Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lesson Learned

I am usually pretty disciplined about bringing my breakfast and lunch to the office. I hate spending money in our office café. The food is decent and it’s reasonably priced on the most part. But with us tightening our belts the last few months, I just cannot justify spending the $5 on lunch, when I know I have a perfectly good box of leftovers from home for free.

Today was my day to take Monkey to school and usually that means I’m attempting to finish getting dressed, get him his juice, packing my work bag, and trying to brownbag my breakfast/lunch all at the same time. So today, in my rush, I packed my lunch, but forgot to pack breakfast. It’s not complicated. Usually just a couple frozen GF waffles and some fruit. But being preggo, if I don’t eat breakfast, it’s a really ugly morning. When I got to the office and realized my oversight, I was beside myself. All I had in my secret desk stash was a small container of applesauce that had expired, some peanut butter, and my candy jar with leftover Easter peanut M&Ms. Not good! So I dig through my change drawer and come up with two dollars. Woohoo! This was plenty to get myself the café’s “breakfast scrambler”: two scrambled eggs with two toppings of choice, usually ham and onions. Plenty to fill me up for the morning. It’s been awhile since I’ve eaten at my office café, so my walk had a little bounce as I walked across campus. I was excited! I felt like I was eating out, which N and I haven't done in awhile now. Haha!

And then reality hit as I stood in line. Wow. It really HAS been awhile since I’ve eaten there! Their prices have almost doubled in everything! As I figured out what my $2 could buy me, I was getting disheartened. Eighty cents for a fried egg? Sixty for a slice of bacon?


So I got an over-medium fried egg and one slice of bacon and decided to have a handful of Easter M&M’s after I got back to my desk. As I walked back to my desk, it dawned on me that last week I spent 99 cents on a dozen eggs. A dozen! And here I’d just bought one egg and one slice of bacon for $1.50. Wow. I fully realize $1.50 is not that much money in the grand scheme of things. But when I considered WHAT I got for that amount of money, it hurt just a teensy bit. I’ve had such a high for the last several months on how well we’ve been stretching our grocery dollars. I felt a little deflated.

Sometimes it’s the pain of mistakes and oversights that help us learn. You can bet that tomorrow I will NOT be forgetting to pack my breakfast!


  1. I know this feeling! I know you're not drinking wine right now, but I am always astonished the most at restaurant wine prices. Many times you can buy a whole bottle at the store for the price they are charging for a glass. It is the biggest scam out there!

    It is always less expensive to make it from home, but sometimes the convenience factor can't be beat.

  2. Ouch! (Bright side- there was enough change/$$$ to scrounge up for a little something)

    We have decided that the convenience of our children buying lunches at school is not really that convenient to our budget...and often to their tummies and health. $2.25 will get you a lunch that often times I wouldn't serve at home, and is frequently high calorie, high fat, low nutrient food. Instead Duncan packs his lunch most day (with little variation in contents). I know that he is getting a healthy meal. I know he likes what is packed. I can monitor (somewhat) what he eats. I also know that our budget isn't taking a $45 hit every month for food he more often than not won't eat! (And next year we would have to doulble that amount for school lunches!)

    It makes me feel better that in my $125/week groceries I am including the bulk of ALL our meals...lunch included!