According to a study reported by Delish.com this year, 66 percent of Americans buy their lunch nearly every day, spending close to $160 a month. Put that money to better use and try some ways to brown bag it for savings.
Get creative. The latest trend in healthy, on-the-go eating is “salad in a jar.” Select your favorite dressing – or better yet, make it yourself – and add it to a mason jar followed by salad fixin’s such as onion, carrots, mushrooms and bell pepper. Add the greens last to keep them from getting soggy.
Bring your own ingredients. If your office is equipped with a refrigerator and prep area, purchase lunch fixings for the week and make your salad or sandwich when hunger strikes. The time it takes to do so is likely much less than what you burn driving to the nearest fast food joint.
Mix it up. When I find something I like, I tend to eat it religiously until the very sight of it repulses me. Though I’m currently enjoying three solid weeks of an extraordinary sandwich, don’t be like me; mix it up to keep yourself from binging on cheap, pseudo-Mexican fare. Check the Internet for inspiration when your culinary ideas run dry.
Waste not, want not. When I’m in a rush to get to work, I skip lunch prep in favor of leftovers from dinner. If my husband and I greedily consumed it all the night before, I’ve also been know to grab random items such as ham steak and sugar snap peas. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if your lunch is “put together,” just as long as it’s satisfying and healthy.
Keep it seasonal. No healthy lunch is complete without a hefty serving of fruits and vegetables, but produce is often expensive. Keep costs low by buying items in season, and beware of buying perishable items in bulk unless you can commit to consuming them all before expiration.