Lunch on the Go and On a Budget

I have always been a fan of bringing my lunch to work. When I worked in an office, I brought lunch everyday unless I knew I had a lunch meeting or a lunch for a special occasion. There were people in my office who ate out everyday. There weren’t that many places to choose from which would get boring, and I can only imagine how expensive that was. When I would go to the little grab and go place close to our office and get a Greek salad, it would still be like $8. I knew I never spent $8 a day on my lunches.

Some people have a hard time with the concept of bringing lunch to work. They may think it take too much time in the morning or that the only options are sandwiches. While sandwiches are a great option, there are lots of ways to be creative with your midday meal. You just have to think outside the whole wheat bread. Here are some thoughts.

Repurpose leftovers. I always hear that leftovers are boring. First of all, if you make food you really like for dinner, you should be excited to eat it again the next day. But to prevent boredom, mix it up. Turn pasta in to soup, or soup into pasta. Get creative and you’ll be surprised how fun leftovers can be.
– Look for time savers. A couple weeks ago I picked up a pack of frozen brown rice and frozen Asian vegetables. Combining these for lunch lasted the whole week and cost a total of about $5. This week I combined a box of butternut squash soup with a can of cannelini beans, and some onion and garlic for a hearty, healthy soup that will stretch for the whole week. Cost? About $4 total.
– Prep the night before. Have leftovers? Pack a serving after dinner for the next day while you are cleaning up. Pack what you can for the whole week. Maybe bags of sliced veggies. If you plan ahead, you will set yourself up for success!

As a general rule, food you bring from home is almost always cheaper, healthier and tastes better than take out. Use what you have, include all the food groups and you will have a well-rounded lunch on your hands for little money!


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