Bringing Lunch to Work Does Not Have to Be Boring!

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One of the simplest ways to save money is to bring your own lunch to work everyday. It is easy to make excuses, “I don’t have time to pack a lunch,” “I get sick of sandwiches,” “I hate leftovers.” Enough already! There are a ton of lunch foods outside of sandwiches that are just as easy to bring to work. There are also many ways to kick your standard sandwich up a notch. Many foods even taste better the next day and are especially easy for cooking newbs!

Chili, Soups & Stews

These meals do not take long to put together. The most time consuming aspect is letting them simmer for 30-60 minutes but you can just watch TV or do pilates while you are waiting.

Chili is nothing other than tomatoes, meat, beans and spices! Put it all in a pot and walk away. Leave it in the fridge and bring it to work the next day. It’ll smell great and taste even better!

Chicken noodle soup is just as easy! I’ve already posted my favorite super-easy chicken noodle soup recipe. It’s simply chicken broth, chicken and veggies. Again, just boil, simmer then eat. Soup reheats perfectly and the flavors usually blend together to taste even better when reheated.

Similarly, beef stew is just beef bouillon, beef, water and veggies. You can season it to your preference. This will be a super easy dinner and an even yummier lunch.

Chili, soups and stews work so well when reheated because it completely eliminates the “soggy food” complaint. It is also very filling and not too messy to eat for lunch. In fact, you probably already purchase soup or chili for lunch at that overpriced cafe down the street!

Salads

Another easy lunch option is a salad. This involves a little bit more prep, but it is pretty easy to tear up some lettuce and put some chopped up veggies in a plastic container, then a side of salad dressing. There’s a zillion different veggies you can add to keep your salads from getting boring and redundant.

Sammiches

Lastly, we have sandwiches. Wait! Hear me out! One very easy way to punch up your sandwiches is by turning it into a wrap! Easy, right?

You can also change up your meats, cheese and, most importantly, the condiments. Instead of buying ham, try prosciutto. Put down the cheddar and try muenster. Also, using a spread like pesto or hummus adds a lot of depth to a lil’ old sandwich!

In Desperation…

Hey, if you’re really crunched for time, just throw a can of soup in your bag and you’re good to go!

Readers, I ask you… how do you keep your “brown bag” lunches from being boring?


8 Comments

  1. ctreit says:

    Most of the times I just pack left-overs which are always different, but I also change things up now and then. I might have cold cuts in the fridge to make a sandwich or I take things like (home-made) tamales from the freezer.

  2. My husband usually packs leftovers from the night before. When I clean up from supper I automatically put a lunch-size portion in a separate container. As a back up – he keeps some of those lean cuisine frozen panini sandwiches in the freezer.

  3. eemusings says:

    I’m trying to build up a stash of easy (although not very healthy) things like noodles and canned/packet food. Which seemed like a good idea until I arrived at work this morning and found my food missing from my desk. GRRR. I don’t know who would’ve taken my stuff between Friday evening and Saturday morning, unless the cleaners thought it was rubbish?

  4. Serendipity says:

    This sounds funny but I snoop through kids lunch at my work. I’m like ooo, pudding cups sound yummy this week. Or, mm, granola bars, haven’t had those in forever. I also find that even though frozen dinners are high in sodium, it’s still way cheaper and healthier then running to McDonalds.

  5. Tearyne says:

    I try to always make sure that there are leftovers from the night before, and I usually pair it with rice. We’re big rice eaters in my house, and I’ve found that curry burgers from the night before, when paired with some veggies and rice, are AWESOME for lunch the next day. Stir fry is just as easy and delicious. I’m a student, and an art student at that, so I have very little time between classes to go make a fast food run every day.

  6. leslie says:

    I am happy that everyone has commented in eating leftovers! Personally, I do this as well which is good discipline to make dinner every night (a real dinner, not just a grilled cheese sandwich!) It actually is easier for me to just portion out some of dinner into a container for lunch, than it is to make a separate sandwich.

    However, there are quite a few people who refuse to eat leftovers! So I wanted to provide other options that are just as easy.

  7. The Rat says:

    Brownbaggin’ it is where it’s at. You save a boatload of cash instead of some food court and you tend to eat healthier. I tend to dislike leftovers for 2 consecutive dinners/suppers, but leftovers are perfect for the following day’s lunch!

    Nice psot.

  8. My work lunches get boring, but I don’t mind. It’s cheaper than eating out. :)

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