Quick tip: Cheap & Easy Pre-made Lunches

I often forget my leftovers at home.  So I end up at work without food.  And then I purchase overpriced food.  I’ve managed to come up with a handful of ideas to prevent this.  And 90% of the time, this does work!  This also saves me so much time at work.  I don’t need to spend a lot of time figuring out what to eat and/or prepping it.  It’s pre-made so I can get right back to work (or for those who have a set lunch time, you can enjoy more of it).  This also will work for those at home.

Lunch Option 1 – A week of salad

img_6758So for some people, they just can’t do this.  But you should.  You need to eat your greens.  I keep it simple, but you can make it more complex, if you like.  For me, the point of lunch is to taste “decent” but take little or no time.  If I have to work for it, it won’t happen.

So I stop at the store on my way to work on Monday morning.  I purchase cheese, a leafy green and either specifically cook up some chicken the weekend before, or purchase a packet of grilled chicken.  I keep in my desk chia seeds, olive oil and vinegar.  Why that?  Chia seeds for the extra health benefits.  But I choose olive oil and vinegar as my dressing because it’s light and it doesn’t go bad.  It also doesn’t have to be refrigerated.  How many times has your salad dressing gone bad in the company fridge?  Never again for me.

I leave everything in the containers and just mix it up each day.  Takes less than 1 minute!

Lunch Option 2 – Pasta back up

pasta-214867_1920.jpgSo I learned this from this awesome blog: http://frugalitygal.com/2014/03/freezer-cooking-024-microwavable-pasta.html#_a5y_p=1430589

Basically, freeze pasta into daily portion sizes, freeze smaller sized pasta sauces and pick a different sauce every day!  For me, I usually just take a jar of sauce to work and use it all week with my frozen pasta.  What I like about this is that I can completely forget a lunch and this can be my back up.  And then, as Frugality Gal describes, it’s super cheap too!

Lunch Option 3 – Frozen Burritos

So from the same awesome blog:  http://frugalitygal.com/?s=burritos

Here, I usually use these for breakfast.  I might snack or have a coffee on my way to work, but I usually eat more at work, before lunch.  These little burritos help keep me filled up till lunch.  But, if I forget my lunch, and I don’t want to spend money on food, it’s so nice to have these in the freezer as a back up.  And these are soooo much healthier than the kind you buy in the frozen section at the store.  Don’t buy those!  They are so bad for you!  These are cheaper, better tasting and better for you.

Lunch Option 4 – Truly Pre-made Salads

salad-jar-1244573_1920.jpgThere are millions of blogs on how to make a pre-made salad in a mason jar.  The idea is simple, make the salad the night before and take to work.  This is a cool option because you probably have a lot more options for your salad and can mix it up a lot more this way.  But, you have to remember it in the morning.  And when I’m getting ready, getting my kids ready, taking them to school and trying to remember all my stuff, it just doesn’t happen half the time.  So just keep this in mind.  I prefer Option 1 because I pick up the ingredients on the way to work on Monday so there is no way to forget my lunch.  But again, this allows for more options without bringing a whole store to work.  Whatever works for you!

If you have more cheap & easy lunch options you use, let me know!  I’m always looking for more ideas!

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