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Meal planning for work lunches

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
OK, I know you all will have tons of ideas for this!

I am at a point where I need to both lose weight and save money. One of the things that means is that I need to find a way to bring healthier things to eat to work (i.e. not buy my lunch out and not eat junk food). But I'm woefully short on ideas for what I can bring. It's best if it's stuff I can "cook" or prepare 1-2 times during the week and not every night/morning, as I'm strapped on time as well as cash. And the ingredients don't have to be cheap--just bringing my food versus buying it is going to save me tons.

I eat breakfast at work too, and I have that handled--yogurt and Grape Nuts. I love it, it's healthy, it's reasonably cheap. Lunch is the big issue. I have access to a fridge, microwave, and toaster oven at work, BTW.

TIA!
post #2 of 10
I like bean salads and rice salads for summer---all sorts of stuff falls into this category, and you can make a big thing of it and eat it all week.

Tabbouli, black bean/corn salad, garbanzo salad, wild rice salad.....there are lots of variations.
post #3 of 10
I always make an extra serving of dinner and take it to work for lunch the next day. When I serve dinner at night, I put one serving directly into a lunch container to be sure it doesn't get eaten that same night by someone wanting seconds.

It's like a free lunch.

I reheat it at work using either the microwave or the toaster oven.

I work from 7 to 3 and my work food routine is :

at 7: 4 rice cakes with peanut butter

at 9: a breakfast pita or toast or piece of homemade banana bread or muffin

at 12: leftovers from the night before, sometimes with a fruit.

at 2: some plain yogurt mixed with homemade granola.

My dh laughs at the pile of containers I take to work everyday. I prep it all in the evening, down to the thermos of coffee sitting on the counter, with the filter on top and the prefilled electric teapot.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Wow, you've really got it together! I admire that. I keep my breakfast food at work, which really helps me with that.

Making extra at dinner makes sense, except that my partner and I only eat "dinner" about 3 times a week, the rest of the time we snack or scrounge.
post #5 of 10
what I do for DH is to make something on Sunday that will last 3 days
pp mentioned rice salad/pasta salad etc.
also boil eggs
nuts
cut up carrot/celery sticks, they might dry out a bit, some people store in water

some times I even dish it out into the containers on Sunday, some weeks I dish out in the a.m.

Then if you can manage to do it again on Wed. night, which is tricker, you are set for the week.

DH is Japanese so we do a lot of cooked foods in the lunch, but I think western style salads and sandwiches would be easier.
Kathryn
post #6 of 10
I do "specialty sandwiches" - egg salad, veggie (cream cheese, sprouts, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, almonds, whatever!), also your farmers markets should have a great supply of spreads - I love a jalapeño tomato or spicy raspberry, throw that, some turkey or roast beef, and cheese on it and that is a great sandwich.

Stir frys are great - I eat mine with spagettti noodles (: ) squash, mushroom onion and peanut sauce are my staples - I can make 5 up and eat all week. also great with rice.

Leftovers.... but you don't do dinners....

Make crustless quiche in muffin tins and take a couple to work....

spagetti - same as stirfry but with tomato / pesto sauce!

As sides....

I cut up like 5 carrots, throw them in a tupperware container, fill with water and pull out what I need. Same with cucumbers. When I have sandwiches I ALWAYS bring potato chips - but I have to eat MORE vegetable than chips. a piece of fruit (apple orange, grapefruit, watermelon, grapes...) and always a sweet. A small piece of cake, a couple cookies, candy... If I don't bring something I'll end up at the vending machine!

HTH... and I'd love to see some more ideas!
post #7 of 10
I make tuna and lettuce wraps. YUM! Use Butter or Boston lettuce leaves to wrap the tuna salad in.
My healthy-ish tuna salad is grated carrot, a tiny bit of mayo, minced onion and a little bit of shredded cheddar. Then I just wrap it in the lettuce. It's actually quite filling and low on calories.
post #8 of 10
The best thing you can do to lose weight is add a salad to lunch and dinner. It will really fill you up. Watch portions on other food groups, but step up the fruits and veggies and watch the weight fly off.

I give dh dinner leftovers for his lunch. When I clean up dinner I just pack up his lunch. Very simple. Also, I do like to batch cook as well. I'll make three meals at once. If the portions are not going to be eaten any time soon I freeze them.

Note on salad dressing: Go for a light, low calorie vinaigrette. I buy the kind that has 20-30 calories a serving.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I was so ready. I bought pita and hummus. I made tabouli. Had it all in the fridge, ready to bring to work for lunches this week.

Did I remember it this morning? Of course not.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
I was so ready. I bought pita and hummus. I made tabouli. Had it all in the fridge, ready to bring to work for lunches this week.

Did I remember it this morning? Of course not.
I've been known to put my car keys in the fridge with my lunch.
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