Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday Thrifty Tip: Packing a Sack Lunch

Since I've entered the working world fifteen years ago, I was set apart in the lunch room. While others sat huddled around a McDonald's bag, Subway salad, or Little Caesar's pizza...I pulled out my own lunch from home. I AM a brown bagger. Yes, I pack and bring a sack lunch to work, outings and events that I know we won't be at home for a meal.

Don't get me wrong, going out to lunch with the co-workers or eating a meal out is definitely something I encourage, but occasionally. I feel somehow in this world of convenience we've gotten lazy. Instead of spending 5 minutes packing a sack lunch and saving $8 we would rather spend $10.

I come from a long line. My parents were brown baggers too, so I've watched for years on the proper ways of preparing a sack lunch. But maybe this is new to you? What do you pack?

My first suggestion is to know your heating and refrigerator limits, meaning do you have access to a microwave or refrigerator. For instance, if I know I have access to a microwave I'm more incline to bring reheatable left-overs or a frozen dinner. If not, I am happy to pack a peanut butter sandwich if I don't have access to a refrigerator or microwave as I know it will keep until lunch time.

Another tip is to pack your favorites. If you love salads, pack one. If cliff bars and cherries are your "bag" then pack them. Honestly, the beauty of a sack lunch is that can be personalized to fit your needs. Oh, and don't forget to pack a drink...even an empty water bottle will do so you can "tap" it off. (It would be a terrible shame to spend $1.50 on your drink when you saved so much already by packing a sack lunch.)

So let your creative food talents thrive as you pack your next sack lunch. Not only will you be packing in your favorites, but savings.

From inside the little blue bungalow,
Katie Jean
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Erica Graf said...


We're big brown baggers, too. Since my youngest has had a lot of health issues, we've had to bring a lot of sack lunches while we go to multiple appt.s and trips to Children's Hospital. We have some neat soft-sided coolers that we throw a blue-ice pack into and then put our lunch in. In a hurry, we've been known to pack sandwich fixin's and make the sandwiches on the road. Sometimes we even pack cheese, a cheese slicer (the ones from Scandanavia are the best...) and some crackers along with some apples and an apple slicer. It really isn't that hard to come up with something to put together. I also keep bottled water (or bottles for water) and granola bars in the van always. That way, we always have something to tide us over if we get stuck somewhere and need an extra boost. I figure if I added up what I would have spent in fast food over the past year alone it would add up into the hundreds of dollars!
Thanks for all the great blogs!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I remember you being a brown bagger. Except on Tuesday nights at the Waffle House!!!!!!!!
239 Buddy

Anisa @ the Schell Urban Homestead said...

Rick takes his lunch nearly everyday to work. One of the best things we've invested in was a Mr. Bento ( ) It was about $55 when we bought it, but now they're under 40. the great thing about it is that the four bowls keep hot food hot and cold food cold in the same container! Rick doesn't have access to a fridge or a microwave at work. It was a life saver after so many many PB&J's and ham sandwhiches! My cousin blogged about it in 2007 and that was my motivation to get him one: