The problem I used to run into most commonly when packing food for lunch was the issue of repetition. I found that when trying to save money/time, it was easiest to buy large quantities of fewer ingredients, and to try to stretch the purchases as long as humanly possible. For lunch, I found it cheapest to buy a package of turkey and a loaf of bread and slap together sandwiches for the week. Unfortunately, after a few days I'd find myself sighing over the thought of eating the same sandwich over and over and would occasionally skip out in favor of an opportunity for a more glamorous meal.
So how did I finally learn to love it, even though I was technically eating the same things every day?
I am by no means an expert on sandwich loving, but these are some of the ways I switch things up a bit so I look forward to eating a pre-packed sandwich every day!
1. Use different bread:
I love carbs of all sorts, so usually when I go grocery shopping I'll alternate between a regular loaf of bread, a package of bagels, tortillas, or pitas. Even though these are similar, sometimes it feels more exciting to open my bag and pull out a wrap or pita. If I prepare tuna or chicken salad, I occasionally pack crackers instead and be sure to include an extra granola bar as a snack.
2. Switch up the spread:
As always, mayonnaise and mustard can turn an ordinary sandwich into a real meal. But be creative here! Whip up a quick batch of chipotle mayo
on Sunday night or spread a Laughing Cow cheese wedge on for extra flavor. Sometimes I like to go down to our local sandwich shop and buy a small container of House Dressing to add to my lunches. It lasts forever, and while not exactly healthy, it takes "sandwich" to a whole new level.
3. Add a fried egg:
My mom likes to claim that when she went into labor, my dad went to the kitchen to fry eggs for sandwiches to bring to the hospital. Regardless of whether or not this actually happened, we do put a fried egg on every sandwich we make. It adds extra protein, beefs up the meal a little bit, and tastes delicious.
4. Use a variety of meat/protein
: Personally, I like to switch it up from the ordinary deli-sliced turkey or ham by buying a rotisserie chicken and mixing the meat with different sauces: barbecue or caesar dressing are my favorite! For vegetarians and vegans, try making your own veggie burgers or experiment with tofu and tempeh. These
Try these tips for lunch and save those pennies for something special! A tropical vacation, perhaps?Do you pack your lunch every day? How do you mix things up?