By: Revanche

Cheap Eats (lunch)

April 1, 2009

I’ve been working on making an habit of bringing decent lunches on a very short attention span. The best way to form a habit is to actually do it. Repeatedly. Simple? It should be, but it’s equally easy to fall out of the habit of say, going to the grocery store every Sunday. Things come up, y’know?

Sometimes the bringing of lunch works out wonderfully throughout the week, sometimes groceries are supplemented by leftovers from dinner, other times I have to get creative or purchase a meal or two. Here are a few of the oddities that prove I don’t always eat well. 🙂

Normal: Leftovers from dinner.

Creative: Egg and spinach on a whole wheat bagel, 91 cents
I’d failed to plan for lunch one week, and had brought disparate ingredients that were supposed to magically coalesce into a meal. It sort of did. My unboiled egg was microwaved just long enough to make a little scramble, spinach meant for a salad served double duty as greens for the sandwich and leftover bagels brought for breakfast become sandwich bread.
This was so yummy I did it again the next day, this time mixing in leftover string cheese, for some dairy.
A huge helping of spinach topped with sunflower seeds (that I’ve had in my desk forever) and some balsamic vinaigrette rounded out those meals.

Deal and Coupontastic: Quiznos turkey sandwich and deli sandwich on Dutch crunch, $5.60
Armed with a Quiznos free small sandwich coupon, I picked up a small turkey sandwich (terribly puny, if you ask me), a small drink, and a small Italian sandwich at a deli joint (twice the length and width of the Quiznos sandwich) to make a lunch for two. The deli sandwich was quite a good deal, it was only $4.50 for a substantial roll and hefty meat filling. If we’d gotten the equivalent meal at Quiznos, sans coupon, it would have cost about $14.50.

Filling at the time: Bags of salad (usually $1/bag) are great when topped with some chicken or tuna, and other veggies. It’s satisfying, but for a much shorter period of time.

I could use some good ideas for what to try next!

4 Responses to “Cheap Eats (lunch)”

  1. Miss M says:

    Quiznos is kind of a rip off, but I like the toasted sandwiches. I only go with a coupon and on rare occasion. I’m pretty good about bringing lunch every day, I buy some frozen lunches at the store and rely on leftovers for the rest. If I have nothing then I’ll buy lunch at the cafeteria, it’s the cheapest meal I can get downtown. I keep snacks at my desk, dried fruit and nuts, to keep me from buying snacks at work.

  2. Napa cabbage salad with ramen noodles, almonds or walnuts, soy sauce, red wine vinegar or use tofu.

    I use regular cabbage (green).

    Purple/green cabbage slaw salad with nuts or black beans. I keep cans of black or garbanzo beans in my drawer at work. There’s also tofu … I really like the pre-marinated baked ones to slice and eat with anything.

  3. L.A. Daze says:

    Hmm…make pasta for dinner and bring it for lunch the next day? Canned soup? TJ’s has those yummy udon bowls…high in sodium though.

    I like topping my salads with lots of stuff…I hate boring salads.

    I allow myself to go to Whole Foods and Subway once a week to break up the monotony of the lunches I bring from home. Plus, I get lazy!

  4. Revanche says:

    Miss M: Quiznos really is a ripoff for the serving sizes they have now. I’m glad that I’ve lost my taste for them.

    I’m trying TJ’s frozen food this week for < $2/package. I need to load up on the desk snacks ["drawer of inappropriate starches!"] as I'm out of cashews, trail mix, granola bars. sfordinarygirl: I’ve never tried the pre-marinated baked tofu, where do you get it?

    L.A. Daze: I looove leftover pastas. I pretty much can’t get sick of pasta. Yeah I love crunchy stuff on salads, so sometimes it’s easier to just buy one from the cafeteria so I can load up on lots of colors.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

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