Almost two-thirds of Irish people bring their lunch to the office to save money
Since the start of 2023, there has been a big push from organisations to get employees back to the office – even on a hybrid basis.
However, while many workers might enjoy the office banter and seeing their colleagues on a more regular basis, the cost-of-living crisis is acting as a barrier for others who are trying to reduce their spending.
New research from food-saving app Too Good To Go revealed that nearly one in five (17%) are spending more on food and drink at work than a year ago, and over a fifth (21%) of Irish people are shunning the office to save money on lunch.
At the same time, only a third take in leftovers, with 35% admitting they take in lunch to reduce food waste at home. Sadly, one in seven Irish people are self-conscious about bringing in leftovers and so avoid doing so. If you’re worried, just follow these guidelines of what not to bring in:
- Half of Irish people (50%) turn their nose up to those reheating fish in the office
- A third of us are not a fan of office workers bringing in pungent sandwiches like tuna or egg mayonnaise
- Bringing in boiled eggs offends almost a quarter of us (23%)
For some, buying lunch at work can be viewed as self-care, as over half (52%) of Irish people see it as a treat and others (14%) get bored of eating their leftovers, preferring to buy lunch out.
Here are some tips on saving money, while also avoiding food waste:
Plan ahead so you only buy what you need
Plan your lunch for the week in advance so you know exactly what you need to buy. Write a shopping list and then stick to it when you’re in the supermarket – try not to be sucked in by impulse buying. Look to be kitchen savvy in your planning too. For instance, planning multiple lunches that utilise the same, or parts of the same, ingredient means that you’re not buying a new set of ingredients for every lunch.
Get creative with your leftovers
Nowadays, many of us are in the habit of wanting to eat something new every day, but don’t be afraid to get creative with adapting a simple dish. For example, you can change a classic Bolognese sauce into chilli con carne, meat pie or even a lasagne. This can be a great alternative to buying lunch and cutting down on your weekly spend.
When in doubt, freeze
Virtually anything can be frozen if you don’t think you’re going to be able to eat it in time. Batch-cooking lunch meals to keep in the freezer for a later date is a great way to make sure your fresh ingredients can still get used while they’re at their best.
Swap your coffee
Small things like getting a coffee before work and during lunch can quickly add up the cost per year. Instead, take advantage of the coffee and tea-making facilities in the office, which are often free. If this is not the case, invest in a travel mug to take coffee in from home to drink in the morning.
Explore your options
Food-saving apps like Too Good To Go are a great way to enjoy local cuisine from restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries and more in your office area. Best of all, they’re at a lower price, as they are saved from going to waste.