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View Poll Results: For people who still work, do you bring your lunch or buy it?
Bring it 88 64.23%
Buy it 45 32.85%
Lunch? Are you kidding? 4 2.92%
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Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 02:10 PM   #1
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Bring lunch from home or buy?

Ok, so I saw this story in the WSJ today http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2007/05/...nch/trackback/ which begs me to ask the question whether folks here bring their lunches to work or buy it.

I'd like to think that I could bring my lunch every day, but sometimes just leaving the building and going somewhere is a nice luxury during the day. The article is correct in that you're pretty much not going to get lunch for less than $8-9 around here.

What do the folks here do?
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 02:20 PM   #2
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

I come to work so early that I actually bring breakfast and lunch. Once in a while I'll splurge and buy breakfast but never lunch. The price of lunch in Boston hovers around the $10 price range unless you go to MickyD's. I watch the kids here go out to lunch every day then wonder why they have no money to put in the 401k or in some cases to pay the rent.
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 02:22 PM   #3
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

Varies depending on whether there are handy leftovers.
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 02:22 PM   #4
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

I ping-pong between bringing it and going out. Currently bringing it 4 days out of 5, going out the other.

But I've had long stretches where I've said 'screw it' and just gone out every day.

(so I didn't vote in the poll).

- John
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 02:23 PM   #5
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

I do the TV dinner thing at least 4 days out of 5. Fridays, often as not, I grab chinese with coworkers or go to the local coffee bar for a soup, sandwich, and mocha. TV dinners are $.99 to $2.50 depending on the brand I get. Lunches out run between $5 and $7 or so. We're all cheapskate librarian brown-baggers here, which makes it easier.
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 02:33 PM   #6
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

I bring my lunch every day. I used to go out to fast food joints, which were convenient but unhealthy. My wife put an end to that habit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9
I'd like to think that I could bring my lunch every day, but sometimes just leaving the building and going somewhere is a nice luxury during the day.
I agree. Assuming that the weather is halfway reasonable, I always go for a 30-minute walk in the park after lunch.
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 02:36 PM   #7
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

Yesterday I took a client to lunch. Last week, I was at a conference, so all my lunches were paid for. Today, I played basketball at lunchtime and did not eat lunch. Sometimes I bring something for lunch. Sometimes I buy take-out lunch and eat at the office. Sometimes I go out to lunch. Sometimes I go home for lunch.

Usually I play basketball at lunchtime, then do a takeout lunch.

Typical price for lunch around here is $5 to $8 with soup&salad or TexMex on the low end and sushi or thai on the high end.
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 02:45 PM   #8
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Varies depending on whether there are handy leftovers.
That's so true. I've put on literally 25 pounds since I started working here. The kitchen always has coffee cake, donuts, and other crap here. When the weather is nasty we order lunch in too.

Sadly, the food here is never healthy.
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 02:51 PM   #9
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

I never had the time to run out for a 1 hour lunch (it takes that long around here because of the waiting time or distance required except for fast food) so I eat at my desk with food brought from home.

Actually, I usually eat both breakfast and lunch at my desk. I get in at 6:45 am so the best my stomach can handel at that hour is coffee while I drive in to work. My lunch costs about $3.00 from the grocery store and breakfast about $1.00.

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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 02:52 PM   #10
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

Years ago when I first started my career, going out to lunch with my associates was expected and part of networking your way up the ladder. Thirty-four years later, I'm stuck on a middle rung of the ladder and very seldom bother to go out with anyone per se. But the habit stuck and everyday now I drop anywhere from $5 to $8 for lunch at a restaurant or carry-out.

So I splurge on lunches. But I continue to mow my own lawn with a push mower (all 1/2 acre of it), take an "undesirable subway" to work instead of a more expensive commuter train, and save money through coupon clipping and buying in bulk. It's really hard not to have some kind of weakness, n'est ce pas?


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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 03:33 PM   #11
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

Usually bag it for both breakfast and lunch.
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 03:37 PM   #12
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

Somehow, most days somebody bought me lunch.

