According to reports workers spend £2500 on breakfast, snacks and lunches each year- an average of £10.59 a day! (Telegraph, 2014) We have devised some healthy, quick and tasty lunch box ideas; perfect for a hard day at work or study – all under £2 per portion!
Pesto Pasta Salad:
80g Wholemeal Pasta
2 Tbsp Pesto
50g cubed cucumber
6 halved cherry tomatoes
50g feta cheese
Method: Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook for 8-10 minutes and drain. Gradually heat the pesto and add to the pasta and allow it to cool. Season, add the salad and crumble the feta cheese throughout.
Approx 89p per serving
Time: 12 minutes
Time saving tip: Why not make this the night before for dinner and use the leftover for your lunch- (Just remember to make double!)
Mix it up: Swap the feta for goats cheese. Use lettuce, spinach or just about any salad you have in this easy recipe.
Spicy Tuna Couscous
Half red onion diced
50g of cubed cucumber
1 chopped red pepper
Half a tin of tuna
1 Tbsp of Red wine vinegar
Squeeze of lemon and dried chilli flakes
40g of grated cheddar
Method: Pour 200ml of boiling water over a bowl of the couscous and cover tightly with a plate. Leave for 5 minutes and then stir through with a fork ensuring all the water has been soaked up. Season and stir through a tbps of olive oil and 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar. Next mix through the onion, pepper and cheese. Finish off with a squeeze of lemon and add some chilli flakes for a kick!
Approx £1.50 per portion
Time: 10 minutes
Mix it up: Use leftover roasted veg or try substituting the tuna for roast chicken.
Hummus and Falafel Wrap
¼ of a tub of hummus
30g chopped olives (jar or fresh)
3 small falafel (chopped)
1 little gem lettuce
Method: Spread the hummus evenly over the two wraps. Wash the lettuce and chop, along with the pepper. Sprinkle in an even line, in the middle of both wraps. Add the falafel, and sprinkle some pepper and a squeeze of lemon over if you fancy. Fold the end of the wrap then roll until it forms a tight cylinder.
Time: 5 minutes
Mix it up: Replace the hummus and falafel for avocado and chicken – they work really well in a wrap.
Tasty Sandwich Combinations (if you’re really in a rush!)
Emmental cheese, beef and tomato
Ham, mozzarella and pesto
Beetroot, Goats cheese and Walnut
Buy packs of fruit and cereal bars and either keep them on your desk or at home- much cheaper than buying items individually
If you find yourself buying breakfast on the way to work why not consider getting up 15 minutes earlier and having breakfast before you leave? Alternatively keep some cereal in the work kitchen and have breakfast at your desk
Instead of buying the daily coffee why not purchase a small cafetiere to use at work? A whole bag of ground coffee costs the same as buying one large coffee.
Use leftovers from dinner the night before – less wasteful and cost effective!
Why not arrange with your work colleagues to bring in a picnic style lunch? Each person can contribute a couple of items and before you know it you will have an office feast!
If you don’t have time to take lunch in look out for meal deals – most chains offer a main, snack and drink with a reduced price. Boots from £3.29 and Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Coop all offering similar deals from £3 were the best we found on the high street.*
It might seem like more effort than its worth but actually just a little more planning, and strategic thinking could stop you wasting hundreds of pounds and paying a premium for buying food on the go. Happy lunching!
The Telegraph, (June 2014) Workers spend more that £2500 a year on lunch and snacks http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/10918137/Workers-spend-more-than-2500-a-year-on-lunch-and-snacks-report-says.html
*Prices correct as of August, 2015