Lunch time – how to save money & your waistline.

According to a recent survey, the average person  spends almost £900 a year on lunchtime sandwiches, wraps, crisps, chocolate bars and drinks. Not only are  these shop bought  lunches relatively expensive but they also have a large impact on your  waistline.

The most common reason  my clients  give me for  not eating a healthy lunch  is that they don’t have time to make their own & struggle to find anything healthy when they are out & about or at the  work canteen.  Many also say that they don’t know what to make other than sanwiches or salad.

Here are a few super simple, wallet and waistline friendly ideas to help you:

1. Make it the Night Before – if you are going to be getting up early & rushing out of the door then make your lunch and snacks the night before.

  • Stir fry finely sliced spring onions, carrot, sweet corn, peas or some other vegetables you like, add some left over chicken, beef , salmon or prawns add some chicken or vegetable stock , crushed garlic and ginger and you’re done.
  • Make a large vegetable frittata & cut into  slices  to take with you. (Could even be breakfast on the go)


2. Take Leftovers – Cook enough dinner so you have leftovers for lunch the next day. Put them in a food container after you’ve eaten at night, pop it in the fridge when you go to bed & its ready to go in the morning.


  • Mixed beans, peas and sweet corn can be added to left over rice from the night before to make a super quick, lunch box salad. Add some tuna, salmon,  smoked mackerel or boiled eggs to keep the protein intake up, which will help keep your feeling fuller for longer.
  • A tin of tuna goes well with baked sweet potatoes. (You can make a batch of these in advance).


3. Pre-Cook in bulk at the weekend and freeze individual servings

Then, take a portion out of the freezer the night before you need it and  heat it up in the  microwave at work. No -microwave then heat it at home in the morning & stick it in a flask.

  • Home-made soups,  stews, & curries are a  nutritious, filling and healthy. They are  a great way to increase your fruit and veg intake.

4.Fruit & vegetables can be blended to make a really filling, nutritious smoothie in seconds. Keep a  small hand-held blender  at work so that you can just grab some fruit & veg (You can even use  ready prepared frozen varieties  that require no peeling and chopping) then blend a way when you are at work . Add some high quality protein powder & you have a meal that will keep you fuller for longer



5. Snack Ideas

  • Vegetable batons with home made hummus, boiled eggs, mixed nuts and seeds, semi-dried fruits, chicken drumsticks, cherry tomatoes, Natural or greek yoghurt with nuts, seeds, fresh or dried fruit added all make nutritious snacks.


6. Got nothing in & need to grab something quick from the supermarket

  • Pick up freshly cooked chicken from the deli counter & a bag of mixed salad leaves or a prepared garden salad from the salad section (NOT the takeaway sandwhich section as they all full of  highly processed pasta, couscous an mayonnaise). Grab a lemon & squeeze over the salad. (Lemon juice is a natural flavour enhancer, is full of vitamin C, helps keep food fresher for longer and the acid  helps to slow the rate of gastric emptying  keeping  you fuller for longer.)



By the way: a typical, average packed lunch can contain a massive 1000 calories

Sandwich (450 Kcal)
Bag of crisps  (150 Kcals)
Small chocolate bar, cereal bar or biscuits  (200 Kcals)
Small pot of yogurt  (100 Kcals),
Soft drink (100 Kcals)
Piece of Fruit  (70 Kcals)
Total:  1,070 Kcals

*All calorie estimates are averages.

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