My office has free snacks and food and I do my best to leverage them for my personal savings.
Before I was saving for my mortgage down payment and I used to eat out way too much, I could never
understand why people were eating free peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at my office for lunch.
You must admit, it's not the most appetizing lunch in the world.
Now I can totally understand why and I embrace this great money saving tactic, in moderation.
Let me take you through my personal quest to leverage the freebies at my office for my personal
savings. I'm a hard working employee and I deserve to maximize all of the benefits available
Skip Starbucks, Eat A Free Bowl of Cereal
This one is easy. I used to get a Jamba Juice every day for breakfast. I use Starbucks in the heading
because this is the Jamba Juice equivalent for most people. Why not alternate days and eat a free bowl
of cereal in your office every other morning? My office offers several types of cereal, milk, and even
cans of orange juice. That is a very complete breakfast and good substitute for Jamba Juice. It
also saves some great money because the best way to save is to not spend anything and that's
exactly what we're doing when we eat free office food!
Peanut Butter And Jelly For Lunch
If you can take it, why not eat peanut butter and jelly for lunch once a week? I know it's not the
most appetizing and filling lunch and personally I only end up following this advice once every few
weeks. If you are diligent, however, you can save $10 per meal x 52 weeks per year or $520 dollars per year
by eating peanut butter and jelly at your office once per week (assuming your office provides this
for free). When I eat peanut butter and jelly for lunch, I am often not alone. I usually see at
least four or five other employees doing the same thing. When you see that others are doing this
too, it makes it much easier. As you eat your lunch, just picture yourself in your dream house
that you will own once you have saved up enough money for your down payment.
Take Tuna Home With You
My office offers cans of tuna for lunch. I find it useful to take a can home every now and then so
I can prepare myself a tuna sandwich on the weekend. Also, tuna makes a good alternative to the
peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I sometimes see people preparing tuna sandwiches in the
office. Just think, if you can eat PB&J one day and tuna another each week, you are on your way
to saving $1040 per year. Now, that is some serious savings! As an added suggestion, it's always
good to have a stash of canned foods at your house for an emergency. if your office has free tuna,
why not take one home once in a while for your personal emergency stash? You don't want to go
crazy and make a bad name for yourself at the office, but slipping a tuna here and there should be
Never Again Buy Soda At A Restaurant
My office provides free canned sodas and beverages. I save a lot of money by taking a can home once
in a while and also taking a can to lunch or dinner when I leave directly from the office. Sure,
it's somewhat embarrassing to bring your own coke to the restaurant but think of all the savings!
If you don't want to bring your own soda to the restaurant, I definitely suggest bringing some
home. Then, you can order water when you eat out and have your soda once you return home.
Save On Office Supplies
I would like to preface that all suggestions in this article work best in moderation, especially
this one. The last thing you want to do is make a bad name for yourself at the office because the
majority of people rely on their job for the majority of their income. This is the backbone of
how you will qualify for your mortgage loan and you will want to make sure to do a really great job
at work. That being said, I have found it really useful to sneak home some post-it notes and pens.
Post-its are really expensive and if you bring them home from work you eliminate that expense from
Join Every Free Lunch You Can
My closing tip is for power savers and is my favorite tip. Whenever there is a free lunch at work,
I jump at the opportunity. The food they bring in is much better than eating tuna or PB&J. The
talks and seminars are usually on 401ks and company events. At the end of the day, I think
you win twice here. First you get free food which means big savings and second you get more in tune
with your company which is great for your career. If you attend all of these events you are a team
player which is exactly what your boss is looking for in promoting you to the next level.
For additional ways to save money on food, you will want to check out my article on
saving money by eating
in. For the inspiration to save money,
Education's Book Review of Oseola McCarty's Simple Wisdom for Rich Living is highly