Are you tired of the same old stuff for lunch every day? We all know it’s more economical to pack a lunch than it is to eat out, but it’s easy to get into a lunch rut. For those who are committed to saving money by packing, but are lacking in the inspiration department when it comes to lunches, here are 10 ideas to spice up your lunch time meal! Got some lunch ideas of your own? Be sure to share them in the comments!
- Homemade mac and cheese - who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese? If you buy it frozen or do the nasty “easy mac” stuff it can get kind of expensive. You can actually make it yourself quite easily and it’s delicious (Not to mention more nutritious). One of my favorite ways to make it is with velveeta, rotel, corn and black beans and make a “mexican mac and cheese”
- Ramen Noodles – you will never hear someone claim that Ramen is gourmet, but by and large they are CHEAP. Here are 50 Ramen Noodle Recipes to get you started….That’s a lot of lunches.
- Leftovers – I often purposely plan more for dinner when I cook than my family will actually eat. Leftovers can be a great frugal lunch and way better than a sandwich.
- A Sandwich wrap – It’s easy to get creative with a tortilla and some unique ingredients. My kids like peanut butter and banana wrapped up in a whole-wheat tortilla. Or you could try a vegetarian option. The possibilities are endless.
- Homemade soup – Once when I worked at a bank there was a little deli across the street that had the most amazing homemade soups. I would get a bowl with a piece of bread nearly every day (for about $5 a pop). You can make an entire pot of soup for under $10 and have many meals that freeze well for the future. Here are some great recipes to get you started.
- Baked Potatoes – pop one in the oven the night before and throw some cooked broccoli, diced ham and cheese on top and you’ve got a nutritious and delicious lunch the next day.
- English Muffin Pizza – Take an English muffin, a little bit of tomato sauce, some shredded cheese and you’ve got a great lunch. Bake it in the oven until bubbly and you can pack it for lunch the next day. They are even good unheated.
- Pasta Salad – There are so many varieties of yummy pasta salad out there to choose from. Typically these are an economical and convenient alternative. They are great for hot Summer weather too!
- Cheese and Crackers – You can make your own “Lunchables” for WAY less than purchasing them in the grocery store by cutting up some lunch meat and cheese and pairing it with some yummy whole wheat crackers. Very little effort and fun to eat.
- Spam Doodles - Ok, maybe not these aren’t GOOD, but they do qualify as frugal and maybe even fun