I’m a firm believer in brown-bagging it when it comes to lunch. Not only is it easier to make healthy choices this way, but it’s SO much more affordable. Like, SO much more. Today, I wanted to share with you all how to easily and affordably pack a healthy lunch and share the simple lunch packing method that I follow daily!

How to simply pack a lunch

Each day I pack three things in my lunch: one “main dish” and two “side dishes”. Let’s chat about each of those.

  • Main Dish: The main dish is the bulk of my lunch. Usually, this is a salad or open-faced sandwich. In the main dish I make sure there are three things: Veggies, protein, and a little fat. Lately, I’ve been loving seasonal squash, chicken breast, and avocado. Sounds super random, but it totally works! My salad dressing of choice is usually low-fat cottage cheese. It add just the right amount of moisture, is pretty low calorie, and adds an extra protein punch! Plus, you can actually just plop the cottage cheese right onto the salad, reducing the need to bring a separate dressing container- SCORE. When I do open-faced sammies, or a wrap even, I use the same method: Veggies, protein and fat.  Again, I like chicken breast, or sometimes tuna, and mix it with a little mashed avo, greek yogurt, or light mayo. Adding in some Everything But the Bagel Seasoning (From Trader Joe’s) can add extra flavor. Throw that little chicken/tuna salad onto bread topped with lettuce and you’re in business!
  • Side Dishes: I like to have one sweeter and one more savory side. My sweeter side is usually a piece of fruit. I’m a huge apple fan, but also like to rotate my fruit seasonally for the best price. A cheese stick has been my stand-by savory item, but veggies & dip (I love making my own hummus or using Trader Joe’s greek yogurt spinach dip) also makes an appearance.

Now, let’s talk cost. I just calculated the cost of my lunch this week, which is exactly as I stated above. The total? A whopping $3.20. I mean, SERIOUSLY? If the whole eating healthier thing doesn’t do it for you then maybe this will. It does for me, ’cause this girl need a new winter coat and those things are surprisingly expensive!

If you’re wondering where I shop the answer is mostly Aldi. I find that their prices are usually unbeatable. However, sometimes they lack variety or more of the trendy, unique foods (not always!) so I also stop at Trader Joe’s and Meijer when needed.

How to easily and affordably pack a healthy lunch

Also, since I’m a die-hard lunch packer,  I take my lunchbox selection VERY seriously. I’m OBSESSED with SoYoung’s new line of lunch poches. They’re seriously SO stylish, roomy and functional. They have an outside pocket which is a must for me (that’s where I stash my keys) and a removable divider on the inside. This helps me easily separate what I brought for snacks VS lunch. Check them out, like I said, I’m obsessed.

Once you guys start packin’ you’ll never go back!

 

Happy eating,

Colleen

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