Monday, August 13, 2007

Sac Lunches

I'll be making/packing my lunch here in a minute. I'm not the best at this, but I try. "Hegazelle" is MUCH more dedicated to packing his lunch than I. I wake up late so I don't pack lunch. Or it's Friday and I think I'd like to join the office in eating out so I don't pack lunch. He doesn't miss a day. Perhaps that is why he has managed to drop 15 lbs since we've started the Dave Ramsey plan. You didn't know it was a money & diet plan in one did you?! Well, it can be, depending on your intensity.

Eating out: We eat out a lot on weekends. It's like a celebration or something. Friday night is not a night for cooking so we go out. Saturday afternoon we routinely hit our favorite sandwich shop for lunch. And of course Saturday night and Sunday night dinner. (Now that I write it all out here and look at it, that is a lot of eating out!) What has always helped is that we share everything. We did this before we started our TMM just simply because I can't put that much food down, and these places serve a ton of food.

Sac Lunches: Coming up with lunch ideas that don't get boring (or soggy) can be difficult for me. I have a refrigerator and a microwave at my office, he has to take a small ice chest. I have more options than he does, but I only buy one lunch option per week. So far I've found only about 3 things that work for summer lunches.
1. The Standard Sandwich- this is the one you can't make too far in advance, otherwise your tomatoes take their toll on your whole wheat bread. We don't do sandwiches too often.
2. Wraps- this option is swell since you can make several of them at the beginning of the week and they don't get soggy! Get some tortillas (flavored ones from Trader Joes sometimes give a twist) smear on some low fat cream cheese, throw on some deli turkey, your favorite leafy lettuce and your favorite cheese and you've got a basic wrap- otherwise known as a cheap lunch option.
3. Salads- I think this one is my favorite. I make low fat ranch dressing and also fat free Italian dressing at the beginning of the week. Buy a rotisserie deli chicken and shred it up. Canned tuna is another great "meat" option. Then before the week begins chop up all your salad fixin's. Then before you go to work all you're doing is dumping things in a to-go container. QUICK. That's what I'm all about.

So there you have it. The Gazelle family summer lunch menu. I know there's not much variation, so if you have ideas to share, bring it on. But budget wise, it works. Lunch can smack you every day to the tune of $6+ and that's just your average nasty combo meal. If you and your spouse each spent only that much 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, you'd spend $3,120 a year on gross fast food lunches. And all you'll have to show for it is a lighter wallet and a big belly.


Katie Booker said...

Here's an idea that Phillip seems to like...NASTY but kinda funny!

I cook chicken breasts at least once a week..he like them for leftovers, but what do you do when you are on the road all the time and no microwave is to be found (unless you want to sneak in AM PM and use theirs) put the chicken breast in a plastic baggie...set it on your windshield and by lunch time its warmed up and ready to eat...GAG! lol

PJ said...

That's disgusting-I'm not gonna lie to ya!

Ok-so, I've got to say, gazelle, I'm with you on the lunch thing. To be honest, Shawna usually eats at home for lunch. I on the other hand have, up to this point NEVER taken a lunch to work-in part because I do "business" lunches quite often. But, I now, on those days for which I DON'T have a "business lunch" scheduled, take a lunch-usually leftovers (which is something we didn't have much of before-because we ate many dinners out...not any more-and I have to say, I'm enjoying it!).

Anyways, point is: I'm with the "pack your own lunch" thing. My question for you (who obviously have all the facts at your fingertips-and I say that with the UTMOST respect) is how much, exactly, am I saving each year by taking lunch? I mean, it's not the whole $3,120, because the food we take costs SOMETHING doesn't it? So, help me out here: make me feel good about the money I'm saving here!

SheGazelle said...

Ok, lemme give this a shot. In our case we spend on average $35 a week on groceries. That's breakfast lunch and dinner for basically five days. Just for the sake of the conversation, let's assume 1/2 of the grocery money is spent for lunch items. That's $17.50 a week for lunch. Not a bad deal feeding two for lunch. That's lookin' more like $1.50 each per day instead of $6+.
That may seem small, but it's my understanding that the truly wealthy (who seem to have mastered the art of frugality) can see how these small things become large in the future.
So just for fun, cut the $3120 in half. Find a good investment calculator online and see how much you might have in 10 years if you invested your lunch money each year at 12%!

