Which is better, packed lunch or bought lunch?

Marié and I decided to test out the theory that home packed is more affordable; so last week I packed my own lunch to work and Marié bought lunch. In the end, my packed lunches cost almost R100 less than Marié’s bought lunches! We both also learned one or two things during this challenge, which we’ve set out below. Click here to see our full #LunchChallenge journey on Instagram.

What Carmen learned from packing lunch for a week:

  1. The initial shopping trip might shock you! I did go a little overboard and buy some things that I definitely didn’t need and never ended up packing in, but be prepared to spend a bit of money in the beginning.
  2. It takes some planning. Usually when I get up in the morning, I get dressed and brush my teeth and I’m out the door within ten minutes. This week, though, I had to make a conscious effort to either prep my lunch before going to bed, or make sure that I woke up early enough to prep it before leaving for work. This might seem like a small thing, but procrastination is a bitch and I ended up feeling rushed most morning because I couldn’t get myself to plan ahead enough.
  3. Make sure you pack the right amount. On day one I severely overestimated how hungry I would be, and I packed a wide array of snacks and extras, and at the end of the day I went home with a lunchbox full of uneaten food. After that, I forgot to pack anything extra, so the fruit and veggies I bought ended up sitting in my fridge at home. Even though it’s just lunch, you still need to plan a balanced meal!

What Marié learned while buying lunch for a week:

  1. When you buy lunch, there isn’t much planning that goes into what you’re about to put into your body. When I decided 5 minutes prior to my lunch break what I wanted to eat, I decided on the first thing that popped into my mind. But what I’ve learned is that planning your lunch is not only good for your pocket, but for your body as well. While buying my lunch I sometimes forgot about my heartburn diet and I wished I had planned my lunch better .
  2. I was so shocked when I realised how much money I’ve spent on food,especially compared to how little food I got. Like really 60 bucks and only one pepper cut in half?! I’ve learned that when buying food, you really need to look at food that will be of value. I’ve learned to never again buy anything described as a salad, but really only consists of two pieces of lettuce and one baby tomato!
  3. Never go on lunch shopping with an empty stomach because then your tummy decides what to buy, and not your mind. I was so hangry the one day that I just went for everything Woolies had to offer and my pocket received a big punch in the face.
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