10 Tips for Packing Frugal Lunches

brown bag lunch

I am now working outside of the home four days a week. It is very tempting to eat lunch out with the other office staff. Unfortunately, eating out really puts a damper on my budget. Below are some tips for packing frugal lunches!

10 Best Frugal Work Lunches to Pack

Bringing packed lunches to work can save some serious cash. If you are looking for ideas on what frugal work lunches to pack, then here are a few recommendations.

Make a Soup
Soups are easy to make. There are many available preparations in the store including cream of corn and cream of mushroom. These do not require lengthy cooking; you can just add water to them and heat them in the microwave oven. Keep them warm by storing them in a thermos.

Add Bread
If you are not satisfied with just soup, then bring some bread. If you are health-conscious, buy the whole wheat variety because of the added fiber. Bring a loaf to work and keep it there if you can.

Prepare a Sandwich
An egg, several strips of lettuce and 2-3 slices of tomato, with or without dressing, can be very satisfying. Aside from giving you carbohydrates and protein, this lunch also gives you fiber and vitamins. You can add variety to your sandwich by adding pickles or using chicken strips instead of an egg.

Bring Oatmeal and a Small Carton of Milk
If your workplace has a microwave oven for employee use, then you can bring some oatmeal and a small carton of milk. Oatmeal provides a satisfying meal and, if you add milk, you increase the amount of nutrients can consume and give you more energy for the day.

Prepare a Salad
A simple salad is easy enough to make with the right fresh ingredients. You can also add dressing and pasta if you prefer.

Eat Fruits
The saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” can be applied to work lunches. Try a variety by experimenting with other fruits so you don’t get bored and go for the fatty foods. You can even combine them to create your own fruit salad (apples, pineapples, cherries, melon, etc.).

Bake and Pack
There are different foods that can be baked on the weekend and brought to work for lunch during the weekdays. For example, muffins and cookies can be baked on Sunday, and you can have 2 of them for lunch on Monday. Put them in plastic bags to preserve their freshness.

Make and Bring Granola Bars
Granola bars are made by mixing granola, dried fruit, butter or margarine, forming them into bars, and baking them. Like cookies and muffins, these can also be put in plastic bags. Bring 2-3 bars or the amount that you think you will find satisfying.

Eat Leftovers
The food from last night can still be eaten today as long as it is properly stored and kept inside a fridge. This is one way of making sure you do not waste good food and good money.

Bring Your Own Drinks
Buying fruit juices in bulk and bringing one to work each day is a great way of saving money. If you do not like fruit juices, you can also bring packs of coffee, or you can simply bring water.

These are just some ideas to prepare work lunches. With a little thought, a few cheaper meals a week can add up!

This post was reprinted with permission from NotMadeofMoney.com

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  1. says

    I’m a big fan of the sack lunch – it really saves you a bundle! Luckily, my co-workers also are big on bringing their lunches so that makes it easier. One thing we sometimes do at my office is go in together on items – like a loaf of bread or condiments that we can share. By sharing, we can split the cost and take up less room in the lunch room refrigerator.

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