5 Tips for Packing Your Lunch
I’ve been trying to pack my lunch a little more often, partly to save a few bucks and partly because I think I eat healthier when I plan it out in advance. To be totally honest, where I work, lunch is not that expensive. So it’s not a huge money pit, but I know for a lot of people it can really start to add up. I also tend to forget that not everyone even has a cafeteria where they work! So these tips could work for you folks as well. Ready? Here are 5 tips to make packing your lunch a little easier.
1. Plan it out. Obviously, packing leftovers from the night before is an easy one, but this also requires you to think ahead when you’re at the grocery store. You might need to buy a little extra of what you were planning for dinner, so that you really do end up with leftovers. When you’re thinking of serving sizes for dinner, you might have to double it.
2. Portion it out. If you struggle with portion control, make sure you dish out your lunch leftovers as you’re serving your dinner. This will prevent the oops-I-ate-the-entire-pizza situation. As soon as you’re dishing up dinner, go ahead and dish up lunch as well. Stocking up on glass storage dishes in all shapes and sizes makes this easy.
3. Only pack foods you like. If you pack a frozen meal that you don’t really enjoy or leftovers from a dinner that wasn’t very good, you’re not going to be excited to eat them the next day. That means that you’ll be much more tempted by a lunch invitation since you didn’t really want to eat what you packed. You’ll have to be honest with yourself about what you’ll really eat for lunch. Otherwise, it’ll be impossible to stick with it.
4. Don’t go “too” healthy. Yep, it’s a new year, and everyone is trying to pack their lunch in an effort to be healthy. The problem is that at 7:00am when you’re packing you’re lunch, that boring salad with grilled chicken and no dressing doesn’t sound terrible. And then when lunchtime rolls around, you’re swinging by the cafeteria for a buffalo chicken salad to replace the boring one you packed. This goes back to #3. Don’t pack something you don’t like. Make small steps to start swapping in healthier options. That way you’ll actually eat what you packed.
5. Keep “extra” items on hand. Maybe you didn’t have as much leftover pasta as you thought you were going to have, or maybe that frozen pizza looked a little larger in the box than it did on the plate. Keep a few things like fruit, veggies and hummus, apple sauce, granola bars, or other things you can add to your lunchbox to round out skimpy leftovers.
Hopefully these little tips will get you packing! It’s an easy way to save a little money, and eat a little healthier!