Saturday Steals: How to Save a Fortune by Eating Crap For Lunch

Hello, and welcome to another rousing round of Saturday Steals, where what you see is what you get and what you get is cheap or free!

To participate, simply:

1) Steal a steal.

2) Write a post about it on your blog, mentioning that you’re participating in Saturday Steals (you can steal the above image if you so desire), and

3) Add the link to said post to the list at the bottom of this post.


As per the requirements of the central theme of my life [insert theme: Poor College Student], I have not spent much money lately. As much as I am seriously itching for a new pair of boots (I live in Canada, if ever I will have an exucse to wear boots, this is it), or some aviators, or two new winter coats, or a white dress, or a new laptop, or all of the above, I have had neither the time nor the liquid funds to embark on the shopping spree that haunts my dreams.

Pretty much the only money I’ve spent lately has been on car repairs and food.

And those purchases have left much to be desired. Needless to say.

So in keeping with this theme, I thought for this month’s Saturday Steal it would be nice to take a brief sabbatical from my research paper(s) to show you how nicely I have mastered the art of poverty and eccentricity (two main ingredients of being me).

I pack my own lunch for school nearly every day. (I used to pack Poor Kyle’s too, but I stopped when I realised that four days out of the week he ended up throwing them away once he got to work, or worse, letting them sit on his toolbox for days until the contents became a disgrace to the name of leftovers. People like Poor Kyle don’t deserve hand-packed lunches.)

Anyway, it is a fact of adulthood that packing your own lunches saves a lot of money in comparison to buying them from the fast food joint closest to your school/work. I probably spend $3.00 per day on my lunches (which my superstar couponing sister could whittle down to three cents, but then she’s always been the favoured child). Three dollars per day works out to be one thousand dollars per year LESS than what my husband spends on his lunches. He spends more on snacks at the vending machine than I do on my first two meals of the day, but whatever. It’s his money. It’s his arteries.

And yet again, I digress.

Because I feel guilty for spending so much of my husband’s money on my college education, it only seems fair that I spend as little as possible on my own basic necessities.

And now I will show you how this is done, lest you at some point find yourself in just such an unfortunate situation:

Step 1: Buy bread in bulk from Costco. Freeze two loaves while you use the third. Bread defrosts just fine.

Step 2: Prepare the dry parts of your sandwich at home: I add my meat and cheese (forgo the meat and cheese if you’re really poor and just sprinkle some salt and pepper on two slices of bread instead) at home and then squeeze the whole mess into a Ziploc bag every night before school.

Step 3: Prepare your wet toppings. For a poor girl like me, this is limited to dill pickles. If you are fortunate enough to find yourself in a position of greater wealth, you might consider tomatoes, onions, bean sprouts, avocados, or liquid gold. Whatever your budgetary limitations, slice ’em and dice ’em and pack ’em in an airtight/leakproof container for safe and odourless transportation. You wouldn’t want the juice of your liquid gold leaking out of your lunch box and announcing to the world the status of your 401K. Better keep a lid on it. (p.s. Did I mention that the reason you should pack your wet toppings separately is because it will prevent your bread from getting soggy? Nothing makes a poor college student feel worse than she alreay does about her station in life like a soggy sandwich.)

Step 4: Upon finding yourself stuck at school, drag yourself through your morning classes as best you can until lunchtime. Then, find yourself a nice deserted classroom and bunker down. Assemble the components of your sandwich, taking care to leave no inch of bread un-pickled. (Also, if possible, arrange your curvy pickle slices so that they’re spooning each other, because you might just need that kind of culinary pick-me-up at this point in your miserable day.)

Step 5: Enjoy. If you can.

Step 6: Here’s another tip for if you’re eating at home instead of school or work: I have found it incredibly useful to have a DDP chilling on the back deck for liquid refreshment.


DIGNITY: Irretrievable

LONG-TERM VALUE OF THIS EXERCISE: It had darn well better be worth it.


Now it’s your turn! What have you stolen lately?

Add your steal to the link list below. It will be open from now till Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

p.s. This will be your last chance to participate in Saturday Steals for a month—until the first Saturday in January [when, incidentally, we will resume with our regular weekly scheduling of Saturday Steals, hoorah].

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
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7 Responses to Saturday Steals: How to Save a Fortune by Eating Crap For Lunch

  1. Anonymous says:

    Okay, I promise to link up. Let me get up the energy first…

  2. irene says:

    when I was living in France this past year and the one before, I also had to make stuff like to save a bit of money at the beginning…. you get used in the end :)

  3. Ros Holden says:

    Impressive snow! And I thought we had it bad! I want snow that deep to chill my drinks! xxx

  4. Alaina says:

    I contributed twice today…I couldn’t help it…got some great steals this week!

  5. anna says:

    Being poor is kind of an adventure. Don’t ya think?

    Pickles (Dill, of course), especially on a deli sandwich, sound delicious right now.

  6. Maureen says:

    As I choke down my turkey sandwich at lunch today, I will think of you and all the others like us who are saving money and eating a healthy, nasty sandwich. Bon appetit!

  7. Pingback: Archives of Our Lives » Oh Hey.

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