How often do you eat out for lunch during the week? Once? Twice? Every day? Surveys suggest that the average American spends about $20 per week ordering lunch which adds up to over $1,000 per year. That's $1,000 you could be spending on more important things or, better yet, saving.

If you'd like to put that $1,000 to better use, consider bringing your lunch to work instead. Here are some tasty packed lunch ideas that won't leave you hungry.
  1. Tacos from Leftovers - Everybody loves tacos and they make a great packed lunch because you can throw all the ingredients together and enjoy a complete meal. To save money and make use of leftovers, make your tacos from dinner the night before whether it's pulled pork, grilled chicken, or steak.
  2. Protein-Packed Lunch - If you're looking for a quick and easy meal that will fill you up, pack your lunch full of protein. A scoop of tuna salad with a hardboiled egg and a handful of nuts makes for a tasty packed lunch.
  3. Chopped Greek Salad - Who said a salad has to be boring? Throw together some crisp lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and olives. For protein, go for grilled chicken or flaked tuna and add a couple lemon wedges to squeeze in place of dressing.
  4. Hummus and Pita - If you're looking for a fiber-packed lunch that isn't too heavy, slice up a pita and some carrots and fill a cup with your favorite hummus. If you like, you could even go for a duo or trio of different hummus flavors so you have options.
  5. Chicken Caesar Wrap - If you love a good sandwich but you're not looking to pay $10 at a restaurant, throw together your own chicken Caesar wrap using leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken. Layer some chopped lettuce and shaved parmesan onto a wrap with your chicken then drizzle on your favorite Caesar dressing and roll it up.
  6. Easy Pasta Salad - Great as both a main entrée and a side dish, pasta salad is easy to throw together. Cook up your favorite type of pasta and run it under cool water until it's cold. Toss in some chopped veggies and crumbled feta cheese then toss in your choice of dressing (or pesto, if you're feeling adventurous).
  7. Chipotle Burrito Bowl - If you love Mexican food, try making it yourself instead of paying for it at a chain restaurant. Layer steamed rice and black beans with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado. Throw in some corn and cilantro then drizzle with ranch dressing (or chipotle ranch) to finish it off.
  8. Yogurt Chicken Salad - For a healthier version of mayo-heavy chicken salad, sub in some nonfat Greek yogurt. Toss it with chopped chicken, celery, and red onion then throw in some dried cranberries or halved grapes for a hint of sweetness. Serve it up on lettuce or sandwiched between two slices of your favorite multigrain bread.
You don't necessarily need to spend a lot of time or money on a packed lunch to make it satisfying. All you really need to do is put in a little effort to make sure it fills you up enough that you can power through the rest of your workday. Give some of these ideas a try!

Frugal Village