How to Pack Your Lunch

How to Pack Your Lunch

helsinki-lunchbox

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sandwich-clipartPacking my own lunch as well as my husband’s has been a big part of our mission to stay on a budget as well as eat nutritional meals.  Did you know that most sandwiches purchased at Delis and Delicatessens, or office cafeterias are loaded with tons of fat, preservatives, and unnatural ingredients? Not to mention, who wants to spend upwards of $10 on a sandwich, when you can make your own healthy sandwich at home for less than a dollar.  Some great ways to spice up the traditional “sandwich” is to use different types of bread.  Try making a sandwich into a wrap, or using a whole grain tortilla or pita bread instead of  normal bread!  You can also save money by using whole wheat dinner rolls and making a few “mini” sandwiches for your lunch instead of one large sandwich.  We’ve even experimented with sandwiches on English muffins and whole grain bagels.  I mean who doesn’t enjoy a sandwich on a bagel!

We also take a lot of leftovers in our lunches.  It’s way better to eat your leftovers than to toss them, I mean you are just throwing money down the drain when you do that!  If I have extra rice or pasta leftover from last night’s dinner, I’ll just add some seasoning, or a different type of sauce on it, and take it in my lunch.  It’s so much more convenient than going out, or waiting in line for a long time just to get something that isn’t healthy and that you know isn’t worth the price!

Here are some simple steps to help make your lunch making process as easy as possible:

1) Use what’s in your fridge and pantry!  Fruits, veggies, and grains are the first things to spoil in the fridge.  Try to be creative and use what you already have when making your lunch.

2) Don’t be afraid to reheat last night’s leftovers or take out!  As long as you are using heavy duty plastic or glass containers to store your food, and you are reheating it to the proper temperature, you can enjoy leftovers and take out food for up to a week after you bought it.

3) Make a large salad at the beginning of the week and put it into small containers so that you can just add dressing and extra toppings on it each day depending on what you are in the mood for.

4) Chop up fresh veggies and put them into individual containers- these make a great side dish to your sandwich, and they are loaded with vitamins and minerals!

5) Cook up some grilled chicken, or use leftover cooked chicken to add to various dishes throughout the week-either salads, or with rice, or on top of pasta.  The possibilities for lean grilled chicken are virtually endless.

6) Add the occasional snack bar- I like to get the whole grain kind which don’t have a lot of sugar in them if possible.  These are great to keep in your lunch or at your desk so that you don’t get caught when the mid- afternoon hunger starts!

I highly recommend these Rubbermaid containers, they have helped out so much with keeping my lunch and fridge organized:

Also, no matter how desperate or hungry you may be, PLEASE, do not buy these: 

lunchable

They are pretty much just spam and cheez wiz mixed together on a highly salted and overly processed butter cracker and have little to no nutritional value. 

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