Meal Prepping for Efficiency and Cost


I used to eat lunch out most days. I was right out of school and didn’t cook all that much and didn’t have leftovers. I went to work too early and didn’t have the time to make lunch in the mornings. It was just easier to go grab something.  I was building better relationships with my coworkers.

Those things were all excuses. At around $8 for a fast food meal or a Subway sandwich combo, you’re looking at close to $40 a week. Someone in the office will want some variety, so mix in something a little nicer on Friday and you’ll be closing in on $200 a month. There are more efficient and cost effective ways to have a satisfying and delicious meal at work.

With a little forethought and a couple of hours one weekend, you can prepare a month’s worth of lunches. Make that same commitment a few more times and you’ll have options that will let you pack a different lunch every morning of the week in about 60 seconds.  The best part is you’ll spend closer to $50 a month than $200 on those work lunches.  Even going with higher quality options won’t drive the cost up beyond $100.  The image at the top is a smoked leg of lamb that’s around 5 lbs. It freezes well and only costs about $30.  At a third of a pound per meal, you’re looking at 15 servings for the low cost of $2 per meal.  Add a $1 worth of extras like a sweet potato and some buttered toast you’ll have a very nice lunch that only costs $3.  That low cost option isn’t even the frugal route; when I post some of the rice and beans heavy options later you’ll be able to make lunches that come in close to or under $1.

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