Although it’s been said breakfast is the most important meal of the day, there may be a new contender rising. Recent studies are showing that employees who take a designated lunch break are more likely to be productive in the afternoon and avoid long-term burnout. Breakfast has clearly been shoved out of its once-coveted role of “most important meal,” and the reign of lunch has begun.
Lunch’s sudden rise to popularity hasn’t come without one or two negative side effects. The most worrying of these is how often Americans are dining out for lunch per week and how much they’re spending when they do. If you’re looking for an alternative to eating gourmet sushi five times a week, the best option is one that’s been with us since we were children: the brown bag lunch.
When you’re actually paying for one lunch, it might not seem that expensive. Eating four lunches out a week at $10 each has to be cheaper than throwing away $50 on groceries at the start of the week, right? Actually, studies have shown that eating out for lunch can drain anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500 per year from your budget, depending on where and how often you go out to eat. That might seem like an outrageous amount, but the math is pretty clear. Eating out four times a week, with each meal costing about $12, for 48 working weeks in the year, gives us a total of $2,304.