Make Your Own Lunches
Hey Bitches! This is another in my “Make Your Own” series!
I’ve talked about making your own salads for lunch before, but I thought I’d do another post in which I talk about bringing your own lunch to work more broadly.
The thing about packing your lunch for work is that, for me at least, it needs to be easy. If it’s not easier than going through the drive thru or heading to the work cafeteria, then it’s not something I’m going to choose.
So, I try to do everything in my power to make things easy on myself. I’ve actually taken a few tips from Pinterest – specifically in the “easy school lunch” type of pin that’s posted by mom’s the world over who are trying to make sure they don’t forget to feed their children. It’s surprisingly helpful.
What can we glean from those kinds of posts? Well, keep reading for my easiest and most favorite lunch packing tips.
Do everything you can on Sunday
On Sunday, I put together 5 breakfasts for the week and do as much pre-prep as I can for the rest of the week’s lunches. I usually eat breakfast at my desk at work since I try to get into the office between 7 and 7:30 each morning. So on Sundays, I grab a 24 oz tub of 1% cottage cheese, a can of peach slices in light juice, and 5 1 cup tupperwares. I divide up the cottage cheese and peaches equally between all 5 tupperwares and I’m set for the week! Bonus, this comes to under a buck a breakfast.
You can also wash grapes, cut up carrots or bell peppers, or portion out tupperwares full of crock-pot soup for grab and go lunches.
Only pack things you really like
If you don’t like string cheese, but every day you pack yourself a string cheese in your lunch, you’re not going to want to eat that lunch! You’ll stare at the string cheese and think about how you could be eating Panda Express instead. So, figure out your favorites and pack those!
I like string cheese and fruit as a snack. So I look forward to that snack each day. I also love La Croix so having a can in my lunch makes me happy. If you really love pine-nut hummus then bring yourself a small tupperware of pine-nut hummus to go with your carrots and you’ll be all set.
Give yourself some options – but not too many
I like to have a few different types of snacks and maybe only one or two main meal ideas for lunches. I’m perfectly okay eating the same BBQ Chickpea Wrap each day or the same Strawberry Goat Cheese salad, but having a variety of snacks to go with my lunches is a nice change of pace.
Lately I’ve picked up some chocolate covered almonds in single serve packs to go with my string cheese. That’s a nice change of pace from the usual snack bag of chips I buy.
Know your munching style
Some people are munchers who like to graze throughout the day. They’ll hit the vending machine or coffee shop for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. If that’s you, then use your lunch box as a way to bring lots of variety for you to graze on. I’ve found that I can make those little boxes that you see at supermarkets that have carrots, celery, pretzels and spinach dip in them pretty easily yourself (and for cheaper than the $5 a pop they are in the store!) and if I add in some diced cheese or a small tupperware of soup or salad I can munch all day and feel satisfied.
Other folks are “one big meal” folks and they’re not satisfied without a pretty hearty meal. In that case, I’d recommend checking out some of the “meal prep ideas” on Pinterest for folks who will put together heartier meals. Things like pre-prepped chicken breasts, rice and vegetable bowls that are ready to pop into your lunch box each day.
Experiment until you know what works
I’ve found that I found my happy lunch place when I started putting together mix and match idea. I keep string cheese, applesauce cups, baby carrots, different salsas and hummuses in the fridge each week. Then when I need to put together a lunch each night, I can pick what sounds most appealing to me. It’s literally grab and drop into the box. Done.
Splurge a little bit
You will be saving money by bringing your lunch to work. Eating out is just that expensive. So if having a pretty lunch box or a fancy bento box makes you more likely to pack a lunch each day, splurge up front to get that lunchbox.
I have one monogrammed with my initials. It makes me happy each time I see it. And it fits all my food for the entire day – including breakfast and lunch.
I also bought some really cute tiny tupperwares for my sauces, dips, and dressings. They are the perfect size for lunches and jazz up boring vegetables and salads.
The easier you make this on yourself, the easier it will be to fall into a routine!
You can do it and you can have a nice lunch each week without being bored, I promise!
Let me know your tips and tricks for making your own lunch in the comments!