What do you bring for lunch for work?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by coneman5259, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. coneman5259 macrumors member


    Sep 20, 2007
    I need to stop eating out everyday at work, it's just too damn expensive. I would love to bring my own lunch but the idea of a ham and cheese sandwich everyday makes my stomach turn. So what do you guys bring to lunch that makes lunch interesting and less mundane?
  2. WillEH macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2011
    United Kingdom
    Oooo, I bring pasta when possible. But as I work in a hotel, I can get the chef's to cook me fresh food. Brilliant ;)
  3. Eldiablojoe macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2009
    West Koast
    I usually do this:

    -On drive into work, 1 piece of dried toast (60 cal). Gets metabolism started.

    -After settling into work, 1 banana (90 cal.).

    -About mid morning, fruit (strawberries, pineapple, whatever). My grocery store sells pre-packed containers of cut berries, etc. (about half-pound or 1 cup aka 8 ounces). About 75-100 cal.

    -Lunch time, a homemade dry sandwich of turkey, swiss, lettuce, etc. About 230 cal.

    -Lunch time, a lean cuisine frozen meal 300-400 cal.

    -Lunch time, strips of bell peppers, about 2/3 of a cup. About a full sandwich sized ziploc-type bag (14 calories).

    -Mid-afternoon, apple slices (grocery store sells a container of 5 pre-packed washed, cleaned, sliced apples bits), 30 calories

    -Mid-afternoon, baby carrots. (grocery store sells a bundle of 4 pre-packed cleaned, washed baby carrots. About 30 calories.

    -Late-afternoon, a Quaker chewy granola bar. 100 calories.

    -Dinner time, a glass of wine or two (200-400 cal). :)

    -Dinner time, anything else I want- reasonably of course. Chipotle burrito, or Z-Pizza, or Corner Bakery, etc. Up to 1000 calories.

    This is a day's total of about 2300 calories which is just enough to maintain my 160 pounds, even losing a half-pound a week so I supplement by having a cheater day on the weekend (Chicken Parmigiana, Mexican food, etc.)

    Hope this helps. I mix up the foods a bit, but yeah- unfortunately I eat a lot of the same during the day, except for the dinner meal.
  4. coneman5259 thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 20, 2007
    Thanks, I guess I can split it up instead of just having one huge lunch, why are you so calorie focused at 160?
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Left-overs from dinner the other night.

    I love leftovers. :)
  6. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2005
    Manchester UK
    This is what I do too. This has two advantages. You get a tasty lunch and you can buy things in bigger bulk (to guarantee leftovers) so it works out a bit cheaper.
  7. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    This is so true. I wasn't into leftovers that much before this awful recession, but now it's all about eating at home and leftovers for me and most of the people I know.

    The eateries around me, besides McDs and Starbucks, are pretty much empty most of the time.
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Well the restaurants around me are mostly packed, and I still eat leftovers. :p

    It's just so convenient to just cook more food than you need for dinner. Nobody at work gets jealous of some awful tuna salad that someone else brought to work (or made at work!), but people have looked at my lunch and told me that it looked really good!

    And I can't cook for s***. "Looks good" doesn't mean "tastes good", but they don't need to know that. ;) They're jealous, and that makes me happy about my crappy homecooked food.
  9. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    Wow, I want to move into your town. Detroit and Flint look like booming towns compared to me but then again, we hope we can get back to a day when they return puddle jumper flights and reasonable bus lines again.

    I remember when I was a kid and we visited California and Nevada ghost towns but these days, ghost town pretty much describes much of both of those states.
  10. Eldiablojoe macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2009
    West Koast
    Because I just passed 160 and am at 155, but 5 months ago I was at 196.
  11. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I work out of the house now so I usually eat lunch at home.

    However, I used to just get nice bread from the store bakery like Dutch Crust, Sour Dough, and various European Round Breads. For sandwich meat I get from the deli Capicola, Black Forest Ham, Pepper Turkey, Salami or whatever sounded good. For cheese I like to get Muenster, Port Salute, Swiss, Pepper Jack, Smoked Gouda &c. For the produce vine ripened tomatoes are a must, Romain Lettuce or Spinach and anything else you like. As for the condiments vary between good Red Wine and Balsamic Vinegar with a good Olive Oil (not the cheap bulk bottles for cooking but the small $10 bottles they will last two or three months) and get a pepper grinder for fresh ground pepper.

    For a side I would get fruit like grapes, bananas, mango, strawberries &c.

    As for a drink I would use a refillable bottle and fill it with different Kerns Nectar's or Tropicana's.

    So you can eat sandwiches everyday. It is not monotonous if you use high quality ingredients and vary them weekly. A 1lb of meat, 1/2lb of cheese and loaf of bread should make five sandwiches. Be sure to refrigerate the bakery bread or else it will be stale in one or two days. I also dropped 50 lbs by cutting out the fast food and soda. Whenever I eat any fast food it just seems so bland and tasteless now.
  12. CaptMurdock Suspended


    Jan 2, 2009
    The Evildrome Boozerama
    Yeah, they're usually just as good or better the second time around. Add some fruit (e.g. apple, orange) and I'm good to go.

