Friday, November 6, 2009

I Just Ate a Trip to Las Vegas

So the wife arrives home last night after a trying 5-day business trip. And the third thing out of her mouth after “hello” and “I’m exhausted” was the snippy-toned question of, ”Did you go out all week for lunch?”

Now I don’t take kindly to such insta-snarky queries after having watched our 19-month old solo for 5 days. By the time he gets settled down to sleep, and I clean up the kitchen, sweep the floor, possibly do some laundry and get some dinner in my stomach, it’s 9:15pm or so. After that, it’s down time for Daddy. The last thing I’m thinking about is lunch the next day.

Yet I begrudgingly recognize that, despite her bitchy (and still unapologetic*) tone, my wife has a point: Buying lunch is costing us money.

Just how much money it’s costing us is what I wanted to know. So I did some quick and rough calculations.

Let’s start with homemade lunches based on store bought items**:

Bread: $3.5 per loaf
Sandwich meat: $11 per/lb. of Boar’s Head turkey or roast beef (I refuse to eat the cheap meat)
Chips: $3 per bag
Fruit: $3 on average (bananas, apples, etc.)
Drink: water $0
Total: $20.50

Per lunch (divided by 5): $4.10
Per month ($20.50 per week x 4 weeks): $82
Per year: ($82 per month x 12 months): $984

I like to go out to lunch in lovely Kent, WA, every so often to break the monotony just like a normal person. Of course I was “bad” and ate out every day this week. But this week was and is an exception. Yet I know multiple coworkers people who buy their lunch every single day. Let’s look at what it costs them to eat out based on a lunch I might eat, which are typical of the places they go to eat.

Chipotle: $8 (burrito and a drink)
Little David’s Deli: $9.50 (full sandwich, chips and drink)
Company Café: $7.50 (entrée, side and drink)
Little David’s Deli: $11 (hot sandwich, chips, drink)
Company Café: $7.50 (entrée, side and drink)
Total: $43.50

Per lunch (divided by 5): $8.70
Per month ($43.50 per week x 4 weeks): $174
Per year ($174 per month x 12 months): $2,088

The difference? $1,104.

Holy cats!

Hmm, what could I do with an “extra” $1,104?

That’s airfare, 2 nights at a decent hotel in Las Vegas (my first choice), plus a little left over for poker. Or 4 rounds of golf (caddie included) at Chambers Bay. Enjoy 4 to 5 dinners for 2 at El Gaucho steakhouse. Attend at least 10 Mariners games with a friend—even paying for their ticket if you're feeling so generous. Consume 9 bottles of Jose Cuervo Reserve La Familia. Anjeo. Play for 18 $60 buy-ins to the Roxy's double stack tournament. A really new and bitchin' gas grill. A really new and bitchin' set of kitchen knives.

Okay, so those are just my little fantasies, but you get the gist.

Oh, and you know how long it takes you to make a sandwich, throw some chips in a bag and grab a piece of fruit?*** Roughly 6 minutes.

$1,104. And that’s just one person. For the two of us that works out to $2,208 per year.

Now doesn’t it make you want to lose your lunch over how much you’re spending on it?

*I’m waiting.
**I do the shopping every week, so these are accurate numbers.
*** A comment on my laziness this week, for sure.

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