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I need some help in getting ideas for me to bring my lunch to work. I need variety and they have have to be substantial enough that I have the energy to do my workout after work.

Thanks everyone!
 

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I just make extra portions of dinner and DH takes them later in the week. If we get behind on the leftovers, I can pop them in the freezer for later. It's so much easier than planning a whole other menu of special lunch items. We add in yogurt, snack bars, whole fruit and such for his afternoon snack.
 
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We have a challenge thread about brown bagging for lunch, here it is. Please join in! There are lots of ideas here!
http://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/food-challenges/117911-bring-bag-lunch-work-challenge-55.html

I usually make some sort of soup on the weekend and bring that for lunch with either cheese and crackers, maybe some yogurt or a small salad. Just depends on how hungry I think I am going to be. Leftovers makes the best lunch, then you aren't eating sandwiches every day! I am sure you will get some great tips!
 

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Thanks Tervsforme, I didn't know there was such a challenge thread - great ! (I'll have to check the forums closely :rolleyes: in the future!)
 

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If you are going straight to your workout, I would add extra snacks. Banana, nuts, cheese sticks, or peanut butter and crackers. Something like that and agree with the leftovers. That's usually what dh will take to work.
 
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We always use dinner leftovers too. So much more substantial than regular lunch items like sandwiches. Add in some fruit or muffins for a mid day snack.
 
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I agree with everyone who's mentioned leftovers. I also:

~ stock up on canned soup w/ the pull-tab on the lid when it's REALLY on sale...DH likes these because he can be filled up on one can (the little single-serving or hand-held cans are way more expensive than the others). Just remember to take a bowl or large mug and spoon with you!

~ Buy ramen noodles--you don't have to use ALL the sodium-laden flavor packs...Just a little goes a long way. You could also add a bit of peanut butter to the noodles for a Thai-style meal.

~ Make a list of 10-15 main dishes like PBJ, Turkey Sandwich, Ramen noodles, soup, chili, etc.; plus a list of 10-15 side items like apple slices, carrot sticks, cheese sticks/slices, etc.; plus a list of 10-15 treats like leftover Halloween candy, pudding cup (that you make at home), applesauce, etc. Then make sure you have the ingredients on hand for 80% of each list and you'll have a ton of options to pick from for lunch!
 

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I find that packing snacks that have a decent amount of protein and fat keep me going longer. If I have something super-carby like a granola bar, I'm usually hungry in another hour. If I have a boiled egg or a piece of cheese though, I'm good for a few hours. Eggs and cheese have the added benefit of being cheaper, too. Bean salads are also great; they have lots of fibre and provide a slow and steady release of energy.
 
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