    Okay, OP's question, assuming you have the basics at work (i.e. refrigerator, microwave oven, maybe a toaster oven if you're swanky):

    • Top Ramen, augmented with store-bought frozen veggies
    • Various rice dishes -- even Rice-A-Roni, if you must
    • Those frozen entrees you get at the supermarket. Still cheaper than eating out every day.
    • Pre-made pasta and a can of marinara sauce. Open and heat up.

    That's all I can come up with off the top. Good luck!
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Basically my only vice. I have it most days for lunch :D
  14. R94N macrumors 68020


    May 30, 2010
    If you have access to a microwave you could take soup or pasta and warm it up, providing your co-workers don't get angry because of the smell lingering.
  15. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    I go to school, but I think this is still pretty relevant.

    Normally I just snack on crisps, fruit and cereal bars. It probably isn't healthy but I always eat a big breakfast and have something as soon as I get home. It's a shame the cafeteria doesn't cater for vegans :(
  16. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2004
    Missouri, USA
    If you have a Lee's Chicken they have a 3.99 lunch menu. I tear that thing up :D
  17. RITZFit macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2007
    In my Corner
    Half the time I'm thinking Arby's...the other half I'm starving, wishing I had extra cash :rolleyes:
  18. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    That what I would often do while I was working. It was normally leftover from something I made over the weekend as I would have more time for it. Soups was my most common item to bring as they were easy to make.

    Something else I would take fairly often was Greek Pasta Salad. Part about the greek pasta Salad is that it would not require heating back up at work. It was supposed to eaten cold and it is fairly easy to make.
  19. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    Working in a grocery store definitely has its advantages. ;) Usually I'll buy one of the pre-made salad's or sandwiches we have, sometimes just a frozen meal that I heat up in the break room microwave. Other times, I go without. But it would be pretty easy to bring something from home, there's a fridge in the break room as well to store things in, just have never thought about it the night before work for some reason.
  20. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    Your grocery store must love you XD I love those things, but I also recall that the pack of mini packages of baby carrots costs about twice a whole package of baby carrots, and the other stuff is fairly expensive too.

    I love your idea though, plus it sounds like you eat a lot! :D
  21. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Your lunch possibilities are endless. As many have said, leftovers are always a great option, but you've also got:

    - sandwiches (cold cuts, PBJ, meat/chicken/fish, veggie, salad-style meat, etc.)
    - soups
    - cereal
    - oatmeal with fruit
    - wraps (same type of fillings as a sandwich)
    - salads (numerous possibilities)
    - tacos, burritos, and other mexican style options
    - pasta (spaghetti, lasagna, stroganoff, etc.)
    - homemade burgers or sliders
    - pot pies
    - homemade pizza
    - fruit, nuts, vegetables
    - any meat and veggie combo

    You've always got the option of frozen meals, but you can make most of this stuff on your own at home and it will taste better.

    I definitely agree with the idea of snacking with healthy options and making your meals a smaller portion. I'm bad with breakfast, but I try to eat it when I can. I'd suggest a mid morning snack around 10:00 to 10:30, lunch anywhere from 12:00 to 1:00, and an afternoon snack around 3:00 to 3:30. This will keep your metabolism up all day and you will not be starving at meal times.

    Today my lunch is a chicken salad wrap with strawberries on the side. My mid morning snack was some almonds and my afternoon snack will be a granola bar. Dinner will be whatever the wife decides to make, so I'm not sure about that one.

    Being consistent with bringing your own lunch takes effort, but it's worth it for your health and your budget.
  22. benhollberg macrumors 68020


    Mar 8, 2010
    Since I work at a restaurant I can make my own food but I am also a student. So this applies to me as well. I would say that about ninety-percent of my food is from my work. Probably more. I can't remember the last time that I didn't eat a meal that was at work or I took home from work.
  23. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    Im pretty boring and bring just about the same thing for lunch everyday - but its effortless to shop for and make, its super cheap, and not too unhealthy. I really should mix it up a bit and maybe even break up my calories into more smaller snacks to keep the metabolism up... but right now I bring;

    Apples (precut - costs a tad more but easy to bag/pack)
    granola bar of some sort

    PBJ (yes, i eat like a 10 year old) on wheat, natural PB, and sugar free jelly
    Pretzels (prob could be swapped for something better for me)
    and my one vice, soda. I go through spells of quitting, reducing, etc. Unfortunately I have made it like a treat in an otherwise boring day.

    The above gives me a little room to cheat and eat about whatever I want though I know this is also backwards - you should eat the bulk of your calories during the day, not evening.

    To the OP, there are other good ideas out there for lunches - if you have access to microwaves check out some of the healthi-"er" options at the frozen section of the grocery store. Also fitness magazines/websites tend to have a lot of ideas/variety for cheap and easy meals.
  24. TT4T macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2011
    Free food from my place of employment (a cafe). My breaks are frequent and tasty :D

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