It's time to start packing; lunch that is. There is no better time than the present to find ways to save. It just takes a little organization to get started. Whether packing for school or for work here are some suggestions on how to save.

* Pack your lunch the night before so you aren't rushed in the morning. Otherwise you will rationalize not doing it.

* Make enough dinner the night before to have leftovers to take to work or school. Most break rooms have microwaves for heating food.

* Stock up on storage containers and plastic utensils when they are on sale. They can be washed and reused.

* Purchase Styrofoam hinged food trays at restaurant supply stores like GFS. They are economical and can be washed and reused or disposed of.

* Purchase snacks at Wholesale Clubs such as nuts, granola bars, crackers, chips and cookies. Buy large bags of chips or cookies and measure them out in baggies instead of paying more for the prepackaged snacks.

* Keep yogurt, fruit and cut up vegetables on hand for a healthy snack.

* Take your own bottle of pop or water instead of buying one out of the vending machine.

* Save on lunch meat! Buy a boneless dinner ham or spiral sliced ham for sandwiches.

*Shop deli departments in the evening for marked down managers special on deli meat and cheese that has been sliced that day.

*Purchase buns or sub rolls at wholesale clubs.

* Stock up on bottles of water or pop when it is on sale.

The cost of eating out can be double to triple the cost of packing your own lunch. Try packing for 1 month and see how much you can save. For now happy shopping!

Laurie Dixon, TheBAG Lady