Eating out has its benefits. You don't have to put in the time or energy at home prepping the meal. Plus, there's just something about eating out with the rest of your work colleagues that makes the meal that much more of a bonding experience. However, there are all kinds of other issues associated with eating out, skipping lunch, or at the very least, heading for the vending machine down the hall. Instead, if you really want to have the best meal at the most affordable price, you'll want to consider bringing in your own meal. While it does require some prep work, there are all kinds of lunch ideas available, each of which will help you enjoy something different (and delicious) for every lunch on the job.
What Can You Gain by Bringing New Lunch Ideas to Work?
Yes, going out to eat while at the office brings with it some excitement. There's something about getting out of the office and enjoying a meal. Yet there's likely more to be gained by bringing your lunch with you from home. With plenty of lunch ideas, there is always something new to try out. Plus, with all the benefits attached to bringing in your own lunch, you'll soon forget about the minor benefits you gained buying a lunch at a local restaurant and instead focus in on all the perks of bringing your new lunch ideas with you to the office.
You Save Money
For starters, bringing your own lunch to the office will help you save all kinds of money. Going out to a local restaurant, even if it is a sandwich joint, adds up quickly. Instead of spending $10 on a lunch meal, you can spend a few bucks making it at home. When you add it up, you'll end up saving thousands of dollars every year by making your own lunch.
Just think about what you could do with that kind of monetary savings. You could put that money away and save it for an annual vacation, all of which you're paying for by making your lunches at home.
Outside of saving money, one of the biggest benefits to making your own lunch is cutting out unnecessary calories. Eating healthily for lunch at the local restaurants is extremely difficult. This is because these foods are loaded with everything from saturated fats to sodium. Even the "healthy" options likely are pushing up toward a thousand calories. You can slash these calories in half easily by making your own meal. This means in a single year you can probably drop 10 or 20 pounds without changing how you workout, all because you're no longer eating all the added calories and salt.
There is nothing like saving money and cutting weight at the same time.
Get More Done
Heading out to the local fast-food joint or even ordering takeout takes time. It's time away from your job. Depending on the kind of job you have, it may be possible to focus this time back into your work, get more work done, and make more money. If you work sales, you can boost your sales number and potentially bring in an additional bonus or commission at the end of the year.
Even if you do not work off of commission, you can always get more work done, which impresses the bosses and may help lead to a new promotion, which again will help you make more money. And should none of this lead to a promotion or boost in commission, you'll at least be able to finish up more work, so by the end of the week, you can leave early. And wouldn't you like to get out of work early on Friday, beat the rush hour traffic, and kick your shoes off that much sooner?
There is so much to gain by taking advantage of a few lunch ideas.
Are These Lunch Ideas Time Consuming to Create?
Creating lunch doesn't need to be time consuming. Some people like to meal prep on Sunday evening, which allows them to get all of their food packaged and ready for the upcoming week. This limits the kind of foods you can have during the week, as moisture might make bread soggy or cause other problems.
However, even if you prepare the food the night before heading to work or even the morning of, most of these lunch ideas are not time consuming to create. While each depends on what you're making, you can alter some recipes and ideas to better fit with your schedule.
10 Great Lunch Ideas You Can Bring to the Office
There are plenty of ways to spruce up the boring old salad. One way is to make sure you have meat with it. The meat is packed with protein, which will keep you feeling fuller for longer. A great way to have access to cooked, quality meat is to pick up a rotisserie chicken from your local store, cut it up, and use shredded chicken with your salad.
You can also grab an avocado and toss in slices to give your salad extra texture and healthy fats. You can also make a great home dressing with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (plus garlic, pepper, and whatever other seasonings you might enjoy). Just make sure to keep the liquids separate. You might also want to consider not bringing tuna or other fish as these smells can linger in the office.
Don't just slap on deli turkey and packaged cheese. That's boring. Instead, slice up some tomatoes, grab the avocado, and you can even include some apple slices. You should also consider bringing a toaster into the office for everyone to use (if you don't have one already). This instantly makes a cold lunch hot and ups the crunch factor.
Again, keep anything with moisture, like the tomato slices and lettuce, packaged separately from the bread. This way the bread stays dry and the lettuce/tomatoes stay moist.
3. Cutting Calories PB&J
Let's say you're trying to cut calories to slim down for swimsuit season (or wedding season). You want to go with the old PB&J, but you don't like that you're smothering 400 calories of peanut butter on your sandwich, nor do you like the sugar in the jelly.
There is another option. First, you can find peanut butter powder at the local grocery store. This is made from peanuts and gives you a creamy peanut butter taste for a quarter of the calories. And instead of jelly, pick up strawberry protein powder. Mix a small amount of water with it to give you a thicker consistency, then spread it on the toast. This will give you a sandwich with extremely low calories and sugar yet packed with protein.
Maybe you don't have time to sit down and eat. Perhaps you need to eat and run. In these instances, the best way to go is to have a smoothie. But don't buy a smoothie at the local smoothie shop. This is expensive. Instead, make it at home. There's no limit to the kinds of fresh ingredients you can use, such as strawberries, low-fat milk, oat meal, peanut butter, protein powder, and really anything else you might think of. It's a great way for eating quickly, cutting calories, and packing on healthy protein.
5. Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
This is easy to make the night before (or the Sunday before the week), and you can eat it cold. The sun-dried tomatoes gives the pasta dish a fresh taste to it and yet you don't need to heat it up like you would with traditional sauce. You also won't risk dripping tomato sauce onto your shirt.
6. Three Bean Pasta Salad
Here's another great meal you can make on Sunday. The beans are loaded with protein to keep you feel full but are not packed with carbs, so you feel sluggish after lunch. Add in a bit of pasta, crispy celery, and other items, and you'll have a full meal.
7. Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese
Basically you can whip up whatever pasta you have and then divvy it out with these different meals. With this option, though, crumble up goat cheese. The creamy flavor and texture will give you a totally different meal experience.
8. BLT Wrap
Cook up bacon in the morning, add lettuce, tomato, and avocado on the side, then wrap it up at work. You now have a delicious and healthy lunch.
9. Cheddar and Apple Sandwich
Don't want to eat meat? No problem. Go with this great option. The sweetness of the apples goes well with the saltiness of the cheddar. Toast up the bread and you have a delicious, no-meat sandwich.
10. Ham and Cheese Croissant
Why not go fancy with your sandwich? Ditch the ordinary bread for a croissant and make up a classic ham-and-cheese this way.
Eating out at work can be a relaxing feeling. However, in the end, it might force you to rush back to work to make it in time. At the very least, you'll end up spending more money than you need to while eating foods high in calories and sodium. Instead, by making your own lunch, you'll save money, increase productivity, and cut down on the number of calories you eat every day. So, keep these 10 great lunch ideas in mind and make each your own. This way, you'll always be able to enjoy a fresh, delicious lunch, all while making your coworkers jealous over the food you're eating around them.
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