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Making lunch or dinner at home instead of "grabbing a quick bite" at work, can easily save you $20 or more each week. Take your lunch to work every day and you'll find your $1,000.00 richer at the end of the year.
If you do go out for lunch or dinner, always ask for a doggie bag/box and save leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. Any food left on the table is money wasted.
By Faylee from Kingsport, TN
Figure it up; if you spend $5 per day for 5 days, you are spending $25 per week for lunches. This amounts up to $100 a month! When you put your leftovers in the refrigerator, or you don't really have enough leftovers for a full meal, don't throw them out, use them for lunch.
For one dollar at the Dollar Store or Famly Dollar or Walmart, you can purchase a three piece plastic place setting that comes with a plastic glass that has a top on it.
REMEMBER: machine soft drinks add up too. If you buy sodas at the grocery store, grab one or two and put it in your lunch tote. Don't forget to grab the snack food you already bought also. Chips can fit in a baggie and an English muffin can too. Happy breakfast, snacks, and lunches!
By Jane from Paducah, KY
This is a recipe that I use for making lunches for myself for work. I typically buy meat that is on sale at the store and kind of mix and match the ingredients according to the kind of meat.
I buy enough meat to make at least 5 lunches. If there is some meat leftover, you could freeze it for cooking later or make more than you need right now and freeze it for later eating. I am partial to chicken, but depending on what is available and other factors (dietary requirements, budget, etc.), you could get other meats, too. Cooking time may need to be adjusted for different meats.
Like I said earlier, I take this chicken with me to work. It saves me money not having to buy lunch out at around $5-6 a pop, but also is healthier for me, as I have food allergies.
By crazyliblady from Pittsburg, KS
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I am starting the new job as a personal assistant hopefully this week. Does anybody have ideas for what I can take for lunch. I have a 1/2 hour and I don't know if there is a microwave. In the last week I have been a baking fool. I have made about 45 different servings of cake and bread for my lunch. But I don't know what I can take every day. I know pb and j and of course tuna but I am at a loss beyond that.
I am the brown-bagging queen! :P People at work always ask what I have in my lunch can because it's always something different.
I suggest you invest in two things: one of those little freezer packs and an insulated lunch bag. Wrap the freezer pack in a face cloth and put it in your lunch bag. I bought both of mine at the local Dollar Store, they're cheap as anything, and I've had both of mine for four years now. Even cheaper than that is a bottle of frozen water, which you can drink as it thaws.
I'm a vegetarian, so I have mostly meatless recipes, but it's super easy to make your own meat sandwiches as well. Here's some thoughts:
- slice up about six slices of english cucumber and put them in a baggie. Add a tiny jar of mayo or cream cheese and two slices of homemade bread in a seperate baggie. This keeps your bread from getting soggy and the cucumber from dryng out. Take a butter knife with you to work and spread the mayo over the bread slices, then add your cuke. Yum! (Works well with tomato too!)
- Faux Chicken Salad Sandwich: drain a can of chick-peas and mash them up. Mix in a little mayo, some honey mustard, some relish and any spices you like. Stir until all nice and spreadable. Store in a little container and take to work with two slices of bread. Spread on the bread and enjoy!
Enough sandwiches. Now let's talk salads! :D
Salads are super simple. Again, the key is keeping everything cool and seperate til you're ready to eat it. It's best to have a little freezer pack or a bottle of ice.
Romaine lettuce or baby spinach is best when going with a leafy green salad -- iceburg lettuce offers you absolutely no nutrients. It's nothing but chlorophyll and water. So get some good leafy greens, and tear them up (after washing, of course) and take them to work in a good sized plastic container. In seperate bags or containers, take some carrots, tomato, celery, cubes of cheese, or anything else you might like. Add your favorite salad dressing (some people even carry bottles around in their purses!) and enjoy!
A fruit salad is an excellent treat, and can actually be added all together before you go to work. In with your romaine lettuce or baby spinach, have some chopped up cantelope, some grapes, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, apple, oranges, etc. and if you need dressing, try either a little bit of yogart (better to dip than to pour on, but that's just my opinion) or even a little sprinkle of sugar and maybe some cinnamon.
