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So, what can you do to prepare a cheap, easy delicious, and nutritious lunch?
Look no further because I have great easy lunch ideas that go above and behind your regular ole ham and cheese sandwich.
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It’s approaching lunch, you’re hungry, and the last thing you want to do is spend another $10.00 at your local coffee shop for a bland bagel sandwich and a coffee.
With the cost of groceries increasing significantly, the last thing most of us want to do is overspend on lunch.
Bringing your lunch to work is economical, but it can also use some of your pantry staples that don’t get used that often and take up space.
For kid’s lunches, I love making cold pasta and searching Pinterest for some fun kids’ lunch ideas. Most of the ideas below can be used for kids’ lunches as well as your own.
Soup is incredibly versatile, and when loaded with veggies and made with a clear broth as opposed to a heavy cream can be very healthy.
You can make a huge batch; freeze it, and you will have soup whenever you want for lunch.
Below are just a few great soup options. The options are limitless, though, and it’s not a lunch item you could get bored with quickly.
- Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
- Tomato Tortellini Soup
- White Bean Parmesan Spinach soup
You can find so many great lunch recipes on Pinterest.
I’m not sure there is a household that doesn’t have a variety of dried pasta in their pantries. You can use lots of different sauces and add in your favorite veggies to make it a well-balanced lunch at work.
Another versatile ingredient, you can add whatever veggies and proteins, seasonings, and spices to make this an incredibly hearty lunch option.
Here are a few delicious options for you to consider.
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Spinach
- Chilled Shrimp Pasta Salad
Quiche is a lunch item that will keep you full all afternoon.
Loaded with protein and veggies, it is an incredibly versatile option for your afternoon meal.
- Spinach and Mushroom Quiche
- Broccoli Cheddar Quiche
- Parmesan And Vegetable Quiche
Salad has always been a lunch staple, and since it doesn’t take a lot of effort to throw together, there’s no reason why you can’t make it even if you are in a rush! All you need for a great dressing is olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper.
The best part of a salad? You can make it your own.
- Classic Cobb salad
- Veggie Kale Taco Salad
- Chickpea salad
- Greek-Style Tuna salad
- Quinoa salad
- Chicken salad sandwich
When you think about inexpensive rice can be, you’ve got a really great cheap lunch option.
Rice is just as versatile as pasta, and anything can be added to make it a healthy and filling lunch option. Add in an egg for an extra yummy touch.
- Shrimp and Veggie Stir Fry
- Mushroom Risotto
- Cheesy Broccoli Rice
Wraps are a quick and easy healthy lunch idea that can be thrown together with whatever you have in your fridge.
You can also make these bowls if you’re looking to take out the wrap. Add your lettuce as a base and top with your favorite veggies and sauce and you’re all set.
This also lowers the calories, not that anyone is counting.
All you need is protein and vegetables and something to bind the ingredients together, and you’ve got yourself a wrap.
Hummus, mayonnaise, and mustard are all delicious choices to take your wrap to the next level.
Some easy, peasy wrap ideas for your next lunch to consider are:
- Hummus and Chicken
- Chicken Cesar
- Black bean, Corn, and Avocado
This is a fun lunch idea because if you’re anything like me and love cheese, Quesadillas are the way to go! Also a great option for vegetarians.
Obviously, this is not a lunch item you want every day, but once a week won’t hurt your balanced diet.
These three options are my go-to wraps for lunch:
- Stuffed corn and black bean Quesadilla
- Spinach tomato Quesadilla
- Breakfast Quesadilla
Tips for Making Your Lunch at Home Easier
Making your lunch can be easily incorporated into your meal prep for the week.
- Buy in bulk, make extra and freeze your lunches, and take a little bit of the lunch stress off your shoulders.
- In addition, look at ways to use some of your items over various meals. For example, roasting a whole chicken and using the bones for stock and the meat for salads, soups, wraps, and pasta.
- Meal plan your lunches ahead of time. For example: make a chicken salad for the week. Make a big pot of soup and take that all week long.
- Take leftovers like pizza to work. You can also take meals like curry, any protein that’s leftover from dinner like turkey or pork, and chicken. Add some veggies and you’ve got a quick and easy lunch.
This really stretches your dollar and keeps you within budget.
The easy lunch ideas I mentioned are really just the tip of the iceberg for cheap lunch options.
There are so affordable and easy lunch ideas and recipes out there that I promise you, you will never get bored bringing your lunch to work.
With the money you’ll save, you can splurge on something fun for yourself without feeling guilty!