Day 5 of the Spending Freeze Challenge – The Lunch Break

I’ve saved today’s post for this time of night (7ish EST) to ask you a question: What are you eating for lunch this week? Lunches during the work week are a spending trap – and a preparation struggle. You’re already getting your clothes ironed (or just washed!), the kids backpacks ready, that Monday morning presentation cleaned up, etc. What you’re eating tomorrow at noon may be the last thing on your mind. So, how to prepare for the week ahead? Here are my simple suggestions:

  • Start with taking a glance through the fridge. Never underestimate the power of leftovers. Can you spruce up today’s leftover chicken breast by putting it on top of a salad? Leftover noodles can get tossed together with some dressing, chopped up veggies and any protein you have lying around for a quick pasta salad. Consider yourself a contestant on one of those Food Network competition shows – what can you create from what you already have? Check out this recipe for Avocado Chicken SaladΒ for a quick option.
  • Consider the option of prepping one extra dinner tonight and using it as lunches for the rest of the week. Could you make a batch of chicken noodle soup and portion it out in to containers to take each day? Then just change-up your side dishes each day for some variety.
  • Make the adult version of whatever your kiddos are eating. This might sound silly, but stay with me here for a moment. How about a bagel with peanut butter paired with an apple and some raisins? Packing the kids cheese & crackers? Do the same for yourself and throw in some grapes and almonds.
  • Not a breakfast person? Take breakfast for lunch – hard boil a few eggs or throw a few freezer waffles in your bag.

    A favorite at our house - line muffin pan with prosciutto, fill with egg & veggies of your choice. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 400 degrees.
    A favorite at our house – line muffin pan with prosciutto, fill with egg & veggies of your choice. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 400*

Finally, prepare for how you’ll talk to co-workers who are used to you following them to the cafeteria or the local fast-food restaurant for lunch. Repeat your mantra that you made back on Day 0. Invite your friends to pack their lunch and join you. My last suggestion – enjoy the time you’ve saved yourself by packing. No need to drive 20 minutes round trip in order to buy your meal. No waiting in long lines at the company cafeteria. What could you do with those extra minutes? A walk around the block? A chance to read a chapter in that book you’ve been meaning to pick up? Those are all things to be thankful for.

Day 4’s Post

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