Packing your own lunch is not only economical but healthy, too. You don’t only get to save bucks from expensive restaurant meals but get to pick nutritious options as well.
Some people, though, find it extra challenging to pack their own meals to work, especially when mornings are busy.
So, I have gathered and listed down helpful bento lunch box tips to make packing lunch an easy feat for you. Read on to learn how to pack your work or your kids’ school lunches more efficiently!
Why Bring Your Own Lunch?
What’s the big deal with packing your own lunch? Well, apparently, it not only allows you to achieve your fitness and wellness goals but financial goals, too! How?
Today, on average, you would have to spend around $8 to $12 for a fast food lunch. Bringing your own food, on the other hand, cuts the cost by half or even more!
And, more often than not, it’s not only you who can enjoy the meal. You can even share it with your friends and family!
You see, there are tons of benefits to home cooking. You also get to pick healthy ingredients and control your meal portions, making it easier for you to achieve your weight and wellness goals, too.
How Can You Pack Your Lunch More Efficiently?
Once you do the math on how much you’ll be spending on restaurant meals, you’ll soon realize that it’s time to bring your own food.
However, some people think this can get taxing, especially if you’re already rushing in the morning. Others also claim they don’t enjoy their meal at lunchtime because it’s either soggy or completely unsatisfying.
If you’re new to packing lunches or want to avoid these things from happening again, here are easy-to-follow tips to make your meal preps easy-peasy!
Always think health
One of the benefits of bringing your own lunch to work is that you get to choose what goes onto your lunch box, and into your body.
This means, reaching your health and wellness goals will be a lot easier because you have control over what you eat.
You get to pick healthier food choices such as fruits and veggies, legumes, beans, and whole grains. You can even count your caloric intake by packing your own lunch!
As opposed to fast food and take-out meals that often use unhealthy oil, added sugars, and other harmful ingredients that may damage your health, home-prepared meals are well-thought-of and carefully picked.
The secret is to keep motivated, especially if you have long-term health and fitness goals. And remind yourself that these goals can only be achieved by observing a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
Cook big batches on weekends
Monday blues are so common for many of us that preparing a work lunch on a Monday morning feels close to impossible.
And because you are more likely to laze on the first day of the work week, it’s best to cook big batches during the weekend.
Some people like to prepare meals on Sunday that are big enough to cover Monday lunch. Then they will transfer their lunch meal to their bento lunch box and store it in the fridge so that in the morning, they can simply grab and go.
You can do this trick if you find it extra challenging to get up on a Monday morning to prepare and pack your lunch!
Use some store-bought prepared goods
Don’t pressure yourself too much. Preparing your meals for work doesn’t need to eat up so much of your time.
You can buy a store-bought rotisserie chicken for your wraps and salads or bottled dips for your vegetable sticks. Buying prepared foods is a great way to lessen preparation and cooking time for your work lunch.
Just make sure that you are picking the healthiest options possible, of course!
Separate the dressing from your salad and sandwich
You don’t want to eat a soggy sandwich or salad, do you? It’s not only less visually appealing but less appetizing, too.
To prevent your veggies from getting soaked in salad dressings, and to keep them fresh and crunchy, pack your dressing in a separate container.
It’s one of the simplest yet most effective ways to ensure you’ll enjoy a fresh-tasting meal. It helps to look for a bento lunch box that comes with extra removable containers for this purpose.
Bring foods that taste great when reheated
Of course, you’d want to savor a warm meal! Most bento lunch boxes are designed to fit the microwave because many of us crave a warm meal every time.
Soups and stews are great for reheating because they taste just as awesome as the time you cooked them. You can look for simple stew and soup recipes that are perfect for your work lunch!
Pack foods that don’t need reheating
A warm meal sure sounds fantastic until the office microwave breaks down. Don’t fret, though, because you can still bring yummy meals to work that don’t need reheating!
Pack your leftovers
Do you have leftovers from your dinner last night? Pack it for your work lunch the next day!
You will not only have free lunch, but you’ll also save some space in your fridge! Plus, you get to make the most out of the meal you prepared that may otherwise end up in the trash if you don’t bring it to work.
Additional tip? Transfer your leftover to your bento lunch box right after dinner or before your nightly routine. This is a super practical tip that will save you a huge amount of time in the morning.
Just imagine how convenient it would be if you won’t have to store leftovers only to take them out again the following day. Plus, you get to tidy up only once!
Prepare filling and satisfying meals
Your purpose of saving money from restaurant meals will be defeated if you don’t pack filling meals. If you feel hungry after an hour or two from lunchtime, you probably didn’t pack your lunch right.
And this could spell trouble because you are more likely to buy foods from fast food that are not only costly but unhealthy, too.
So, what’s the trick? Prepare more filling and satisfying dishes that will help keep your hunger at bay. Meals made with quinoa, brown rice, lentils, beans, and other fiber-rich foods keep you full for longer.
Get hints from your kids
If you’re also packing your kids’ lunch, make sure you also listen to what they have to say. If they say they are starting to love fruits, add more fruits like apples and bananas to their bento lunch box!
Kids usually love to eat familiar foods like chicken dishes.
Get a bento lunch box that keeps your food fresh
Admit it, you are less likely to eat your packed lunch if it doesn’t taste great anymore. So, best you look for a lunch box that actually keeps your meals’ taste quality!
You’d want your sandwiches and salads to stay fresh and crisp until lunchtime, so consider investing in a quality lunch box.
Something like the Karma bento lunch box is great for your meals! Not only is it airtight but it’s got everything you need, too!
It has a complete cutlery set, a sauce pot where you can put your salad dressings and sauces or snacks, and a wall separator to prevent your foods from getting mixed up.
What’s more, it also has its own thermo case, so a lunch bag is one less thing you have to worry about!
Bring meals that you actually want
What’s the point of bringing lunch if you’d actually end up giving or throwing it away because you don’t like it?
Simply put, pack meals that you actually want to eat. If you don’t feel like eating a salad for lunch, don’t pack a salad.
If you know your leftover food won’t taste as good as how you prepared it for dinner when you reheat it, don’t pack it for your lunch either.
Avoid the risk of wasting food by actually preparing what you want to eat. This is one of the best ways to avoid splurging on expensive meals at restaurants and save money.
Set a day off for your packed lunch
No pressure here, you can enjoy a break from your packed lunch once a week! You can take Fridays off and savor a nice restaurant meal or whatever it is that you’re craving for.
Even better if you strategize your schedule! Let’s say, you prepare your Monday and Tuesday lunch on a Sunday night, and then take a break on Wednesday so you can prep your meal at night for the rest of the work days.
Bringing your own lunch to work is a great way to save money and stick to a healthy diet. You can use these tips and tricks as a guide to make meal preps a lot easier and fun for you!
And remember that when it comes to meal prep, a reliable bento lunch box is your best friend. So, choose wisely. After all, a quality bento lunch box is a worthy investment.