Thursday, October 20, 2016

How to pack healthy lunches every single day and save money in the process

Ever since I posted a photo of my organized refrigerator a few months ago, I’ve received numerous questions about how I meal prep and plan healthy lunches for the week.

I decided to write this blog post to share my method of packing lunch and share some tips to help motivate you to pack lunch!

So why do I pack my lunch?

I work in the news industry, and when I enter the station I work non-stop until I leave. There is absolutely no time in the day for me to leave to buy lunch. Heck, some days I’m so busy I don’t even have time to heat my food up in the microwave. So personally, packing a lunch is absolutely crucial to me eating that day.

I understand most people aren’t in the same boat, and they get an hour to leave the office and eat lunch. So in that case, why bother packing lunch?

Packing your lunch has a long list of benefits, but in this blog post I’m just going to focus on the two most significant benefits: eating healthier and saving money.

If you bring your lunch to work, you won’t be tempted to order a pizza from the Hot Box down the street and you don’t have to worry about that bag of corn chips and package of mini donuts from the vending machine becoming your next meal.

If health benefits aren’t enough to motivate you to pack your lunch, maybe extra cash in your pocket will.

Packing your lunch probably costs about $5 per day at the most. Compare that dollar amount to what you spend eating out (probably around 10 bucks, right?) and the savings are really pretty shocking!

Now that I’ve covered WHY you should pack your lunch, let’s focus on HOW to pack a healthy lunch!

I would say without a doubt, the key to packing a healthy lunch is planning ahead.

So I’m going to share what I pack for lunch and how I pack it so that it stays fresh several days later.

This is what my lunch looks like just about every single day – turkey sandwich, salad, grapes, clementine, carrots, nuts, and SkinnyPop popcorn.

On Sunday, I prepare all of my turkey sandwiches for the week. I use sandwich thins for the bread, and I’ve never had any issues with it becoming soggy. I wrap each sandwich in Saran Wrap to keep it fresh and also store it in a plastic container to keep it from getting squished in my refrigerator.

For my salads, I put the spinach and cherry tomatoes at the bottom of a Tupperware container, and then I wrap the veggies that get soggy (cucumber and red peppers) in little Saran Wrap packs so they stay fresh. I also put a paper towel on top to collect any extra moisture. I’m not kidding you, this method keeps your salads fresh for like a week and a half.

By Sunday night, I make sure my grapes are cleaned, taken off the vine, and placed into individual snack bags. I divide my carrots into individual snack bags as well. For me, I know that if I don’t do this before Monday morning, I’ll be too lazy to bother doing it later, and they’ll go to waste.

I like to pack a small pack of nuts because the protein helps keep me full and gives me a little boost of energy in the middle of the workday.

Also, I love packing 100-calorie bags of SkinnyPop. My favorite things about SkinnyPop are the fact that you get a lot of popcorn for 100 calories so you can munch on it for a while, and also the flavor is incredible—it tastes freshly popped like it’s homemade.

The only downside with this style of meal prepping is that I end up eating the same thing just about every day for lunch. Personally, that doesn’t bother me one bit! But I can understand where some people may be turned off by that. If that is the case, my suggestion is to swap out the sandwich with dinner leftovers or make something like Mexican Chicken or Lasagna that reheats well.

I realize this looks like a lot of food, but it’s all pretty healthy and the calorie and fat content aren’t very high—especially when you compare it to a greasy fast food lunch. Also, since I’m going back to school, I’m gone from home for about 13 hours, so I need to fuel up when possible because otherwise I’m famished by the time I get home to eat dinner around 9:30 p.m.

I hope these meal prepping and lunch packing tips helped! Let me know if you have any questions!

1 comment:

Pin It button on image hover