Did you know that in some parts of Europe they call their mid-day meal dinner? So for our European readers, this post is about how to eat a healthy dinner for only a few pence a day. Now back to speaking American, since we’ve already discussed time and money-saving tips when it comes to breakfast, why not give lunch a try?
“D&E, you can’t possible be suggesting I run back to my apartment or dorm and whip up something for lunch everyday?! Isn’t easier to just buy lunch?”
Easier for you, yes. Easier on your wallet, no. We completely understand where you are coming from though. For some reason there is a general idea that lunch is the one meal a day college students should go out and buy. With class, work, and projects we have no time to cook anything in the middle of the day.
Fear no more, we have come up with only two options for lunch:
- Packed lunch
The leftover option is pretty simple. Most of our recipes we will be posting will make enough for next-day-leftovers. The only difficulty is finding a microwave nearby. If you work part time during the week, most places have a microwave in the break room or kitchenette so you should be good there. If your lunchtime happens to fall in between classes, see if your school building has a student lounge where you might find a microwave. You’d be surprised at how many microwaves are actually around you throughout the day, just keep your eyes peeled.
With a packed lunch you have so many more opportunities (including not having to hunt down a microwave). First, go out and get a reusable lunch bag or box. Brown paper bags will just rip in your backpack and cause quite a mess. Next, build your lunch in the morning or the previous evening by including the following components:
- Main component – typically a sandwich but could be a salad or cold leftovers
- Fruit component – something that won’t make a mess in your bag such as an apple or orange
- Dairy component – string cheese is easy, but yogurt is more fun
- Munchy component – yes everyone needs something to munch on; pretzels preferably but a small portion of chips is fine
- Treat component – something sweet to finish it off, like a granola bar
As for what to drink, here’s a game-changer for ya’ – NOT SODA/POP! Even if it is diet. It’s loaded with bad sugar and is terrible for your teeth! Seriously, just carry around a water bottle. Water is free. If you really need something flavored, maybe 100% juice or the flavored sparkling waters (only 70 cents for a liter!) will do just fine.
Declan packs a chipped ham sandwich (on whole wheat bread, not that white bread crap!), an apple, string cheese, a small bag of pretzels, and a granola bar. This usually runs him about $1.86 a lunch. Erica usually takes the leftovers from the night before along with some fruit and yogurt.
Yes our methods are a bit grade-schoolish, but if you follow them, we won’t make you write “I will not buy my lunch anymore” 100 times on the chalkboard.
Leave us your favorite lunch ideas below. Remember – think quick, think cheap, and think healthy!