A new survey of Americans’ workplace spending habits shows we’re dropping an awful lot on incidentals like coffee and restaurant lunches every year — $3,000 per person, on average.

Accounting Principals, a unit of staffing services company Adecco SA, polled 1,000 US workers last month and found we spend more than $1,000 annually on coffee and another $2,000 on midday meals. It also found men and young workers are more willing to indulge in a $5 coffee than women or older colleagues.

On average, American employees spend $37 weekly for lunch, but men spend closer to $50 per week while women shell out just $27.

Younger professionals between 18 and 34 like their coffee — they spend almost $25 a week on java, $11 more than colleagues who are 45 and older. But when it comes to lunches, half of the younger set planned to save money this year by brown-bagging it instead of going out.

All told, Americans’ total annual bill for coffee and lunch is double the $1,500 a year spent on commuting to our jobs.

But we do have priorities. When asked, workers said they’d rather have comfortable chairs and better computer equipment than fancy coffee or upgraded lunch rooms.

[Reuters]