lifestyle

How to Pack the Best Lunch Ever

At my old job, I used to spend too much money going out for lunch every day. (There was a Whole Foods just around the corner… so good and so expensive.) Even now, I always do a scramble around noon trying to figure out what to have for lunch and by the time I’m starving, I just run out to buy a salad somewhere because I don’t know what else to do. I LOVE these lunch ideas that Louisa from Living Lou is sharing! Don’t forget to leave a comment on the post with your favorite lunch ideas.
Recipes above: Mini Frittatas / Pasta Salad / Hummus Salad Dressing / Taco Wraps 


How to Pack the Best Lunch Ever
Guest post by Living Lou
If your new years resolutions or goals include anything along the lines of “eat healthier” or “save money” this post is for you. By packing your own lunch for school or for work you’ll be heading in the right direction to achieving those goals. I don’t know about you, but the amount of money I waste on buying my lunch is incredible. This year I’ll be focusing on being consistent with my healthy lunches and I challenge you to do the same! 
I’ve been packing my own lunch since high school, back then I would bring the same thing every single day. That meant a spinach salad with my Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette. Over the years my lunches have progressed and are a little more exciting and creative. I’ve learned a few things along the way that I’ll share with you. 
This was something that was really important for me. I don’t like to bring extra baggies or containers, so I’ve purchased a few plastic containers that come with separate compartments. For a while I was using glass containers, but I recommend plastic because they are lighter to carry. 
2. Make use of leftovers. 
If there are leftovers from dinner, pack them up in your lunch! I do this quite often and it makes preparing your lunch the night before a breeze. Often my lunch will be leftovers and then a few of my “lunchbox essentials” (check out the list below). 
3. Figure out a schedule that works for you.
Many people pack their lunches the night before, which keeps things organized and simple. That said, I’ve realized that for me, I prefer packing my lunch in the morning when I’m making my breakfast because then I have more of an idea of what I would like to eat that day. 
4. When in doubt, pack a salad.
No time? No idea what you want for lunch? When I’m running low on time or inspiration, I whip up a quick batch of dressing and pack a salad. 
5. Have “lunchbox essentials” at all times in the fridge and pantry. 
If you have all the right items ready to go in the fridge or pantry, it makes packing a lunch a no-brainer. You can just grab and go! Make sure your lunch includes enough protein to sustain you throughout the afternoon. 
My list of “Lunchbox Essentials”: 
Hummus
Vegetables: Carrots, celery, bell peppers, and sugar snap peas
Fruits: Grapes, berries, and tangerines
Nuts and seeds (if allowed, be aware of allergies)
Crackers and cheese
Dried fruits: mangoes, raisins, strawberries
Beans and legumes such as black beans, lentils and chickpeas
Quinoa 
I’ll be sharing a few lunchbox ready recipes in my upcoming posts so stay tuned! And check out my Instagram @LivingLou where I’ll be posting more lunchtime inspiration. 

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xoxo
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14 Comments

Vicky O

Great tips! I started religiously packing lunches a couple years ago when I realized how much I was spending on eating out alone. Not only that, even though I thought I was eating healthy, when I looked into the nutritional details on websites, I realized it wasn't really healthy! So now, with packing my lunches, I am both saving money and eating healthier 🙂

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Mika P.

Thanks for posting this- I definitely need to bring my lunch to work/school instead of starving or running out and spending tons of money eating out. I love that it's broken down- it becomes a no-brainer!

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Caroline

Great tips! Lunch always seems so boring compared to breakfast and dinner, so loved these ideas that will help jazz it up a little!

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Chekara

I love these tips! My favorite thing to do for lunch is to pack yesterday's leftovers. My dad always makes fun of me because the night before, I'll put dinner away in Tupperware for lunch the next day before I even start eating my dinner for the night.
xo, chekara | shadesofchekara.com

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Alina

My lunches can be pretty boring, as they usually include leftovers from the night before plus a few "essentials". One of the things I do every Sunday though is grill up a few chicken breasts and chop up some veggies. On their own, they're good little snacks throughout the day, but they can really be turned into anything! A sandwich, salad, or if you're really in a pinch, with some cooked quinoa and a bit of balsamic for a quick and easy salad!

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