Advanced search

Packed Lunch for work on a budget

(26 Posts)
singingpinkmonkey Wed 04-Oct-17 21:49:53


I start work on Monday after maternity leave and will be going part time. This will leave me with very little money compared to when I worked full time.

Working in Manchester City Centre I used to be tempted to buy lunch everyday and would easily spend £10+ on drinks and snacks during the 12 hours I was out of the house.

That's just not going to be an option anymore so can anyone suggest any packed lunch ideas aside from the usual sandwich and crisps ( I don't mind this some of the time bit could get boring if had every day)?

OP’s posts: |
CrabappleCake Wed 04-Oct-17 21:54:02

I make a big batch of soup at the weekend and take in some and freeze some, same with batch of beany stew so not having same every day. Often take in leftovers. Also roast veg and take with lentils and feta. Pitta breads in freezer, defrosted by time get to work.

Taking a little pot of grated cheese or chilli sauce makes it less dull.

PurpleDaisies Wed 04-Oct-17 21:55:33

I make a bigger dinner and take leftovers most days.

I also make batches of soup and freeze it.

twinkledag Wed 04-Oct-17 21:58:06

Cooked chicken and salad?

Idrinkandiknowstuff Wed 04-Oct-17 22:02:14

I take a maasive salad everyday, with prawns, tuna, chicken, cheese etc, home made dressing and a pot of home made Greek yogurt.

singingpinkmonkey Wed 04-Oct-17 22:19:02

Some lovely ideas there! Thank you very much.
My office building doesn't have a microwave (apparently the smells would offend other clients).

I have a flask though so all is not lost and can definitely make up a salad!

OP’s posts: |
notheretoargue Wed 04-Oct-17 22:29:14

I make a big batch of rice and lentils at the start of the week, then top up with roasted veg/ finely chopped raw veg/ boiled eggs/ tomato sauce. The only problem is not to eat it before lunch time!

singingpinkmonkey Wed 04-Oct-17 22:48:18

I'm feeling quite positive about this now. Thank you. I know that sounds daft but was feeling quite down about the money situation but feel like I'll be able to keep to my budget now xx

OP’s posts: |
dolphinbbq Wed 04-Oct-17 23:01:01

I alternate “bread product” every week. Switches between pitta/bagel/bread/rolls etc and buy a few packets of cooked cold meat, some salad and a multipack of crisps. Buy a pack of six apples & costs no more than £8 per week. Make up lunches and just chuck them in he fridge.

It’s a case of grab & go for me!

dolphinbbq Wed 04-Oct-17 23:02:12

I did spend £10+ per day but it was just on rubbish I didn’t even want/need!!!

Soup in a flask is a good idea too 😁

spiderbabymum Wed 04-Oct-17 23:03:27


Love it

AtleastitsnotMonday Wed 04-Oct-17 23:12:27

Cous cous with roasted veg and chickpeas
Tuna pasta salad
Cold fritata
Cheese and crackers
Crudités, breadsticks or toasted pita strip with houmous
I make a good potato salad with halved baby potatoes, grapes, apples, gherkins, celery and crumbled crispy bacon.

CrabappleCake Thu 05-Oct-17 06:59:22

Buying a joint of meat, like a gammon or a whole chicken, and eating leftovers or freezing sliced is a much much cheaper way of buying cooked meat than the little packets.

StealthPolarBear Thu 05-Oct-17 07:08:12

Make a quiche, cook, slice and freeze in slices. Again they are defrosted by lunchtime. I do this with leftover quiche from parties.

kateandme Thu 05-Oct-17 11:01:22

look up salad in jar recipes smile awesome things.
make a big batch of roasted veg pasta or cousouc.take what you want out of frigde container throughout week.
make a saute of tomato peppers,chorizo and chickpea.stick into a container and take pitta bread to serve with.
little pastry pockets.get yourself a ready rolled pastry sheet.lay half with any filling you choose.cheese and ham.cheese and potato.salami and sweet potato,mince.then throw over the other half.pushed sides together.cook.take in you own sausage rolls but better.

Synecdoche Thu 05-Oct-17 11:17:52

Pasta salads, homemade hummous with falafel/pitta bread and some leaves, leftovers from night before...

I make this a lot for DP:

VioletCharlotte Thu 05-Oct-17 12:01:31

In the winter I quite often make soup on a Sunday and take this in every day.

Otherwise my 'go to' lunch is crackers, cheese, grapes and apple.

schoolgaterebel Thu 05-Oct-17 12:08:11

My favourite work packed lunches are:

Humous & grated carrot wrap

Crackers and cheese with chutney & pickles

A slice of quiche & salad

Ryvitas with cottage cheese & pickled beetroot

crazypenguinlady Thu 05-Oct-17 12:31:35

I'm in same boat as you, returning to work on a part time basis in just over a week, and also looking for inspiration. Jumping in to steal some ideas smile

Orangeplastic Thu 05-Oct-17 19:18:36

Dh was spending almost £10 a day on his lunch and nearly the same on coffee, we need to save for our next project - so he's mostly on flask food now, being a life long hater of sandwiches and one coffee a day! I deliberately over cook - sometimes it's not suitable or everyone is hungrier than expected and he just buys his lunch. In general he is having a massive amount of pulses. He had to get a very smart lunch bag which paid for itself within a couple of weeks...I'm looking forward to seeing the difference in out bank balance.

MoreProseccoNow Thu 05-Oct-17 19:24:25

I love taking in a pack of thin rice cakes from Lidl & have them with hummus, carrot & cucumber sticks.

Or cream cheese & avocado.

I also take in the frozen berries from Lidl with Greek yoghurt. Defrosts by lunchtime on my desk!

Weedsnseeds1 Sat 07-Oct-17 00:30:44

Vegetable fritters - grated / finely chopped veg of your choice e.g. courgette, carrot, onion, spring onions, spinach, kale, an egg or two, a bit of flour until it's a thickish batter. You can add cheese, leftover rice or grains, herbs and spices etc. Shallow fry in small dollops.
It's my default use for odds and sods from the fridge. They're great hot or cold and with a little tub if dipping sauce, yoghurt, mayo or whatever, they are perfect for a packed lunch.
They freeze very well too.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Sat 07-Oct-17 17:06:28

I tend to have the same thing every day for a week, to avoid wastage.

this week it's crusty rolls with Brie and rocket, plus grapes and figs

Other weeks recently have been:

wholemeal soft rolls with Quorn ham, grainy mustard, watercress

crackers, cheese and grapes

hoummus with celery and carrot sticks

Spanish omelette (my favourite packed lunch ever - make a fat one on a Sunday and it'll do for a couple of days)

Multipack of crisps or salted popcorn, plus Nakd bars whenever they are on offer = done!

DelphiniumBlue Sat 07-Oct-17 17:11:31

No microwave? How uncivilized!
I take salad plus hardboiled egg, and things like olives and anchovies to spice it up a bit. I sometimes make a frittata the night before, and keep yogurts and porridge at work. Also fruit.

kateandme Sun 08-Oct-17 10:29:49

also hun often not always but often meat or items are cheaper when you buy the bigger bags or offers etc. so try batch cooking or if its a bigger bag of veg or meat then cook it then take for packed lunch the next day.there aren't many dishes that don't become someimtes more yummy the next day.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in