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Have ideas for a BETTER BROWN BAG LUNCH?

Posted October 27, 2009

Tonight, we’re talking about BROWN BAG LUNCHES!! Whether for you, your spouse or your kids, it’s a great way to both save money and eat a healthier lunch. Consumer Reports calculates the average eater can save $1,000 a year by bringing their lunch FOUR days a week. And you can’t even begin to count the fat and calories it'll save you! I’ve been brown bagging it a lot more lately! The most difficult part is taking the time to prepare it and then keeping it interesting! I try to mix it up with bringing different fruits—for example raspberries or blueberries instead of an apple. Also—I like to try different raw veggies—maybe sugar snap peas instead of carrot sticks. The variety actually makes me look forward to my lunch and keeps me from feeling like I’m missing out when a colleague extends a lunch invitation. As for keeping it easy—when I’m really in a hurry—I rely on a soup supply that I keep at my desk along with a big bowl to heat it. Especially with the cooler weather coming, soup always makes a quick, simple and tasty lunch! What ideas do you have to make a better brown bag lunch? Do you have advice on better ways to pack it? Ways to keep it interesting? What about ways to cut costs?

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  • washed ashore Oct 28, 2009

    I usually bring a tossed salad and add a lean cuisine frozen entree. Their pizzas are good and go real well with my salad! Also, late in the afternoon I pop a mini bag of kettle corn popcorn.

  • lefty-from-Cary Oct 28, 2009

    I've had co-workers become envious when I brought a couple biscuits and a bottle of honey...

  • JMHO Oct 28, 2009

    I have to jump on the soup bandwagon. I make a pot or two on the weekend (vegetable, butternut squash, chicken noodle), and add some cheese and saltines or half a sandwich (pbj is a winner!)

  • finesse187 Oct 27, 2009

    Cold cut sandwiches w/ fruit and veggies (celery, carrots, etc.) I try to find sandwich meat that all natural, contains no nitrates! Also salad, spinach, whatever else veggies you want to add!! Quick and easy!!

  • UNCphdiva Oct 27, 2009

    I've been bringing my own lunch a lot lately to help with saving money and eating healthier. Another tip is to bring a lot of snacks so that I avoid hitting the snack machine or getting the muchies. So I bring a variety of items: an apple, carrots and celery w/ ranch dressing, protein bar, peanut butter & Ritz, or a bag of pop corn to pop in the microwave. I usually don't eat all my snacks and I just throw them back in there for the next day. They even make great snacks for the commute home to hold me over until I get home to cook dinner.

  • happy Oct 27, 2009

    I usually cook enough the night before that I have left overs for my husband and I to take to work the next day for lunch. But I'm with The Big Five Insider. Every once in awhile, I'll make a peanut butter sandwich and take that and a can of chicken noodle soup to work. Maybe throw in a fun size candy bar. Heaven on earth.

  • The Big Five Insider Oct 27, 2009

    I usually do soup or left-overs. But sometimes, I do a throw-back brown bag lunch...PB&J, chips and a drink. It's like I'm back in the 5th grade again! ;)

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In addition to the stories you see on TV, Monica is always looking for ways to help consumers find deals and avoid fraud. She'll blog about what you need to know here.