Buying lunch takes major bite out of Canadians' income: survey
In this Monday, March 1, 2010 photo, Wendy's advertises a meal in Miami. (AP Photo / Lynne Sladky)
Published Monday, July 9, 2012 2:33PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 9, 2012 4:30PM EDT
A new survey finds that Canadians' habit of eating out for lunch, rather than brown-bagging it, is taking a major bite out of their disposable income.
The survey from Visa Canada finds that a whopping 61 per cent of Canadians choose to buy their lunch once a week or more, spending between $7 and $13 on average.
Another 9 per cent appear to have richer tastes, spending between $14 and $25 on their lunchtime meal.
"That can add up over the course of a year. With a little understanding of budgeting and a lot more brown bags in their briefcases when they head out the door each morning, it is easy to trim this unnecessary and costly expense," said Melissa Cassar, head of corporate and public affairs at Visa Canada, in a release.
The study also found that Ontarians eat out for lunch more frequently than residents of any other province, with 20 per cent puchasing lunch three or more days per week.
Nationally, on average, 15 per cent eat out for lunch at the same frequency.
Only 34 per cent of Ontarians never eat out for lunch.
Quebec was at the opposite end of the spectrum, with a full 50 per cent packing a lunch every day, followed by 43 per cent of Albertans who opt not to purchase a lunch.
British Columbia residents weren't far behind, with 39 per cent saying they packed a lunch every day.
The bottom line, according to Visa Canada, is that most Canadians have the potential to add significant cash to their savings account if they simply pack a lunch a little more often.
"If you think about a brown bagged lunch costing about $2 to $3 per day, compared with this survey's national average of $8.80 for those who buy their lunch, getting into the habit of spending an extra 10 minutes each day preparing a sandwich or packing leftovers will put more money back in your pocket every week," Cassar said.