Budget Paleo: Work Lunches

Even after 10 years of being a lawyer, I am budget conscious (thanks, exorbitant student loans).  Monday, I went to work without packing my lunch.  Ugh.  At noon, I went downstairs to find something good, though any decent options in downtown Miami would cost at least $10.00.


However, after walking around the block, I ended up back at my office building feeling disgusted with the neighborhood options (“No, sorry, we can’t substitute the deep-fried tater tots for anything else, not even with an up-charge”).   My favorite Greek spot had a line out the door.  Plus, I suspect that they sneak sugar into their food. I always get The Sleepies after eating there.

Moreover, we have zero control over cooking oils and sourcing of the foods when eating out (you think the boiled egg on your salad is from a pasture-raised hen? Not a chance).  So I got in my car, and drove to the grocery store.

Here is what I bought:

  • 5 single serving cans of sardines, ranging in price from $2.09 to $2.59 each (skinless and boneless, which do cost a bit more but I don’t enjoy chewing the grainy little bones).
  • Organic shredded carrots: $2.69.
  • Organic grape tomatoes: $2.99. 
  • Organic baby spinach, large container: $5.99.
  • One quart of plain, unsweetened kefir: $3.89.

The above is enough food for 5 days of easily-assembled lunches, and the total was only $27.41, which works out to be just $5.48 per lunch.  This is a lot less than anything I can pick up from a restaurant, it’s tax free, and healthy!

I do have a fridge at my office, where I can keep my grocery bag full of supplies.  That way, once I bring the bag of supplies on Monday, I have NO excuse the rest of the week.

Note that I also stock a bottle of extra virgin olive oil in my desk (not factored into the price, above).  I only buy olive oil when it goes on sale, and then I stock up.

Any other budget ideas?


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