Brown Bag Lunches

Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

I keep a can or two of a favorite soup and a soup mug with a box of crackers on hand for those days when everyone is brown bagging it and I forgot to pack a lunch. Also, I keep an open mind when it comes to taking my lunch on a return trip home for dinner or leaving it in the office fridge for tomorrow if the group seems to be going to a place that sounds better or more fun than what I brought. There's a way to "have it all" with the concept of brown bagging.

Leftover Lunch Ideas

If I make homemade spaghetti, I make a large batch in the slow cooker and add extra meatballs and pepperoni and sauce. One day I have spaghetti and meatballs, the next day I have meatball or pepperoni subs with cheese, and then chicken parmesan with a salad. If I make roast chicken, we'll do roast chicken and veggies one night, cheesy chicken enchiladas the next night, chicken soup another night, and either chicken salad sandwiches or just salad topped with chicken.

Brown Bag Lunch Savings

On weekends, I make a big batch of basic burrito filling, and also cook some rice, potatoes and scrambled eggs. Then I make an assembly line of different fillings, using burrito mix with potato, some with eggs, some with rice. If I have cooked chicken, I also use this. I bought a box of paper wrappers at Smart and Final, and also wrap them in foil. They are easy to grab when putting lunch together in the morning and re-heat at work. When we started doing this, we no longer needed to carry much cash. Sure beats spending about $3 to $4 a day at the fast food place for burrito and coffee.

Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

For a long time, I was taking one of those store bought microwave soups to work for lunch. I got outraged at how much money I was spending on this unhealthy item and resolved to change it. I put a plastic container in my refrigerator, and throughout the week, I put carrot peelings, onion peelings, garlic peelings and whatever veggie leftovers we have into it. When we have a roast or meat with bones, I save those separately as well.

Every Friday morning, I fill a big pot with water and dump in all my saved items to make stock. I add salt, pepper and whatever herbs seem appropriate. I boil it, let it simmer for a few hours, strain it, and stick the broth in the fridge. At suppertime that night, I skim off the fat and start whatever kind of soup I want for that week. We have it for dinner and many lunches throughout the week and it costs very little and tastes wonderful. My coworkers are jealous of my yummy soup. I know what is for dinner every Friday without thinking and my pocketbook is heavier!
Elizabeth D.

Brown Bag Lunch Ideas for Variety

My hubby takes his lunch to work most days. I have sent tuna salad, chicken salad and chef salad with sides of cottage cheese, salad dressing, canned fruit, etc. I just need to come up with some other ideas for lunches to break up the monotony.

Take the Next Step:

  • Share your thoughts about this article with the editor: Click Here
  • Subscribe today to get your free Dollar Stretcher Tips email newsletter. Twice each week we'll share great ideas from our readers. Everything from auto insurance to weddings to help you live better for less.

Stay Connected with TDS


Little Luxuries

to the Dollar Stretcher newsletter and get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Debt Book