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Office Food — Seven Tips On Eating Well For Less

By on May 20, 2011


Anyone who works in an office needs healthy food to give them energy and to provide the fuel for their creativity. Though the temptations are many. They come in the form of Kentucky Fried chicken, Starbucks and other food franchises.

But eat frugally and healthily, and both your body and bank account will thank you. Stay healthy and unafraid of where your next dollar’s coming from and you’ll feel much less stress and much more happiness.

What’s Needed For Eating Well On Less Money

  • Time’s needed for planning lunches.
  • Reusable containers are needed to carry everything to and from work.
  • Access to hundreds of recipes online for just such a meal plan.

1. Make and Take Your Favorite Foods

Prepare and take only your favorite foods to the office. Running short of time? Prepare office food the night before, when time is not rushed. Keep in mind how office food will be and look, when it’s opened at lunchtime. Bread can get soggy, so fillings and the type of bread must be taken into consideration. Fortunately, healthier whole grain breads are usually sturdier and hold up well. Pack accessory vegetables such as tomatoes or mustard or mayo separately and combine them in the sandwich when ready to eat. Don’t forget a few plastic utensils to help with preparation of lunch.

2. Crunch is Good

Leftovers can be used to make a tasty mixed salad, especially vegetables such as green beans. Add nuts and croutons from separate containers as bread products really absorb moisture. Try not to take the same lunch several days in a row. If there’s a microwave at work then heating up an entrée from the night before is economical. Try not to take the same thing more than two days in a row as that can get boring. Add texture and crunch to lunch with pickles and other tasty toppings. If your lunch is a leftover, then add a nice green salad to stretch it and add vitamins.

3. Choose Pumpkin, Not Quinoa

Go vegetarian at least one day a week, and there are many recipes for this meal style available online. Vegetarian food can be made many different ways. Changing up that big pot of beans or lentils with the addition of something new, makes it an entirely new lunch for the next day at the office. Pumpkin is full of fiber and vitamins and pumpkin comes in a can to make a quick and easy and healthy and frugal meal anytime. Add homegrown herbs and everyone at the office will be wondering where the gourmet soup came from.

4. Seasonal Veggies From the Local Farmer’s Market

Go heavy on the vegetables because they are cheap and also very healthy. Towards the end of the selling period is the best time to go, as farmers don’t want to take back leftover vegetables and there are often bargains to be had. Learn how to store each vegetable properly and use in two to three days so that nutrients are at their peak. One great meal for the office is a vegetable and rice burrito with a little chicken or other meat, or beans. If gluten-free tortillas are needed they have brown rice large ones at health food markets.

5. Need A Reason to Brown Bag It?

Just that it’s healthier and you know what’s in the food being eaten, and the money saved can go towards a nice vacation. That’s if anyone at the office asks…

6. Expand Lunch Options

Try this for a few days and if it seems to be working out, then go for a week’s worth on the weekend and freeze them. Some food cannot be frozen so study up on that. Remember to take from the freezer and put into the fridge the night before. That way it will be defrosted by lunchtime. Any leftovers from dinner or takeout can be frozen until some future date. Make certain they are sealed well to avoid nasty-tasting freezer burn.

7. How Much Is Saved?

Calculate on the savings per lunch then multiply by 5 and then by 50 and the savings will be clear. The benefits to health are priceless and can be added to the actual money savings.

Never stress during your first week of brown bagging it. No savings are worth the aggravation and it will be easy after that rookie week. Soon, anyone wanting to make and take their own lunch will feel like a pro and may come up with combinations that will surprise even themselves.

Take snacks to work as well as lunch. This reduces the temptation to hit the non-frugal vending machine, if your lunch is a little light that day. Fruit or raisins or whole grain cereal are all good. Eat with your friends and coworkers even if it’s a packed lunch. Good habits may rub off on others.


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  2. Linda

    6/23/2011 at 11:04 am

    I know the temptation at lunchtime while at work. i work for a gas station that has a drive thru and everytime I open the drive thru window I smell KFC the window faces KFC it is 50 feet from my window. Smells wonderful.

    I try to resist temption, by bringing my own lunch of leftovers.

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