I don’t think it’s any secret that you can save oodles of money by bringing a sack lunch to school or work.
I’ve had coworkers that went out to lunch every single day.
Going out to lunch costs at least $5, probably more. $5 a day on lunch, 5 workdays a week, and 4 weeks in a month means that going out to lunch everyday is costing them a minimum of $100 per month. Yikes!
Plus, they’re missing out on how good a sack lunch can be. I get sick of restaurant food pretty quickly and fast food usually doesn’t sound good to me, unless it’s Taco Bell 🙂 .
I like homemade food. And a homemade lunch can be healthier and just as delicious as going out to eat.
How to Pack a Fabulous Lunch
Gather Your Materials:
Nothing fancy. It’s the perfect time of year to buy an inexpensive lunch bag if you don’t already have one. Always go for something insulated.
We try to use reusable containers as much as possible, so you may need to get a few more. I definitely need to get more since between the dirty dishes, lunches, and leftovers, I keep running out.
I don’t like to send silverware from our home set out of the house, because it often doesn’t find its way back. You could buy some inexpensive silverware at a thrift store to send with lunches so that it doesn’t mess up your set if one gets lost.
We have a sharp knife with a cover that I pack in lunches so that we can slice an apple or other things. It’s totally not necessary, but nice to have. Obviously, you can’t pack something like that in a lunch for a kid to take to school, but for an adult lunch, it’s handy.
Know What’s Available:
It’s good to know what’s available at work or school.
Is there a refrigerator to store a lunch bag in to keep things cold? If not, you’ll want a good freezer pack or you’ll have to be careful that what you pack won’t go bad if it gets warm.
Is there a microwave to warm food up? You’ll have a lot more options of what you can bring if you can warm food up, like leftovers or soup.
Sack Lunch Elements:
I try to make sure that all of our lunches have one thing from each section.
It definitely doesn’t always work out that way, but if I can think of these six sections, I’m more likely to make a well-rounded meal that will be more filling and delish.
- Leftovers! So good!: Lasagna, Pizza, Casserole, almost anything works
- Wrap with Chicken
- Salad with Chicken or Deli Meat and Tons of Veggies: Don’t forget to pack the dressing in a separate, small container
- Sandwich: Peanut butter, ham, turkey, or chicken
- Hot Dog: Pack the bun separately so you can warm up the hog dog. Use up those random extra ketchup and mustard packets from the drive through.
- Pasta Salad with Tons of Veggies and Some Meat
- Sloppy Joes: Put the meat in a container to warm up and bring a plain bun to make it up after the meat is heated
- Mashed Potato Bowl: Mashed potatoes, chicken, frozen corn, and gravy all in one container to heat up
- Spaghetti: Put leftover noodles in a container and top it with fresh sauce and some frozen meatballs to heat up
- Any Fresh Fruit: Berries or an apple, pear, or clementine
- Dried Fruit
- Canned Pears or Peaches: In a food storage container
- Raw Veggies: Cucumber slices, green beans, green pepper slices, carrots… You can pack a small container of dip
- Frozen Veggies to Warm Up: Broccoli or green beans and corn
I use Ibotta to get money back on our groceries. They even have rebates for fruits and veggies. If you sign up with my referral link, you will get $10 added to your account when you scan a receipt for your first rebate. I’ve even created a tutorial for exactly how I save money on fruits, veggies, and non-name brand foods.
- Trail Mix
- String Cheese
- Multigrain Chips: Did you know Aldi has chips that taste just like Sun Chips? So good!
- Veggie Straws: Or does that count for the vegetable section? 🙂
- Chips and Salsa
- Granola Bar
- Puppy Chow
- Pumpkin Bread
- Rice Krispies
- Bottle of Water: Reusable, of course. Fill it half full and freeze it the night before. Fill it the rest of the way in the morning and you’ll still have cold water by lunch
- Can of Soda
- Tea Bag or Hot Cocoa Packet: If you have access to hot water and can keep a mug at your desk, this works great.
- Drink Box
And just for fun, I made this little infographic that you can pin for later, when you need some great lunch ideas!
⇒ What do you pack in your lunches? Any special treats?