How much cash can you save by taking your lunch to work?

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Editor’s note: Each week, one of Bankrate’s personal finance reporters is reporting on a new way to save and chronicling the savings journey.

First off, I have a confession. We journalists are big on “full disclosure,” so as we go all “foodie” for this “52 weeks of savings challenge,” here goes: I like food. And I like to cook. Whew! I feel better already.

Over the years, that’s been a fairly optimal combination. My wife has said it is one of the things that attracted her to me (and that worked out well). I do virtually all of our family’s grocery shopping and cooking when we’re eating together or entertaining.

I’m absolutely willing to invest time in food preparation, when I have time. However, I don’t like to spend more money than I have to. So, I’ve made a habit of finding stores in the Washington suburbs where I think I can stretch my dollars the best.