SheGazelle said...

and KT, Phillip has GOT to get a Thermos! He is going to die of somethin' weird eatin' chicken like that.
Hegazelle heats his leftovers in the morning sometimes and throws 'em in his Thermos- it stays toasty warm till lunch!

Becky said...

Shegazelle, I love your blog. It is very inspiring. keep up the good work. but I have to agree with you and also PJ KT, you really do need to get Phillip a thermos or fix him something else. That is truly NASTY. Paul & I have almost finished the CD's by Dave Ramsey and we are really "enjoying " them if you can say that. It has got us both thinking deeply "which in my case is scary". But Paul is even excited about this. We have always used a budget of sorts but only to pay our bills. not to save or payoff anything. Thanks for sharing your journey and inspiring others to follow. Someday I hope to be weird also.

SheGazelle said...

YAY!! I'm so glad you like my blog, but even MORE glad that you're enjoying the Total Money Makeover!
I know what you mean about your old budget- we had one like it too. It listed our bills, and then the remaining money (and then some money that we didn't have) just seemed to sprout wings and fly away. It feels great to know exactly where it all goes.
Well, it sounds like a bunch of us are well on our way to being weird. We should start having weirdo parties!!

Katie Booker said...

HAHAHAHAHA...You guys are hillarious! I told you it was NASTY!!! Phillip does have a thermos...but he wants that for COLD stuff. SO, we (or I) have decided that he will now ONLY have cold lunches unless he wants to go to AM PM.

If you have a party don't forget to invite me.

We could make HeGazelles Birthday Bash a Dave Ramsey New Converts Bash also! We could have testimony service, take up an offering to send all of us on a cruise...and even ask those who have not accepted Dave Ramsey to repeat the prayer!
Its just a thought =)

PJ said...

"Dave Ramsey, who art in Tennesee, we thank thee for enabling us to live as you live. Our sole desire is to be like you (except for the early onset male pattern baldness)! We ask you to forgive us-for having a car payment (and for buying those two caramel sundae's at McD's last week with cash from the "clothing" envelope). Strenghten us, Dave, and give us courage to face the battles that we know we'll face. We accept you again, Dave, as our Personal Money Guru-and thank you for all you've done. Amen!"

Wow! I feel like a new man!!

(can you hear the shouting music in the background?)...

SheGazelle said...

We ask you to forgive us-for having a car payment (and for buying those two caramel sundae's at McD's last week with cash from the "clothing" envelope).

OMW OMW...**cracking up** THAT is hilarious!!! lololol
whew...**deep breath** good one...I think I know some other readers who'll bust a gut on that one as well!

A.L. said...

It was all so inspiring and interesting until he started praying to Dave and then I lost it! Hilarious! I do the "Sack lunch thing myself most of the time and I hate it when things get me off track. (Like busy with a wedding coming up) That $6 a day adds up! My son is on a misson...his lunch may not cost more than $2 a day....$2.13 and he's irritated. He's gonna be weird someday!

SheGazelle said...

I knew you'd appreciate that prayer, AL!

Katie Booker said...

That was absolutely the BEST prayer ever!!!

I feel the guilt and condemnation coming upon me now as I type!!!...I too have dipped into the "pharmacy funds" to get me a Pinkberry.
Forgive me, Dave!! I will try my best to never do it again...

I feel so much better after confessing my sins

PJ said...


I, uh, tried Katie's suggestion yesterday, and I think I might've done something wrong...

I wanted a hamburger for lunch, so I grabbed a 1/2 lb of hamburger out of the freezer, threw it in a baggie, and put it on my dash on the way to's wasn't very tasty at lunch.

Did I miss something?

Katie Booker said... forgot to season it silly!!!
I think thats probably all it

PJ said...


Ok-I have to admit, you got me with that one!