Whether you are looking to whittle down your waistline or your budget, one of the best ways to save both money and calories is to bring your own lunch from home every day. You may not realize it but on average Americans spend $10 each time they go out to lunch which means going out to lunch even two times a week will cost you almost $1,000 this year. Additionally, research indicates that a meal in a restaurant often provides as many calories as you need for the entire day which is not good news if you are worried about your weight.
Unfortunately, many of us already feel like we are pressed for time and stressed beyond reason and the idea of having to figure out what to take for lunch and then actually making our lunch seems like a burden we just don’t have time to tackle. But with these healthy lunch tips which are quick and easy to put together, you can cut back on your calories and your costs without causing chaos in your already hectic schedule.
Odds are that you have some kind of salad at some point in the week with your dinner. Simply make a little more than you normally would and package the extra into one or two servings that can serve as the base for a delicious and nutritious lunch. Making a little more than you need won’t really take much longer and you have the start of one or two healthy lunch options. Then, add some protein like left over grilled chicken, a hardboiled egg, or some chopped ham and your favorite dressing and you are good to go.
One of the things many of us like for lunch is the specialty sandwiches made at our favorite deli or sandwich shop. You can still have your favorite sandwich, just make it at home. You won’t actually be using up any more time since you would have had to stand there at the deli while someone else made your sandwich and, since you won’t have to walk or drive from work to the deli, you can have your favorite lunch in less time this way.
Another way to make delicious lunches without having to find any extra time is to make a little more when you cook dinner and package up the leftovers as ready-to-go meals. Just like with the salad, you aren’t spending any more time making the initial meal and the cost for the additional ingredients can be minimal. You can even freeze some of these leftovers so that you aren’t eating the same thing for days at a time.
Make Ahead Meals
One thing that can save time and money is to make your meals ahead of time and freeze them for later use. This works for home-cooked dinners and can work just as well for lunches. Set aside some time on the weekend to prep and prepare your lunches for the whole week. You will save time and money this way and there will never be a day where you are just too worn out to make lunch for tomorrow.