When trying to save money, bringing packed lunches to work is a good place to start.

While it may sound like a hassle to pack your salad, sandwich or leftovers for work every day, the savings can make a lot of difference when you are trying to save for a big holiday abroad.

Let’s do the maths. It costs an average of $10 to buy a chicken salad, a tandoori chicken wrap or sushi takeaway in the city. This would cost $50 a week and $2400 a year.

According to Mona Meighan, author of the book, “What Are You Doing for Lunch” packing your own lunch can cut your weekly lunch costs by up to 80 per cent.

Even if you spend $10 a day on lunch twice a week, this would amount to $20 every week or just a touch over $1000 a year.

As Finder.com.au’s spokeswoman Bessie Hassan said:

“Bring last night’s dinner leftovers to work, make a sandwich or a salad and save at least $10 per day.”   

Nick, an IT executive, is saving to buy his first home. So he cooks his lunches to last the whole week by doing a major cook-in on Sundays.  He then heats up his meal in the office microwave for lunch every day.

According to ING Direct website, Australians spend an average of $129 a month buying lunch at work. So ING suggests forming a Lunch Club, where members take turns supplying packed lunches, one week at a time. Each club member contributes $20 a week and the person “on duty” pays for and brings in lunch for all members during the allocated week.

The benefits of a Lunch Club is that it allows for bulk-buying from supermarkets which works out “heaps cheaper.’’ You are also less likely to waste food and you will never leave your lunch at home again.

ING has also partnered with nutritionist Amelia Phillips to come up with a few lunch ideas which are cost-effective, healthy and delicious at the same time. Some of her suggested recipes include basil, avocado, ricotta and tomato sandwiches, asparagus, pumpkin and goats cheese mini frittata to black quinoa, spinach and apple salad. Another bonus of bringing your healthy, packed lunch from home is that you might even shed a few kilos too.

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