Say no to boring and pocket draining work lunches

21/05/2018   Cassandra Mann, Operations Manager

Have you ever ended up buying your lunch at work because you didn’t prepare yourself to bring it in?

Let’s face it – buying a take-out  lunch every day can be quite the money pit. So I’m here with a money saving tip that’ll take you back to primary school.

It’s time to start packing your lunch.

But packed lunches are boring…

If your packed lunch is boring – you’re probably doing it wrong.

Don’t fall into that trap. Don’t you want to be different? Don’t you deserve better? Of course you do!

Make yourself something that you will look forward to eating; sometimes I look forward to my lunch so much that I struggle to wait until lunch time to eat it!

But what if I get hungry later in the day because in all my excitement I ate my lunch early?

Pro tip: add a soft boiled egg to your meal!

I boil my egg at home the night before – six minutes and 40 seconds in boiling water then I take out and run it under cool water to stop the cooking process. Once it’s cooled, I’ll pop it in the fridge overnight. The next day I’ll place the whole egg (shell and all) into a cup of hot water to warm up, after a few minutes, peel it, and you’ve got yourself a delicious, warm soft boiled egg!

Packing a snack like a soft boiled egg will ensure you are getting the nutrients you need to sate your hunger, that’ll stop you from ducking out for an afternoon pick-me-up.

How do you get inspiration for your packed lunches? I don’t want to get stuck in a rut.

First of all, learn to love your leftovers. Cooking dinner tonight? Make double so you can have some at work tomorrow. I’ll occasionally whip up a bone broth on a Sunday – it’ll last you most of the week, serve as a great base for lots of meals and it can be satisfying snack alternative to cure that 3:30’itis. 

Other than leftovers, Pinterest is my main go to for meal ideas. Sometimes, it can be difficult to find the time to research meal ideas that are going to be healthy, nutritious and delicious - but a quick search on Pinterest will generate endless results with just a click of a button!

The best thing about using Pinterest for your ideas is that other people have already done the hard work for you; just try typing “meal prep” or “interesting work lunches” in the search bar.

Do you have any other go to recipes?

I make ramen noodle soup around once a week, it’s quick to whip up, it’s cheap and it’s delicious!

Image source: Fork Knife Swoon

Mason jar salads are so easy to prepare the night before. The tip is to make your salad upside down. Dressing first and layer your ingredients from the bottom up, putting the veggies most vulnerable to wilting and bruising at the top. When you’re ready to tuck in, give the jar a shake and enjoy!

Image source: Comfortably Domestic

Zucchini noodles (zoodles) are a great alternative to pasta as you won’t feel so full and sleepy after eating them. Pair your zoodles with Bolognese and it’ll keep you full and give you the energy your body and brain need to get you through a busy work day.

Image source: Eat Yourself Skinny

Let’s count the pennies – how much am I actually saving by making my own lunch?

When you add it all up, the cost of going out for lunch is astounding. Say you spend $15 per working day buying your lunch, that’s $75 per week. Across the year that will cost you a whopping  $3,900.

Packing your lunch on the other hand? That’s an average of $3 per day, $15 per working week and $780 across an entire year. That’s a saving of $3,120!

All of a sudden you’re a whole lot closer to achieving your savings goals!

Whether you’re trying to save for a home deposit, your children’s education, or that designer bag you’ve had your eye on – every little bit of savings count.

These goals are what keep you motivated, so make sure you’re always keeping them front of mind. Keeping your goals in focus will make your packed lunches all that more delicious.

Looking for more inspiration or need help keeping your financial goals in focus? Need a budgeting and cash flow coach? Contact The Hopkins Group today.

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