quick and easy lunch ideas

Quick & Easy Budget Lunch Ideas for Work

When you’re on a budget, you eat a lot of sandwiches. Or – at least – we do in my family. They’re cheap and quick which is great when you’re running short on time and money.

But I’m tired of eating sandwiches.  There – I said it.  I’ve been eating sandwiches for lunch for months because it’s quick and easy, and I can make them low-calorie to fit in my overall healthy lifestyle.

I’ve had turkey sandwiches.  Ham sandwiches.  Tuna sandwiches. Sometimes even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to spice things up.

But I’m so done.  Sorry sandwich, it’s time for me to move on.

Without a sandwich, what other cheap ideas are there for lunch?  I’m really struggling with that today.   I’m busy, so I definitely need something quick and easy.  And healthy.  And did I mention it has to be quick and easy?  (I’m lazy and don’t like to spend more time in the kitchen than I have to.)

The town I work in is very small.  It’s truly rural-America.  My restaurant choices are two locally owned “mom & pop” restaurants and a Subway.  The locally owned restaurants are nice, but they don’t offer anything dairy-free – and, other than a salad, there isn’t anything low-cal on the menu.  And a girl can only eat so much Subway.  

Plus there’s the cost factor. Going out to eat every day (or even once every week!) just doesn’t fit in our monthly budget.

Which is why I pack my own lunches every day.  Not only is it good for me – there really isn’t any other option!

Quick & Easy budget ideas for work lunches

After much “googling,” here are the best options I came up with. 

  • Tuscan Tuna Wrap: tuna, diced tomatoes, and baby spinach wrapped in a tortilla.  Sounds easy enough, right?  And you could always turn it into a sandwich by using bread instead of a tortilla.
  • Chili & Chips: I’m not sure about using canned chili for this, but I like the idea of adding broccoli and crushed corn chips and a dash of cheese!  I’ll have to give this one a try!
  • Pizza Burger: This one might be tough to make while I’m at work, but I think I could pull it off.  Just warm up a veggie burger patty, put on a bun and top with pizza sauce and cheese.  (And they make lactose-free cheese, so I’m good to go!)
  • Egg Salad: I’ve been thinking about making some egg salad to have as a sandwich, but my weeks have been much too busy lately.  I’ll have to really do this next week, though.  And I can always add carrot, cucumber, and scallions for extra crunch!
  • Veggistrone: This looks absolutely amazing but time-consuming to cut up all the veggies to cook.  It makes a giant pot of soup, though, so it’d definitely last me awhile!

I’ve tried a few and enjoyed them. Hopefully, you can benefit, too! Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite go-to budget lunch ideas?


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Amy Beardsley

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Amy Beardsley, the driving force behind Marvelous Mrs, loves personal finance and productivity hacks, Netflix, and everything chocolate. You can check out her favorite money-tracking tool Personal Capital and visit her freelance writing business, too. Thanks for reading the blog!