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3 Cheap, Healthy Lunch Ideas for the Office


If you’re trying to be more frugal, you already know that one of the most horrifying parts of creating a budget is finding out how much you spend on stuff you don’t even enjoy. Take weekday lunches. Many of us buy our midday snack, and eat it huddled over our keyboards. At the end of the week, we’ve spent a tidy sum of money on food we didn’t get to savor. Plus, it probably wasn’t even all that good for us.

The answer, of course, is to bring your lunch to work, but to make that resolution stick, you need to make it easy. A recent article on the Jane Dough inspired me to think about quick meals that are better for us than the standard pizza-or-sub routine.

1. Leftovers.

Had pasta last night? Make pasta salad today. Had chicken? Bring the leftovers in a sandwich, or cut up the leftovers and toss them in a salad. It sounds like more effort than it is. Even if you have to rescue your cutting board from a school project and hunt for a suitable container in the back of your cupboards, you’ll still have a healthy meal in less time than it takes to wait in line at the pizza place the next day.

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2. The Snack Lunch.

Treat yourself to the lunch you always wanted as a kid, and bring baggies of cut-up fruit, cheese, nuts, and so on. Much more fun to eat than a sandwich, and as long as you don’t go crazy on the cheese portion, potentially healthier as well.

3. Veggies and Hummus.

One of my favorite meals in the hot weather, veggies and hummus have the advantage of being super portable. You can buy veggies already cut up, and as long as your office is somewhat respectful about other people’s food, bring in a tub of hummus to keep in the work fridge. Play your cards right, and you won’t even have to do much prep the night before.

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(Photo Credit: sweetonveg/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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