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Pack a Lunch: Save $ and Calories

If you are dieting or trying to save some dough, you should really be brown bagging your lunch. Make it at home and take it with you wherever you may roam. You not only save money (sandwiches can be upwards of $7 around where I work), but you also can control your portions and calorie intake.

Here are some tips and ideas for packing your lunch and taking it on the road.

  • One of the easiest ways to ensure you have a lunch is to cook extra dinner. Before you sit down to your meal, separate out your lunch portion for the next day. I like to have a half portion of meat and put it in a salad for lunch the next day. Same with side dishes - steamed green beans are great on a salad.
  • Sandwiches are also an easy lunch item. This way you know you are eating nutritious whole grain bread (that is what you have at home, right?) Keep the avocado and tomato separate until you are about to eat, this way the sandwich doesn't get soggy and the avocado doesn't turn brown. Also, this way you have control over your condiments - use a thin layer of light mayo and go crazy with the mustard (as long as it is not honey mustard which contains sugar) since it is low in calories and fat.
  • I have plenty to say on the subject, so

  • Pack a cup of yogurt for an afternoon snack or dessert. I recommend a yogurt with live and active cultures. Why not get some probiotics with your daily calcium. Place the yogurt in the freezer overnight, to keep if fresh if you don't have a fridge for storing your lunch.
  • Apples, bananas and oranges travel well so you can always have a piece of fruit with your lunch. These fruits are great since they don't require an extra plastic baggie, so they are environmentally friendly too.
  • Keep a bottle of low fat dressing in the fridge at work. On Monday, bring in a bag of pre-washed lettuce and make yourself a side salad.
  • It is a good idea to invest in some quality Tupperware for transporting your food. It is always a bummer to have food leak all over your bag.
  • The ideas for foods to pack are endless and here are two great resources for more lunch ideas:
    The Daily Tiffin - great internationally flavored lunch boxes

    The UK Food Standard
    - lunch box idea for kids 9 -12 years of age, but great for adults too

    In the market for a cute lunch box? Check out these lunch boxes on YumSugar.

Valentine's Day Lunch Ideas For Kids
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