I’m thrilled to announce that Taya from Simply Frugal has written us a great piece on frugal lunch ideas. Here’s a bit about her:
Coupon clipping, menu planning and deal hunting are a few things Taya is passionate about. She lives in Beautiful British Columbia with her husband who supports her vision and strange tendencies for living a debt free life.
She can be found at simplyfrugal.ca where she brings Canadians the latest store deals, coupons, freebies and money saving ideas – daily.
Taya has a great series on menu planning and eating healthy on a budget. If you enjoy this post, you should definitely check out her food-related money-saving tips. Enjoy! -Shayna
Frugal Lunch Ideas
Are you spending a small fortune on lunches by eating out every day? Lunches, when you’re a working person, can be costly. Not only are they expensive, restaurant meals can also be harmful to your health. If you’re looking to save a buck and start eating more healthful lunches, then read on.
With a bit of planning and creativity it’s easy to replace expensive fast food lunches with frugally priced homemade food. Here are some of my ideas to help get your creative juices going:
- Picnic - If you’re used to heading out each lunch break with a group of coworkers to a local restaurant, why not start planning picnics? Head to a nearby park when the weather permits to get a bit of fresh air and catch up on the latest office news. Of course bringing your own lunch is the way to cut costs here!
- Pack dinner leftovers – This is my favourite way to cut lunch costs. I simply make extra dinner so that I will have plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. If you don’t have access to a microwave, consider purchasing an insulated jar to keep your foods hot.
- Purchase or make a cute lunch bag – Nothing makes bringing your own lunch more fun than having a cute and inexpensive lunch bag to hold everything.
- Plan ahead – Set aside an hour each week to cut up fresh vegetables that you can bring easily to work each day. You may also want to bake a batch of muffins or cookies during this time. Or even while you’re preparing dinner, cut up some extra veggies for your lunch!
- Prepare your own – Going along with the previous tip, instead of buying prepackaged granola bars, sliced cheese, cookies, etc, make your own. Not only do you know exactly each ingredient that goes in each recipe, they taste better too!
Here are some easy lunch ideas that I always like to have available in case I don’t have any dinner leftovers, my usual fare:
- Burritos – My favourite is a combination of refried beans, rice, cheese and salsa, rolled up in a tortilla shell then wrapped in tin foil. These freeze really well.
- Samosas – I’ve got a favourite easy recipe you can find here. These also freeze well.
- Salad – I always have a container of that Spring Mix salad on hand.
- Bunwiches/sandwiches – Anything goes!
– by Taya Knight