Pasta salads are wonderful things, as well. Your favorite tube pasta (think macaroni, penne, rigatoni), cooked the way you like (el dente or softer) and mix it with some mayo, some honey mustard, some relish, some spices and a little bit of dill pickle juice (trust me on that one!). Stir it all up and keep it in your lunch bag with the ice pack/water bottle and you'll have a nice cool pasta salad for supper!
Snacks can be any variety of things: carrot and celery sticks with peanut butter or yogart to dip; granola bars; homemade cookies; bread and butter; apples, oranges, bananas, any other fruit you like; fruit juice; nachos and a little dish of salsa; cheese and crackers; melba toast; pickles.
Just be creative -- as long as you can keep things cool and fresh, lunch is not a problem at all.
You will know the first day if you have a micro. If you do, anything leftover from dinner is great. Make extra servings and wrap and freeze so you can grab something from the freezer for lunch if you are in a hurry, pasta. lasagna, enchiladas, homemade soups or chili, any casseroles. Also things that go well are salads with dressing to be added at work (if you have a fridge at work, just but a bottle of dressing and leave it there,) yogurt, bagels, veggi sticks/slices with or withour dressing to dip, cheese chunks, breadsticks, fruit, yogurt, quesadilla or wrap sandwich, sandwich with deli ham, turkey, roast beef, leftover chicken. Almost anything you ate at home can be eaten at work.
I took my lunch to work for years and had trouble coming up with new ideas also. Some of my favorites I did regularly was chicken fingers using the already breaded frozen ones. I would cook them before work let them cool then put them in a baggie. you could reheat them if you have a microwave or eat them cold which is what I did. I would save the little dips you get from fast food restaurant to dip them in. I also made wraps with tortillas sliced ham lettuce and again I would get the mayo packs from restaurants to put on them because they didnt have to be chilled.
I always take my lunch to work as well and pick-up on
lunch size cups of applesauce, pudding, etc. from the local Dollar Store. I add a fresh banana
and lunch size cups of raviola, macoroni, cheese & crackers which all can be cheaply purchased at the Dollar Store.
Egg salad. Put egg salad in a container and the bread in a baggie. If there's a toaster at work, take an English Muffin instead of bread and toast it, then butter it. I sometimes put a piece of cheese on it.
I love to use Tortillas instead of bread, and you can stuff just anything you want in them!
Hurro I come from the olde country, Russic (Russia). At home we have the salad with vingrette. Mix up some salad leafs and add come preserved lemon slices, chicken, pepper and dukkah from gourmet food shop. dukkah is nuts and seeds all crunched up. then have some beetroot with it and pineapple after too break up the proteins. this is good food!! don't forget to serve with vingrette.. nice
I don't work outside the home but if you will have a microwave, you can fix quite a lot and big variety too! There are many already prepared items you can buy in the freezer or frig section of the store....but to save money, make things yourself. If you like soup, prepare canned soup or heat up homemade soup and put in a wide-mouth thermos....or microwavable container. There are many kinds of salads you can make besides tossed salad. Also, cottage cheese with canned sliced peaches or pears. Bring fruit salad or just a piece of fruit. If you made up a taco salad for dinner then you can bring leftovers with to work. Cheese and crackers is always good. When you fix dinner at night just make extra so you can bring leftovers to work the next day!
a must have is a compartment container, ham,salami 2 eggs boiled 50 grams shredded cheese ,capsicum& onion & your fav dressing all mixed together with lettuce .
Bean burritos or soy crumble soft tacos; you could heat the crumbles the night before and leave your tortillas and cheese at work.
Awesome vegetarian ideas! Thanks a lot!
What I usually do when I'm low on cash and cant buy food at work is cook up something at home the night before and store it in clean/washed plastic recipient. for example: mayonnaise jar for soups, butter recipients for my food, etc. if not you can use your regular microwaveable tupperware.
I like making food with a lot of veggies, not usually meat. My next work-lunch is composed of some oriental dishes i cooked up. you can use the veggies you have at home and just add soy sauce and voila! You've cooked up a nice and low cost oriental dish.
*steamed rice with soy sauce as a side dish
*cut a couple of carrots in small dices or strips and put them and saute them in a pan along with some mushrooms and onions chopped in bigger pieces. then add some washed bean sprouts to it .
You can eat the main dish cold if you wish its still yummy but its even yummier if you heat it up in the microwave :}
Hope this was helpful.