I have a couple of questions for ya..
- Are you on a budget? This girl definitely is!
- Do you like Soup? Of course I do…(anything dealing with food really…haha)
So, yes…I’m on a very tight budget and I can’t or don’t I should say always have money to go and break a 20 on lunch only to have a couple of dollars left – Yesssss, food establishments make a killing off of our “lunch” dollars because they know 1 of 2 things to be true…
- You either left your lunch at home. -or-
- You were too lazy to cook.
And let me just say that I have been at the helm of both of those statements. And after going through what seemed like fifty dollars or more a week for lunch; I decided that enough was enough!
In which inspired this post >>>>> Lunch on a Budget for $20 or LESS!
With the cost of food seemingly going up every second it seems, it can be challenging to try and map out meals to bring to lunch everyday. I mean, who really wants to munch on PB&J or slurp up salty Noodles and Oodles. So, while shopping the aisles for lunch choices one day, I decided to get a couple of staple items and mix and match the ingredients for each day of the week – I even had a solution for snacks in between.
I have to be honest with you, shopping for food for lunch can be a little crazy; because you want to eat something different every day of the week and depending on your tastes buds, that can get a bit costly as well. So, listed below are a couple of things I picked up off the shelves and freezer section that lasted me all week and guess what (all of it was well under 20 dollars!!)
Here are my buys for Lunch: Total Cost: $10.08
- Minute Rice – Multi Grain Medley – 2 @ 1.84 each
- Bag of Mixed Vegetable – 1 @.57 cents
- Green Giant Steamers Vegetable Medley/Broccoli Cheese – 2 @ 1.18 each
- Green Giant Harvest Protein Bowl (Vegetarian) Southwest Style – 1 @ 3.47 each
Here are my buys for Snacks: Total Cost: $8.81
- Great Value No Sugar Added Pear Cups – 2 @ 1.43 each
- Great Value No Sugar Added Mandarin Oranges – 1 @ 1.43 each
- Great Value Dry Roasted & Lightly Salted Almonds – 1 Bag @ 4.52
What I had at Home:
Sam's Choice Organic Bone Broth Chicken Total Cost: Free
- Overall Cost: $18.89
So this is how I did it:
First, let me start with snacks. It’s 4 cups of fruit to a carton, so I had two snacks a day. A fruit cup and some almonds. I measured the almonds out according to the serving suggestion and put them in zip lock bags and took them all to work along with my fruit so I wouldn’t have to remember to take it everyday. So there were my snacks for the week. Two cups of fruit and almonds a day.
And then there was lunch. So for lunch, it was pretty easy. 1st Day: I had a cup of rice medley and some steamed veggies. 2nd Day: I had the steamed veggies with some chicken bone broth ( I made it like a soup). 3rd Day: I had the broccoli cheese and rice medley. 4th Day: I had the rice medley and the bone broth. 5th Day: I changed it up and brought in the Green Giant protein bowl, which was very delicious by the way, see below….
So, as you can see – lunch was not only cost efficient but different as I didn’t feel like I was eating the same thing every day……ever felt that way about a salad?? Any-who, the key to making this work is making sure you choose what it is you want to eat for the whole week. For instance, I knew that I wanted veggies – the only thing I needed to do next was find a partner to go with them and once I did….everything else was simple.
Don’t forget to incorporate items you may have at home, so another suggestion I would make is to check your cupboards before you go shopping. That frozen broccoli that’s been in the freezer for a month, could be paired with something delicious.
Think of things that you can use multiple times throughout the week without breaking the bank and going to the store everyday for items to eat (I’m still working on this feat for dinner as I do this currently). Don’t look at me like that, I’m a work in progress – say a prayer for me…lol.
Well, I hope your lunch time can now be an adventurous one. Oh and psssstttt, by the way, don’t be afraid to shop the yellow tags. I got some soup on sale last week at Wal-Mart for $.86 cents that usually run $2.87 cents. Now you may want to hurry and eat it up, because I mean, they put yellow tags on items for a reason, right???? rightttttttt…..but it can also save you loads off your pocket, especially for LUNCH!
Below is one of the creations with the products I purchased up top: