With the average worker having an hour for lunch, there is the temptation to spend that time in a local coffee shop, spending a small fortune on coffee and a sandwich. Or, for the time-strapped, it’s a quick grab and go meal deal from the local supermarket. With most meal deals costing £3, the total quickly adds up.
Making a packed lunch is a great way to save money and stay healthy. Whether it’s a sandwich for work or a salad for school, there are many ways to add some excitement to your lunch time. We look at several ways to shake things up and save money along the way.
1. Use your leftovers
Have a Sunday roast? Add the chicken to a Caesar salad with some fried chorizo for that added twist. Roast beef baguettes can liven up the sandwich option; with the choice to add lettuce for some extra crunch.
2. Ditch the crisps
Crisps have long been a staple of the packed lunch. There are a variety of flavours that leave you spoilt for choice. But what if there was another option for that crispy crunch? Think about wholegrain crackers and crispbreads instead. If you are worried about it sounding too bland, why not add some slices of cheese to the crackers and hummus for the crispbreads?
3. Try something warm
Lunches don’t always have to be cold! In fact a hearty homemade soup with a slice of crusty bread is sure to keep you warm during the winter months. There are plenty of recipes to try; so why not set yourself a challenge to try as many combinations as you can? You’ll be counting down the minutes until lunchtime!
4. Sandwich alternatives
There is nothing more comforting than a classic sandwich combination: ham and cheese, tuna and sweetcorn – the list goes on! But why not ditch the sandwiches and opt for a Greek-inspired stuffed pitta or southern fried chicken wrap? These are simple to throw together and can bring that little bit of sunshine on a grey afternoon.
5. Re-think the sweet treat
Throughout the day it is easy to reach for the biscuit tin. But what if you prepared a tempting treat for your lunch instead? Muffins are a great alternative and can be homemade in advance, so there’s an excuse to have one every day of the week.
6. Homemade sushi
If you really want to up the ante, then making your own California rolls and tuna maki is sure to impress those at the office. Sushi is healthy, low calorie lunch and there are plenty of videos on YouTube to get you inspired. Many department stores now sell a bento lunch box – so there is no excuse not to get started on your sushi skills right now.
7. Don’t forget the Tupperware
Investing in a sturdy set of containers is the essential tool for your lunch kit. There are many great sets to invest in, which will cover all meals from soups to salads. The trick is to find what works for you.