That’s around £90,000 over our entire working life. Now for many people popping out for lunch means more than eating; it’s a break from sitting in the office, it means getting some fresh air and it gives us a chance to spoil ourselves a little. And that makes pretty good sense.
I take a packed lunch to work most days and I guess this is partly because we never ate out when I was growing up. It was just too expensive and I think this reluctance is still ingrained in me. I even struggle buying my children a drink and a snack when we go out (so now they opt to go swimming with their father as he’s the total opposite!).
Of course, with the busy lives we lead it’s easier to grab a bite then make it in the morning and bring it in to work. But there are so many reasons why doing this (or even eating at home more in the evenings) is a good thing to do even if it’s for just a few times a week. And here’s why:
1. Saves money
The average meal at a mediocre restaurant costs around £15 per person. That sort of cash would get you enough ingredients to make three to four meals at home. Over time, this will add up and who knows you might actually enjoy it! I always cook extra in the evening and that’s what I bring to work for my lunch the next day. On a Sunday, we tend to have a roast which means I have lunch for the next three days sorted – a salad, a wrap and a sandwich (that’s loads of money saved right there).
I know that you can get healthy option in some restaurants – whether that’s a pizza with a hole cut in the middle filled with salad (what is that all about?) or low calorie meals. It’s great that this choice is now readily available but when we do go out, it’s easy to opt for the ones that are higher in salt, fat and calories because they taste so damn good – especially after a glass or two. But when you cook at home you can control all of these things and, of course, save even more money. By the way, I’m not for one second suggesting you never go out - just try and regulate it!
3. Knowing what goes into your body
This was always a big thing for my mum. How can you be sure what’s in your food? Look at the horse meant scandal a few years ago and you’ll know what I mean. I am scrupulously clean and I can’t help but think the kitchens serving the food might not be up to my standards (people, please tell me I’m not alone here!). There is also an increase in allergies and intolerances and by preparing your own food you can cater to all these needs without any of these worries.
Going out lays one temptation after another in front of you, from having the pie instead of the salad to the dessert and brandy with coffee - all of which you’d probably never have at home. So if you are trying to be careful about what you eat, or you want to lose weight, then cooking great, balanced, healthy, delicious food for yourself is the answer.
Not only will you feel better because you are just eating the right food but you’ll spend more time with your family talking about what they like. You’ll cook together and eat together too, which is always nice. 6. Be more creative You will be researching new ideas, become more organised and create meals you never knew you could. And when you do go out you will appreciate it so much more.