Not necessarily the healthiest thing to have done.
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 03:40 PM   #13
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

I used to bring my lunch 90% of the time, but now it's more like 10% of the time. Mainly I like to get the heck out of the office during lunch time and often I will hit up Safeway where sandwhiches are $4, so I don't consider it that big a waste of money. Sometimes I go to Subway where lunch will run about $8 for a 12 inch sub. Overall I'd say that eating lunch out instead of bagging it costs me about $50 a month which I consider OK, since I am pretty much a frugal bastard in everything else.
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 03:56 PM   #14
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaredtoQuit
It's really hard not to have some kind of weakness, n'est ce pas?
I think everyone who manages to LBYM long-term has one or two splurge areas. Ours are Cable TV and putting our local Sushi Bar owner's kids through college.
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 04:34 PM   #15
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

I probably go out to eat 4/5 of the time for lunch. I would much rather spend the $5-$8 dollars and get away from work for two hours than stay around and look at a computer screen. I would say most of the people I work with are the same way. The only people that stay at work for lunch are those whom spent there paycheck last month. :
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 04:40 PM   #16
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Somehow, most days somebody bought me lunch.
I have this image of Martha as being waited on in a mahogany lined office.....like The Firm!

OTOH, us docs sometimes have to hunker down for 48 hours or more and survive on coffee and hospital cafeteria food. Equally unhealthy.
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 04:56 PM   #17
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

I typically run at lunch so I either bring my lunch or just skip it.
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 05:07 PM   #18
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

I'd bring home lunch because I'd eat every couple hours all day long.

But we used to fire up a grill and cook burgers/dogs every Thursday with the duty rotating among the command's different divisions. Labor was provided by officers or sailors and profits went to the recreation budget. Every once in a while seafood would show up from the Navy diver's side of the building. (Just a hint-- when it's tako without the "c", we're not talkin' Mexican.) And of course the grease fires only seemed to happen when the firefighting instructors had the duty.

I valued those lunches a lot more for their camaraderie & intelligence-gathering than for the quality of the cuisine. We'd all have a pertinent sea story to share or we'd hear the latest waterfront gossip from the students. You could carefully choose your next sea-duty command from that information.

I'd sit in my office all day and no one would have anything to come tell me. (That's not necessarily a bad thing.) But sit on a sunny wall outside the building with a burger & a smile for 30 minutes, and you'd hear the most amazing status reports. (In moments of great stress or to fill the conversational silence, junior officers & instructors have this unfortunate tendency to blurt out the truth.) Saved a lot of walking around, too!
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 05:12 PM   #19
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

Back when money was tight, I'd brown bag it almost every day. Now, I usually go out twice a week or so, and brown bag or have company-provided lunch the other 2-3 days.

Lunch is typically $3-7 around here (fast food is occasionally an option). I go with my three coworkers every Tuesday to the local Mongolian grill for a heaping plate o goodness (no need to eat dinner that night, and my to-go leftovers provides lunch the next day, too). That "splurge" is $7.50. Time away from work BS-ing with coworkers (also good friends) and bitching about work (in a completely cathartic manner, of course) - priceless.

After adding up all our eating out each month, we average 19 times a month total between DW and I (including when we go out together at night/on weekends or days off), and spend approximately $160/month, or $8.42 per meal. we definitely enjoy dining out a lot, and the small expense above what we would spend on groceries if we didn't eat out doesn't really matter much to us. It's one area where we "splurge".

Brown-bagging healthy lunches counteracts the unhealthy dining out food. Nutrition is the only real barrier to me going out 5x a week.
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?
Old 05-01-2007, 05:13 PM   #20
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Re: Bring lunch from home or buy?

When I was working, I bought lunch everyday. It was a small expense of $6 per day. I figured that bringing my lunch would have cost me at least one third of that, possibly more (so the extra cost was around $80/month whereas I was saving maybe 75 times that much every month). And the lunches I bought at the company cafeteria tended to have good variety and were usually nutritious. I thought it was an OK tradeoff with my time. I did watch the budget on those lunches -- most of my colleagues were probably spending eight bucks a lunch or so by getting a juice or whatever, whereas I always drank water.

Now that I have semi-FIREd, I find that I eat at home much more than I would have ever predicted, since I have time to prepare meals.

Kramer
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