Packing a lunch for work every day can be tedious. Not only that, but it's also difficult to come up with new meal ideas - packing sandwiches day after day is simply not an option. Luckily, you can do a few things that will make preparing for lunch not only easier but more enjoyable. Here are a few tips to try when assembling your meals:
1. Pack the night before
Getting ready for work is hectic, especially if you're trying to herd your kids out the door. You might not have time to make lunch in the morning, so instead, pack everything the night before. The best time to put these meals together is after dinner. You'll already be full so you won't be as tempted to place unhealthy snacks or desserts inside your lunchbox or bag.
You can also encourage your kids to get involved with the task. You might be surprised by their helpful lunch ideas, and their company will make preparing the meals a lot faster.
2. Get the right supplies
Make the environment happy by getting yourself a durable lunch box and varying sizes of plastic containers. These reuseable items will not only reduce your ecological footprint, but they'll also make preparing your meals a lot easier - you'll no longer have to worry about a smashed sandwich.
When it comes to your containers, consider getting ones with dividers inside them. This will minimize the number of containers you have to place inside your lunch box, and it also means you won't have as many bowls spread out over your desk at work.
3. Make it a habit
Bringing a sack lunch with you to work every day should be a habit. If you're used to carrying the box with you when you leave the house, you'll be less likely to forget about it. Become accustomed to preparing lunches and taking them with you by writing them into your day planner. You can also write yourself a note and stick it to the front door or in your kitchen. This way, when you start to leave the house, you'll think about whether you have your lunch with you or not.
4. Label your lunchbox
Some co-workers are notorious for accidentally (or not so accidentally) grabbing other people's food out of the office fridge. If this has happened to you in the past, make sure you label your food. A lunchbox can help with this problem, because the colors and pattern will very clearly signal the container is yours.
However, another option would be to simply keep your lunchbox by your desk. Simply place an ice packet in the bag to keep your lunch contents cool.
"Incorporate different recipes throughout the week to keep things interesting."
Why you should pack a lunch
Packing your own lunch is an excellent way to save money. You could quickly spend $15 on a sandwich and fries for one meal, but at the grocery store you can buy supplies to make several meals using that same amount of money. In addition, you can make sure you're packing healthy options for lunch that work with your weight-loss program.
To keep things interesting, incorporate different recipes into your meals throughout the week. A weekly lunch plan might look something like this:
Monday: Turkey and provolone sandwich with strawberries and carrots.
Tuesday: Leftover beef stew.
Wednesday: Chicken salad with dried fruit.
Thursday: Egg salad sandwich with cooked vegetables.
Friday: Leftover spaghetti and meatballs.
Incorporate leftover side dishes as well by replacing fresh fruits and veggies with things you may have had for dinner the night before like mashed potatoes or baked beans. These are easy to add to your lunch, and it's a great way to make sure nothing goes bad in the fridge!