The famous brown bag…it is a sight that is familiar to many and which is truly dreaded by some. That is because the brown bag lunch is not considered all that sexy, exciting, or appealing. This is a horrible mislabeling because a brown bag lunch, or a lunch made at home is almost always going to be far more healthy, delicious, and cost effective than anything purchased from a store or restaurant.
Just consider the financial aspect: If the average “takeout” lunch is around $7 – $12 per day, then that can mean an expense of $35 to $60 per week on lunches alone. Over the course of a single month, that could add up to more than week of groceries!
Additionally, even when you get a “healthy” option from a restaurant, it is likely to be higher in sodium than anything you might make at home, in a portion or serving size that is unnecessarily large, and a serious waste of resources such as plastic containers and wrappings.
Finally, when you opt to buy food out instead of “brown bagging it” from home, you don’t get to control the quality of the food. After all, how easy can it be to find a totally organic sandwich, fruit, and beverage? What if you have some food concerns such as lactose or gluten intolerance?
Clearly, there are both health and financial benefits from opting to bring your own lunch. However, even when you can cut costs and control quality you may not make the best choices. For example, many people will choose a pre-packaged solution (such as cup or can of microwaveable soup) that is just as costly and unhealthy as something that can be purchased from a store or restaurant.
So, this tells us that we enjoy the greatest benefits from bringing our own lunch when we make a point of creating a meal that we might make or choose if we were still at home in our own kitchens. Below are our top tips for simplifying the lunch creation process to ensure good results:
- You don’t have to use the brown bag – buy a good lunch box or cooler and use that to tote your homemade foods.
- Make meals over the weekend and divide into easy to grab servings – keep old deli containers or buy reusable containers to package your lunches ahead of time, and then it is a “grab and go” scenario.
- Bring snacks too – you are a lot less likely to succumb to an offer for takeout if you have snacks from home too.
The benefits of bringing food from home are many, and it will make for much more enjoyable workday meals.
Check out our Pinterest Page for some great ideas for a healthy and tasty lunch.