Ditch the meal deal: money saving lunch ideas that will make your colleagues envious

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Caroline Stronkhorst in Food & Drink

Last updated: 11 February 2020, 11:31 GMT

Having your lunches out every day is usually an easy option that saves you time in your busy work life. A quick meal deal, toastie, or maybe even a fancy sushi box. But if you add up all these expenses you might be shocked at how much you spend on lunch every week!

You might think pre-packed lunches are boring, but this doesn’t have to be the case at all! Use these tips for a lunch plan that will make your colleagues jealous every day.

Write down all your favourite lunch recipes

Start off with a notepad and list all your favourite foods to have for lunch. Do you usually go for a sandwich or something hot like soup or a toastie? You can get so many ideas from the internet, you can write down enough recipes to have a different lunch every day of the year!

Think of a couple staples you would be happy with at least once a week and put these at the top of your list. Now you always have an idea of what to make. Also keep in mind what 'equipment' you have in your office: if you have a microwave you can bring soups or other hot food.

Invest a bit of money into lunch and snack-boxes 

You might have a cupboard full of old, plastic Chinese takeaway boxes and sure, this will do the trick just fine. But will you really feel excited to get this out at lunchtime? If you invest a couple of pounds into buying yourself a nice lunchbox and a couple of snack boxes, you will feel a lot more motivated to keep bringing your own lunch.

For example, this box has three compartments and comes with cutlery. It is dishwasher and microwave save, so you can even heat up a lunch if you want to.

lunch box

Stock your kitchen with staple foods

To make your pre-packed lunches a success, you need to stock up your pantry, fridge and freezer with essentials. Think beans, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, frozen veggies, eggs and lots more. Have a look at the lunch idea list you made and go from there! If you’re bringing wraps or burritos to work, make sure you have a cupboard stocked with rice and tinned beans. Add some fresh veggies and cheese and you’re all set!

If you always have the basics in the house, you will feel more inspired to pre-pack your lunch.

Have a weekly clear out of your fridge and make leftovers

The great thing about home-cooked lunches is that you can use all the items you otherwise would throw away. Do you have leftovers from last nights’ dinner? Lunch is sorted! If you have lots of veggies that need using up, throw them all in a pan with some chopped tomatoes, rice or pasta and it will almost always work! Less food waste and better for your wallet.

These tips will help you make a success of your pre-packed lunches. Remember to pack lunch and snacks the night before, you might forget when you’re rushing in the morning!