If you're like me, you're not a morning person. You hit snooze as many times as possible and you're usually rushed to get out the door to get to work on time. You haven't made a lunch and decide you'll just grab something quick from a local restaurant.  

Depending on where you work, you may have easy access to a variety of restaurants that makes the temptation to purchase lunch even greater. Add the 'cheap' lunch specials and it becomes more of a habit than a once-in-awhile thing.  Unfortunately, it's not so great for our wallets – let's look at a few numbers to see the impact.  

Looking at 10 different restaurants, I found lunch meal prices vastly ranged with the average person spending anywhere between $8 -$20 - and that sometimes wasn't even including a drink! A typical lunch purchase will cost you about $14. The number may not seem high, but what does that look like over a year?  

Thinking about your lunch routines, how often do you go out for lunch? Once a week? Two – three times per week? More? The more often, the greater the costs: 

1x per week = Approx. $728 annually
2x per week = Approx. $1,456 annually 
3x per week = Approx. $2,184 annually 
4x per week = Approx. $2,912 annually 
5x per week = Approx. $3,640 annually 

The numbers are substantial once you start adding them up. So how do you save?  

The simple answer... pack a lunch. Packing a lunch costs a fraction of the cost of eating out and reduces the temptation to run out and grab something. The money you save can then be put towards something else such as a vacation, your retirement or even into your emergency savings fund. Check out the Pay Yourself First video to see how easy it can be.  

Bringing the same lunch can become boring, which also can increase your temptation to buy. If this happens to you, consider making one of the great lunch ideas found below.     

Packing your lunch the night before will help you save time in the morning and help fight the urge to go out. Even better, you'll still be able to hit that snooze button one extra time - sounds great to me! 

For other money saving tips, be sure to check out our other blogs. And be sure to share your money-saving tips with us on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #MONEYTALK – we may just feature your tip in an upcoming blog!