Lots of law students at my school go out to eat for lunch everyday. They’ll often head over to the student center to pick up a slice of pizza and drink or sandwich. I’ll admit, the stuff at the union is pretty yummy, but it will set you back about $8 each time you go. If you go out every weekday, that’s about $40 bucks a week. There are roughly 36 weeks in a school year, so $40 times 36 is $1440 a year.This figure isn’t even taking into account going out to eat on the weekends.
Quick tips on how to brown bag it
- Leftovers. This is probably the quickest and most delicious way to brown bag it at school. Make a huge dinner for yourself on Sunday night, and bring the leftovers for lunch for the next few days. You’ll get something substantial and yummy for pennies on the dollar.
- Prepare lunches a week in advance.My lunch lately consists of a chicken breast, mixed vegetables, and lintels. Yesterday, I spent about 30 minutes cooking the lentils and nuking a bag of mixed vegetables. I’ll probably cook some chicken today. Now all I have to do is just dump everything in a container in the morning, and I’m good to go.
- Get a lunch cooler.If you don’t have access to a fridge, make sure you have an insulated lunch cooler bag. I use an insulated lunch box cooler with an ice pack that we had laying around the house. It does a great job keeping my food nice and cool.
- Eat outside.Right now the weather is pretty nice in Oklahoma. I’ve been taking my lunch outside so I can get out of the library. It feels good to be outside and after 30 minutes, you’ll feel rejuvenated.
- Be productive. Another benefit of bringing your own lunch is that you save time. Instead of having to drive over to a restaurant, standing in line to order, leisurely eating your food, and then driving back to school, I just go to my locker, grab my lunch, and eat all in about 30 minutes. I probably save about an hour a day doing this. I can use that time to outline and work on my law review article.
What to do with the savings
So you save $1400 a year. What are you supposed to do with the savings? If you sock it away in an index fund for the next 10 years, you’ll have over $24,000. You could also put that money in a high yield bank account and use it for books the following year.
Don’t forget to enter into my Chambermaid giveaway! Contest ends September 13!