We did the math. It's a lot more than you think!

Anthea Levi
September 07, 2017

You've heard about all the health perks of packing a lunch: A homemade midday meal with a good balance of nutrients can help you eat cleaner, dodge unwanted calories, and power through your afternoon. But if that's still not enough to convince you to adopt this super-healthy habit, consider the perks for your wallet!

Curious how much, exactly, you could save? The average takeout lunch is around $10 dollars, which sets you back $50 dollars a week, and $200 dollars a month. Over the course of a year, that comes to $2,400. Yikes.

The daily cost of eating out really does rack up. Take a cup of soup, for example. You may pay somewhere between $3 and $6 dollars at your local lunch spot. No biggie. But if you whipped up a pot of soup at home, you could get eight servings from just $10 worth  of ingredients. That's a dollar and a quarter per cup.

RELATED: 11 Ways to Save Money on Healthy Food

The same is true for sandwiches. A turkey sammy runs between $5 and $10 dollars at the deli. Assembling it at home will cost you $3 to $5 dollars on average.

And if you’re all about greens at lunchtime, mixing your own salad will save you even more. The $12 dollar bowl you buy at your go-to salad bar can cost only $3 dollars when pick up fresh produce, nuts and seeds at your local supermarket.

The bottom line: If you turn your $10 lunches into $4 lunches, you'd save $1,500 dollars a year (a sum you could drop on a fancy road bike, or a spa trip).

But trust us, we get it—the forethought involved can be a turnoff, and the options can get boring (hello, tuna sandwich). That's why we created our 21-Day Healthy Lunch Challenge. It makes planning your midday meals a breeze. Sign up today to get shopping lists, prep-ahead instructions, and quick recipes delivered directly to your inbox.

Here's how it works: At the beginning of each week, you buy a few ingredients and whip up some basics. Then you’re ready to throw together energizing, delicious lunches on weekday mornings in just a few minutes. Your wallet (and your waistline!) will thank you.