So I’ve been at my new job for 3 weeks now, and I still don’t have a badge. That means that someone needs to escort me everywhere. Basically, by security’s rules, I can’t even be unattended in my office without a badged employee or another contractor present. Therefore, I can’t just take a walk in the hallway, and I definitely can’t leave the confines of our office area.
This also means that I can’t go to the bathroom without an escort, which I’ve mentioned before. Luckily, though, people are willing to lend me their badge for a few minutes while I do my business. But I just can’t get caught walking around. Wow, only 30-90 more days of this by security’s estimates.
But what else does this mean? Well, there are no convenient cafeterias IN the building, so we need to leave the building entirely if we want to eat lunch out. Now I could easily just be a pain and go out every day for lunch and then bother someone to escort me back in, but I’d rather not be “the annoying one”. So instead, I pack my lunch.
I am able to work from home Mondays, and I go out for lunch one day at work, so for the other 3 days, I bring 2 PBJ sandwiches and a cup of Ramen Noodles. According to Stacie’s calculations, the PBJs cost me $0.96 total (48 cents each), and the Ramen cups cost me about 40 cents each on sale. That’s a grand total of $1.38 for lunch each day. Granted, I don’t get any meaningful amount of fruits and veggies (I don’t think I would count jelly as a fruit necessarily), so this isn’t the healthiest lunch for me, but it’s cheap and easy.
While at my last contract, I was actually eating out about 4-5 times per week at a cost of about $6 per day. Now I eat out 1-2 days (I tend to eat out on Mondays while I’m home, just to get out of the house) because it’s just too inconvenient to get escorted back in. I haven’t really gotten tired of peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches, but I’m sure I will after another 30-90 days. Until then, they’re a staple of my frugal lunch and I’ve learned to live with the inconvenience.
I should also mention that I work from home on Mondays because I have 6 hours of class on Monday nights now. Classes are about 45-50 miles from work and it’s just way too much hassle to go into the office that day so my boss is letting me work off-site through early May. So I’m also saving $9 every week on transportation (but spending about $6-8 on lunch that day).
So if you want an easy way to save money on lunch at work, try getting a job where you can’t leave without a babysitter following you around or letting you back into the building. Fun stuff.