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$aving Challenge

Here’s an example of how packing bento lunches can contribute to saving money!  Of course this challenge included non-bento occasions such as coffees and dinners but you get the idea!    How much could you save?

Saba Man and I have a pact to not spend any $$$ on take-out food (including coffee) and dining at restaurants for the entire month of February!  Even though we already save money by  packing  bento boxes, I’m going to include those dollars for this challenge to get an  overall sense of how much we ’ve saved by cooking our own meals.  The amounts are conservative and  approximate.

 Let’s see how we do…

$$$ Saved by Day

Feb 1.- $20.00, 2 coffees and 2 lunches. (It’s good start)

Feb 2.-$35.00, 2 coffees ,2 lunches, 2 dinners and tv snacks (bahn mi, bubble tea and other deli goodies).  2 day total savings of $55.oo so far!

Feb 3.-$20.00, 2 coffees, 2 lunches, That’s  a total of $75.00 we’ve saved and it’s only been 3 day!  Wowee!

Feb 4- $20.oo,  2 coffees, 2 lunches.  I’ll have to adjust our savings later because Saba Man had a dinner engagement with co-workers.   Update: Saba Man only spent 3 bucks for a Coke.  The celebration was prepaid. Total saved so far this month is $92.00!!!

Feb 5-$20.00, 2 coffees, 2 lunches.  It’s adding up and I’m amazed at how much money we are saving.  $112.00 Woot!

Feb 6- $30.00, 1 coffee, 2 weekend lunches at restaurant.  Total is up to $142.00

Feb 7-$50.00, 1 coffee, 2 breakfast, 2 lunch and Superbowl take-out.  That a running total of  $192.00!

Feb 8-$20.00, 2 coffee, 2 lunches. $212.00 to date!

Feb 9-$20.00, 2 coffee, 2 lunches brings us to a total of $232.00 saved!  Woot!

Feb 10-$20.00, 2 coffee, 2 lunches…running total is $252.00.  :)

Feb11-$43.00, 3 coffee, 2 lunches, 2 dinners (we carpooled yesterday and normally stop for dinner) That brings us to $295.00

Feb 12-$20.00, 2 coffee, 2 lunches. Wow, we’re at $315.00!

Feb. 13- $25.00, Weekend lunches and coffee brings our saving thus far at $340.00

Feb.14- $70.00, Valentines Day breakfast and Dinner, $410.00

Feb15- $25.00,  coffee and Holiday lunch, $435.00

Feb.16- $20.00, back to work-2 coffee, 2 lunches, we’re hanging in there!  Sub total is $455.00

Feb.17- $20.00, 2 coffees, 2 lunches.  $475.00 saved!!!!

Feb.19- $25.00, 3 coffees (tough morning), 2 lunches. $500.00  *proud*

Feb.20- $25.00, weekend brunch $525.00

Feb.21-$10.00, coffee and icecream (summy day) $535.00

Feb. 22- $25.00, coffee and lunches $560.00

Feb. 23-$20.00, coffees and lunches $580.00 with 5 more days to go.

Feb. 24-$20.oo, coffees and lunches $600.00 so far!  whoo hoo.

Feb. 25 $20.00, 2 coffees and 2 lunches $620.00 and counting…

Feb.26-$20.00, 2 coffees and 2 lunches $640.00 is the final total for February savings! 

We went on a mini vacation the final 2 days of the month and had to spend money on meals, etc.  The good news… the money we saved helped us replace our 20 year old refrigerator!

11 to “$aving Challenge”

  1. So encouraging to watch those small-to-medium savings add up! Go Debra :) I’ve found that bentoing in general has reduced our going out to dinner bills–I’m just more excited about cooking and exploring new recipes than ever!

  2. Iris says:

    Me and my bf have tried this out as well tho we’re not very good at sticking to it. On an average day, we spend 4€ on breakfast for both, and about 9€ on lunch for both as well, but that’s because I have a school cafeteria that allows me to get lunch for 2.2€.
    So, a day it would be about 13€. In 5 days we’d spare 65€ (89.31 US $)
    We’ve been cutting on lunches but breakfast is hard since we take around 1:30h from home to school/work and by then, he’s already hungry so we’ll spend money anyway, unless I plan for his snacking between meals, which can be quite hard to do.

  3. Wow, you guys save almost $300 in 10 days:) That’s really good. I love to save money too. hehe.

  4. esther says:

    that’s awesome! great job!

    where do you guys live that 2 coffees and 2 lunches = $20?

  5. Margot says:

    Well done!!
    I’m packing my husband lunches when he work outside house, usually 4 times a week. Same kids are getting packed lunches, I usually only post the one one for little one but most of the time in the morning I pack tree boxes ;)
    We hardly ever eat out, last time when landlord was painting our kitchen but I still need to do some cuts on money we spend on food… I must buy more local and seasonal ingredients instead of spending twice more on Caribbean or Polish groceries when we live in UK.

  6. Susan says:

    You go girl!!! That’s some awesome savings!

  7. Lia Chen says:

    Great job! Well done Debra ;)

  8. bentobubba says:

    nice work saving so much money! my husband and I are pros at thrift. another approach popular in the States is “eating down the fridge” which is a commitment to not buy any food or go out to restaurants for a month, and instead use up stuff from your fridge, freezer and pantry. it is amazing how much Americans stockpile and then ignore. we tried this and saved about $800 one month and got back a bunch of freezer and pantry space! yay

    • hapabento says:

      “Eating down the fridge”, I. Love. It. Sounds like another great challenge for us and I’ll call it “Bento down the fridge”. It’s like uber-bentostash! Thanks!



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