It’s 6am and you are staring at the leftovers in your fridge thinking nothing looks good for taking to work for lunch, we have all been there. At that point it is easy to close the door and shrug off the $5 you would spend to buy lunch. But before you do that, here are a few things to think about:
- It only gets easier to spend. It gets easier to shrug off that $5 or $6 each day for bought lunch and soon you find yourself back in the cycle you are trying to work yourself out of.
- By lunch you will feel like eating what you brought with you. It might not sound appetizing when you grab it right after a big breakfast, but by lunch time you will be hungry and it will sound good.
- It adds up! Imagine taking that $5 or $6 you are saving yourself every day and putting it towards something big. After a year of brown bagging it every day, you would have saved $1300! (That is the cheap side of things.)
- Now imagine if you are like most of the population that spends around $10 on lunch, you would spend $2600 A YEAR just for someone else to make you lunch.
If you’re still having trouble talking yourself into that brown bag lunch, try these tricks to make it more appealing, and remember, just because you’re an adult, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun lunch.
- Give yourself some variety. I like to make large helpings during the week of side dishes (coleslaw, fruit salad, cold pasta salad, etc.) and store them in small containers so I always have a variety of side dishes to take with my lunch.
- Plan ahead. If you know you are ordering pizza one night and won’t have leftovers (leftover pizza, what’s that?), then plan ahead to make yourself a simple wrap or sandwich the evening before so you have something to take.
- Take snacks. I like to buy large bags of pretzels or multi-grain chips and re-package them in small snack bags. Grab a couple of snacks in the morning to throw in with your lunch and you can avoid the vending machine. (I look at it like this: $1 for a giant bag of pretzels from the Dollar Tree, or $1 for a single serving of pretzels from the vending machine.)
- Try a grown up lunchable. If you are out of ideas, just slice up some cheese and lunch meat, add some crackers, fruit, and a dessert. Right there you have a fun (and cheap) lunch (You can even take those little cookie cutters and make yourself fun shapes).
- Get inspired. When I am feeling hum-drum about making lunches for the week, I get on my lunch-box Pinterest board. Seeing all the amazing lunches that other people put together always makes me inspired to make myself a lunch like theirs.
What do you do when it’s hard to pack your own lunch?