Save Money & Pack a Lunch

I promised a post or two back that I would compile some lunch ideas that are quick, easy and healthy.  In the previous post I talked about the money saved from packing breakfast and lunch to work every day and I still stick to that statement.  Don’t get me wrong, it can be a pain in the rear sometimes.  The last thing I want to do when I get home from a long work day is pack and prepare meals for the next day, knowing that I still have dinner to make that night.  Trust me though when I tell you it is worth the extra effort.

It can be hard at times to come up with new ideas for lunches but I have found that keeping things simple is usually the best way to go.  Honestly, I never get tired of having some of the things a couple of days in a row.  When I started doing this a few years ago, that was my main fear.  I didn’t want to get sick of taking the same thing over and over, but I have found that the longer you do this the easier it gets to rework things into different meals.  Now, I almost get excited when I to construct and put things together for the next day.  Plus if you are already making dinner, why not take some of the leftovers?!  Then you really don’t have to do much at all except throw some of the stuff in a fancy container or not so fancy if you prefer.

I love salad, especially in the summer time.  They are cool and refreshing and make a great lunch when you have a little time to sit outside and enjoy them on your break.  There are a bazillion different ways that you can construct a salad and you could take one every day of the week and it would be completely different.  Here are a few I have had over the past month or so:

IMG_2605

BBQ Tuna & Salsa Salad with Fresh Watermelon

– Mix a can of chunk light tuna with 1 tbs BBQ sauce

– Top with some salsa (This happens to be the Trader Joe’s Black Bean and Corn Salsa)

IMG_2855

Mixed Berry & Goat Cheese Salad

– Spinach topped with strawberries, blackberries and goat cheese

– Sugar Free Raspberry Dressing

IMG_3125

Buffalo Tofu & Yogurt Salad

– This is one utilizing leftovers, I had made the baked tofu the night before for dinner and just used the extra to create this salad the next day.  The spicy tofu paired nicely with the cool Greek yogurt.

IMG_2753

Strawberry Spinach & Granola Salad

– Who says that croutons have to be the only crunchy salad topping.  Give this a try!

I don’t always take a salad for lunch I promise!  Sometimes I want something warm and savory and that is where my mini crock pot comes in handy.  Seriously if you don’t own one of these things you should go out and purchase one, like yesterday.  Basically, you just plug it in when you get to work and by lunch your meal is nice and warm.  I have even had success with things like frozen veggie meatballs.  They are always perfectly cooked come lunch time.  These are great for leftovers from last nights dinner.  Trust me….just get one!!!

IMG_2030

Vegetarian Chili

One weekend I made a MASSIVE pot of veggie chili and so the leftovers made a wonderful lunch.  Only thing this was missing was a big ol’ piece of cornbread!

IMG_2963

Shrimp Couscous Marinara

Mix one small bag of salad shrimp with 1 (or more) cups of prepared couscous.  Stir in as much marinara sauce as you like.

IMG_3250

Mixed Squash & Eggplant with Low Sodium English Muffin

This was simply leftover sauteed yellow squash and eggplant from the night before’s dinner.  This was the last english muffin in the fridge and I didn’t want it to spoil so I brought it along as well.

IMG_3168

Spaghetti Squash & Shrimp Marinara

Another way to pack up those leftovers from dinner.

When I’m not taking a salad or something to warm up in my crock pot, these are some of my other options.  This is one of the reasons the laptop lunchbox is so great.  There is portion control, plus if you are sort of a picky eater it keeps all of your foods from touching which is a plus.  All of these meals have been prepared the night before and so in the morning I can just put them in my lunch bag and go…easy peasy!

IMG_2283

Baked Salmon, Spaghetti Squash, Roasted Asparagus & Brussel Sprouts.

Mixed Raspberries & Blackberries

Brownie Brittle

IMG_2420

Tuna & Egg White Salad Sandwich w/ Spinach

Sliced Strawberries

IMG_2824

Leftover Buffalo Roasted Tofu & Celery Sticks w/ Greek Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Raspberries

Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Squares

IMG_2507

BBQ Tuna (1 can tuna drained mixed w/ 1tbs bbq sauce)

Raw Zuchinni Sticks & Mushrooms

Watermelon

Skinny Pop Popcorn

IMG_2870

Tofurky Sandwich w/ Wheat Bread

Cherries

Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Squares

 

See how easy it is to prepare a healthy lunch?  It really takes me fifteen minutes to prepare my breakfast and lunch for the next day.  As you can see, it is a great way to use up leftovers and it will keep a lot of money in your pocket.  I’ll do a similar post soon showing breakfast ideas that are easy to pack and take with you on the go.  I hope this has inspired some of you to start doing this as well.  In fact if you do have some pictures of your packed lunch I’d love to see them and feature them here!  Feel free to contact me.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s