Everyone decides what works best for them when it comes to clawing their way back to prosperity. Bringing my lunch at least three days a week is one way I can save, so I can pay down that nasty credit card bill left from the "months-we-couldn't-make-ends-meet" era. Yeah, I know, I shouldn't have, but I did and that's done. So now, it's rebuilding time.
The key to making this economic change is to make it easy. So here's my plan for the three-minute lunch. That's a lunch I can have in the container, in the bag and done in three minutes, right before I walk out the door.
Stat with a carrying case. A snappy insulated lunch bag can perk up a morning, but a roomy tote can hide the evidence of your frugality, if you prefer. If you don't have access to a fridge at work, buy a reusable cold pack. If you don't have a microwave at work, check Target or WalMart for insulated containers.
And now, the food:
- Eat leftovers. I'm a good cook, darn it! I like to eat my leftovers ... but only one day a week. A girl gets bored.
- Make lunch food ahead. Whip up some soup, a tasty chicken salad, or lay in the sandwich fixings over the weekend. Sometimes I even package the stuff in single-serving containers. (Warn your family members off these goodies or you'll be in for a shock some morning.)
Stock the pantry with quick-fix items. Ahhh ... and here's the three-minute lunch at it's best.
You'll find your favorites go-to items and you'll see what works best for you. Just remember my rule: If you've got to spend more than three minutes in the morning getting things ready, you're probably going to have trouble sticking to this. Of course, that's based on my experience ... let me know if you find something that works better.
- Tuna in the pouch, a splash of your condiment of choice and a few crackers and you have lunch.
- Even faster: tuna pouch, bottle of salad dressing, a few lettuce leaves ripped right off the head (placed in a baggie). Ta-da, a healthy, protein-rich salad.
- Keep pita and hummus in the fridge and you can grab the bag of pita, the container of hummus and a piece of fruit. Not a perfectly balanced meal, but not bad, really. (Remember to bring the extras back, you're not going to eat four pieces of pita, are you??)
Practically Fearless Living Photo