How to Pack a Budget Friendly Lunch

Person shopping for a budget-friendly lunch

Brown bag lunches don’t have to be boring or expensive! Packing a delicious and healthy lunch from home is a great way to save money and avoid the temptation of unhealthy (and often pricey) takeout options. Here are some tips to get you started:

Planning for a Budget-Friendly Lunch

Make a Weekly Lunch Menu: Plan your lunches for the week at the same time you plan your dinners. This will help you avoid impulse grocery purchases and ensure you have all the ingredients you need.

Shop Smart: Buy in bulk whenever possible, especially for staples like bread, pasta, and rice. Look for store brand items and seasonal produce, which tend to be cheaper.

Utilize Leftovers: Leftovers are a fantastic way to stretch your grocery budget. Get creative and repurpose them into new lunches!

Budget-Friendly Lunch Staples

When it comes to meal prepping there are a few things you need to have on hand.

First make sure you have good protein sources like beans, lentils, canned tuna, peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs, and cooked chicken are all affordable protein options. It is also important to have vegetables and fruits. Be sure to stock up on a variety of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. Frozen vegetables are a great budget-friendly option and retain most of their nutrients. Lastly, but equally as important is healthy fats. Make sure you always Include healthy fats like avocado, nuts, or seeds in your lunch for satiety.

Lunch Inspiration

Classic Sandwiches: The humble sandwich can be anything but boring! Experiment with different breads, spreads, proteins, and vegetables.

Pasta Salads: Leftover pasta can be transformed into a flavorful salad with chopped vegetables, cheese, and a simple vinaigrette.

Soup and Salad: This is a light and satisfying lunch option. Leftover soup or a simple canned soup paired with a side salad is perfect.

Mason Jar Salads: These are a great way to keep your salad ingredients fresh and separate until lunchtime. Layer your ingredients with the dressing at the bottom.

By following these tips, you can pack delicious, healthy, and budget-friendly lunches that will keep you fueled throughout the day!

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