners, spend $1,001 per year dining out for lunch. Midwesterners are the most frugal when it comes to lunch; they spend $866 every year.
Coffee, eating out, cigarettes, and convenience store trips can be some of those smaller purchases we don’t miss on a daily basis, but can add up to a lot of spending over time.
How to save
Here are a few tips to help you save on food throughout the week:
- Planning your meals at the beginning of each week can help you save on last-minute lunch buys.
- Save 30% on your groceries by shopping at Aldi.
- Here are 15 ways to cut your grocery spending in half.
Consider the cost of going out to eat versus bringing your lunch or eating at home. At $20 per week, that’s $80 per month. Invested into a Roth IRA each month for 30 years at 8%, that adds up to nearly $110,000. Think about it: You could buy yourself a brand new Tesla!
Hopefully you’re investing much more than that every month for retirement. But it just goes to show how a little bit of money can really make a big difference.