A Tasty Frugal Lunch
Will Save Money Every Day

By having a frugal lunch everyday you will be saving hundreds of dollars every year. Years ago I used to work in an office everyday.

I was tired, bored, and overweight and always broke. It wasn’t until I left the office job that I realised just why I felt this way and why I never had much money left at the end of the week in my purse.

Like many people I was eating all the wrong foods and snacking at my desk on sugary snacks.

Plus I used to go out for lunch everyday, a sandwich or burger one day, a cheese covered jacket potato another. It was all adding up to big thighs and a big hole in my weekly budget.

I worked it out that I was on average spending on snacks and lunch everyday about £4.50 ($9). That’s an amazing £1,170 ($2,340) every year. I couldn't believe it when I realised that I was spending all that money on food every week and not good food at that.

I now have a frugal lunch everyday that costs me hardly anything as I often use leftovers or make up my own sandwiches etc.

I’m pleased to report that my frugal living plan has saved me at least £1,000 every year eating this way and my thighs are lovely and slender. Yippee.

Lunch Box Ideas

I have always found Hummus to be great lunchtime filler as it can be used in different ways. It can be spread in a wrap or a sandwich or can be used as dip with raw vegetable sticks. However it can be quite expensive to buy in any quantity. So I make it myself at a fraction of the cost and it makes lots too:

  • Hummus
    1 400g can of chick peas
    Juice from half of a lemon
    2 cloves of crushed garlic
    1-tablespoon olive oil
    2-3 tablespoons of Tahini
    2 – 3 tablespoons of vegetable stock (stock cubes are good for this)
    Salt and black pepper

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.

Frittata is like a sturdier more filling omelette. It is great to take to work as part of your frugal lunch. If prepared the night before it can be used up over several days and served with either mixed salad leaves, eaten hot or cold on its own or served along side other vegetables for your evening meal.

  • Vegetable Frittata
    1-tablespoon butter
    1 small chopped up courgette (zucchini)
    1 large tomato chopped up
    4oz sliced mushrooms
    1 diced small onion
    6 eggs, beaten
    Quarter cup of milk
    1 tsp mustard
    Pinch of salt
    Pinch of pepper
    2 cups of grated cheese (optional)

Melt butter in deep frying pan and Sauté courgette, tomato, onion and mushrooms. Then add all other ingredients and stir them together gently. Cook on a low heat for about 12 minutes until cooked through. Place pan under a grill to cook and brown off the top.

Pasta is another good choice for a frugal lunch as it costs very little to buy and can be eaten as the whole meal hot or cold or can be used as a side dish.

Pesto pasta is the simplest to make and tastes great. But to keep the cost down it is best to make your own pesto sauce, as it is very pricey to buy.

  • Pesto
    2 cups of fresh basil leaves
    Half a cup of pine nuts or walnuts
    Half a cup of olive oil 
    Half a cup of Parmesan or similar hard cheese
    3 cloves of fresh crushed garlic

Mix together using a blender until it makes a smooth paste. This can be kept in the fridge for a few weeks and only a little at a time needs to be used as it goes a long way and the flavour is quite strong.

Mix into pasta or spread on wraps, bread or rolls as a base for a Mediterranean sandwich. I love pesto.

What Is A Frugal Lunch?

Basically your lunch should consist of:

  • Grains or bread
  • Fruit and Vegetables
  • Calcium source like milk or yoghurt.

This mix of foods will keep you alert and focused throughout the day and will be providing some of your daily recommended five a day fruit and vegetables allowance.

A frugal lunch also means a lunch that you have prepared yourself using either leftovers or fresh ingredients,and one that you take to work using recyclable containers that you can use over and over again. It’s much easier than you think and also I found that I could eat a much more varied and interesting diet than I ever did before.

The Afternoon Slump

We’ve all experienced the afternoon slump, when we find it hard to concentrate and feel tired and restless. It normally occurs about three hours after we have eaten lunch and is caused, by our blood sugar levels getting low.

The trouble is, the worst thing we can do to boost our energy levels is to eat something sweet and sugary, as this will only give us a quick rush of energy followed by another quick slump.

The best way to get over this slump is to:

  • Get up and have a quick walk around and stretch
  • Drink some water
  • Look out of the window and take some deep breaths
  • Eat a non-sugary snack, preferable a complex carbohydrate like a banana or wheat. A bowl of cereal is a good solution and is easy on the pocket. Perhaps take a bowl and small portion of cereal to work for that afternoon pick up.

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