As we continue to find ways to reduce our food costs—Lunch is next on our journey! Just this week I overheard two coworkers discussing how difficult it is to pack lunch and to resist the urge to splurge during lunch.

I completely relate and I have had to work hard to find ways to save money while at work—the temptation is everywhere!

But here are 3 quick tricks of the trade:

1) Before Monday morning, purchase a few items that you can take to the office and enjoy throughout the week. Here are a few suggestions:

Bread / tortilla wraps / Sandwich thins
Peanut butter and jelly – an old classic
Tuna packs / sliced turkey / ham
Fruit – Grapes, Apples, Raisins
Veggies – Carrots, Celery, Sliced radishes, Cucumbers
Trail mix

2) If you are a master planner, on Sunday evenings take less than an hour, go thru your pantry and create portion size grab bags that can be easily taken with you each morning. Perhaps 3-4 ziploc baggies of your favorite chips, a pack of tuna with a side of crackers, a can of tomato soup and a slice of cheese. Place these items in your fridge or on the counter so that during your morning dash, you can grab a bag and potentially save $5!

Equally important is seizing the moment when you have it. While cleaning the kitchen at night, I try to think of simple items that I can place in my bag for tomorrow’s lunch or breakfast. This is a huge lifesaver!

3) Lastly, it’s important to always create balance. If you create a weekly budget which allows you to grab sushi with the girls one day and then eat meals from home the rest of the week, then do it!

I’m usually able to execute a new habit more confidently if I build in room for a little whoopsie!

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Happy Lunching!