Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Survey Finds Canadians Are Blowing Lots of Dough on Quick Lunches

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Survey Finds Canadians Are Blowing Lots of Dough on Quick Lunches

Article excerpt

Quick lunches are quick to drain pockets

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TORONTO - A new survey suggests more than half of Canadians head to a restaurant for lunch at least once a week -- a habit that's costing many Canucks some serious dough.

The poll by Visa Canada suggests that while eating out might be convenient, the price tag attached to that "gourmet" sandwich is not so appealing.

The survey suggests the majority of the 60 per cent of Canadians who eat out once a week spend between $7 and $13 on their meal.

It also suggests the average Canadian who opts to buy a lunch spends about $8.80 on the meal -- and Ontarians appear to eat out the most often, with 20 per cent hitting up restaurants three or more days per week.

Quebecers, on the other hand, seem to make a habit of packing their own lunch more than anyone else, with the survey suggesting half brown bag it every day.

Andrew Rice, a Toronto-based senior financial advisor with Stewart and Kett Finacial Advisors Inc., says it's unreasonable to pledge never to eat out, but there are a few tricks to avoid doing so all the time.

His first tip is to add up the cost of eating out over a prolonged period of time.

After tax, eating out three times per week at $8.80 a pop could add up to about $20,000 after 10 years, he said.

"Spread that out over five years," Rice said. "Is it really that much of an inconvenience (to pack lunch)?"

If that's not enough of an inspiration, he suggests bringing some fruit and a drink from home, and grabbing just a simple sandwich while you're at work.

"Some is better than none," he said.

Lazy lunching can be detrimental not only to Canadians' wallets, but also to their health, according to one nutrition expert.

Aviva Allen, a Toronto-based nutritionist, said it's best to pack lunches whenever possible.

While Allen acknowledges the never-ending time crunch many are under, she offers some solutions to combat the desire to grab a quick bite. …

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