Work lunches packed with benefits

Want to earn an extra $1000 a year and get healthy? Simply avoid expensive work lunch takeaways and pack your own!

As well as eating better and saving money, taking your own lunch to work will save you time. Instead of driving to buy food everyday, take you can get more out of your lunch hour and deserved break and go for a walk or sit outside and get some fresh air. It is easier to eat healthy when you are in control of your ingredients and portion size.

If preparing fresh lunches every morning doesn’t appeal to you, a little planning can have your workstation and kitchen stocked with a week supplies. By replacing a deli bought roll or take-away pie and soft drink you can save around $22.50 a week, or $1080 a year. Stock your desk drawer with snacks like nuts or dried fruit and you will no longer need to fork our for vending machine pick-me ups either. 

Stock your workstation

Write a list to plan the foods you would like to eat for lunch and the kitchen equipment available at work. After a quick trip to the supermarket you will have enough food for a variety of lunches and snacks for the week. Bring whole ingredients in a container and prepare (grate, slice, peel) fresh each day. Or, prepare at home and store in individual air-tight containers. Consider the following shopping list for endless combinations of ingredients for tasty (and healthy!) meals. 

Carbohydrate Vegetables Protein Condiments Snacks
Baked beans
Canned bean mix
Corn thins
Quick cook rice
Wholemeal bread
Whole potato
Wraps


 

Avocado
Beetroot

Canned corn
Capsicum
Carrot
Cucumber
Tomato
Frozen veg 

Boiled egg
Canned salmon
Canned sardines
Canned tuna
Cottage cheese
Cream cheese
Grilled meat
Low-fat cheese
 
Chutney
Corn relish
Mayo
Pesto
Tomato salsa
 


Canned fruit
Dried fruit
Fresh fruit
Nuts
Popping corn
Yogurt 

 

Simple ideas to use your supplies:

  • Grilled meat and salad
  • Jacket potato with baked beans and cheese or vegetables, salsa and cheese
  • Ham, tomato and cheese toasted sandwich
  • Chicken, cheese, avocado and salad sandwich or wrap
  • Canned Salmon, cucumber and cream cheese wrap
  • Wholemeal crackers, tuna and sliced tomato
  • Baked bean and cheese toasted sandwich
  • Ham, salad and chutney wrap
  • Vegetable, grilled chicken and pesto roll 
  • Hard boiled eggs and raw vegetable salad
  • Sardines and tomato sandwich
  • Tuna and raw vegetable salad

DIY ready-meals

Cook a batch of meals (such as soup, bolognaise or casserole) and freeze in containers. Take a container very morning and it will defrost in the fridge or keep a batch in the freezer at work.

No fridge at work?

Keep things cold with a frozen bottle of water in an insulated bag. Yogurt can be frozen and will slowly thaw during the day.

No Microwave?

If your work kitchen doesn’t have a microwave, use a thermos. They work for liquids and meals. 

 

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