Probably one of the most difficult, daunting tasks throughout the work day is figuring out lunch plans. You’re either tempted to go out to eat, gorge on small snacks to fill you up, or skip lunch altogether. Employment Law Daily found that “[two] thirds (66 percent) of working Americans buy their lunch instead of packing it, costing them an average of $37 per week — nearly $2,000 a year.” These options are costly and unhealthy, and although we may think that they are convenient, truthfully, there are quicker, healthier, and more cost-effective meals out there.
If you take a few minutes out of your Sunday to prepare for each week, you can save a ton of time and money, control your portions, and make food that you’ll actually enjoy. Before we hop into a few super easy, transportable recipes for your bagged lunches, I recommend considering sturdy containers to make your life easier. Invest in a few different sizes of reusable, microwavable food storage containers (main dish/sandwich-sized, soup-sized, and side-dish-sized containers) so your food is safe. Of course, you’re going to need a lunch bag or box to store your containers, so pick one that you actually like so you’ll actually use it. Don’t forget utensils, too!
Here are some quick and easy brown bag lunches that you can prepare in advance for your work week!
1. If you want to try the salad in a mason jar trend, opt for this Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salad (pictured) instead of visiting Chipotle.
2. This Clean Eating Cobb Salad only has 6 easy ingredients!
3. This Easy Hummus Spiral Wrap is perfect for meatless Monday! Add turkey if you want that extra protein.
4. A delicious Turkey Casesar Sandwich (pictured). Tip: assemble your sandwich in this order – bread, lettuce, tomato, turkey, mayonnaise – so your bread won’t be soggy by the time lunch rolls around!
5. Make extra of this Crockpot Lasagna Soup for dinner the night before, then toss the leftovers in a food storage container for an easy lunch the next day. Kill two birds with one stone!
6. This Roasted Broccoli & Cheddar Soup (pictured) is super easy to make, and it’ll be perfect for those colder days when all you want is something to comfort you. Those soup containers will definitely come in handy now!
7. Make a whole wok of this Veggie Fried Rice and have enough for a week! You can easily add your favorite meat to make this meal more substantial.
8. An easy Pesto Pasta Salad (pictured) lunch will make all your coworkers jealous! Skip the pesto recipe and use store-bought pesto if you want to speed up the process.