Healthy Living That Costs Less? (Lunch)

Believe me, it is possible to have a healthier lifestyle and spend less at the same time! In the current financial climate many of us will need to tighten our belts and see expensive health-kicks as a thing of the past. Here are some easy tips to reduce out goings and increase your well-being at the same time!

Get a lunchtime take out – from home!

Anyone who is out of the house during the day will know just how expensive bought lunches can turn out to be. With a soggy, limp sandwich costing anywhere up to £4.00 and a bottle of water around £1.00 the options for producing a more nutritious, tastier and cheaper lunch at home are infinite.

Top tips:

  1. Invest in a good cold bag, a cool pack and some plastic food boxes – they keep everything nice and fresh and provide a convenient way of carrying your lunch.
  2. If you’re someone who finds that bread goes off before you can use it all, try freezing sliced bread and making your sandwiches up the night before with frozen slices. Then keep them in the fridge until the morning. Hey presto – by lunchtime you have lovely, fresh, ready to eat sandwiches!
  3. Fillings can include anything from ready-made deli style to a few slices of Sunday’s roast kept fresh in the fridge. Go for low-fat, polyunsaturated spreads for extra health benefits and remember a teaspoon of chutney or pickle can liven-up almost any combination and won’t break the bank.
  4. Remember there are lots of options for packed lunches so you need never get bored! A portion of last night’s cold pasta, cous cous or risotto with a sprinkling of cheese or a spoonful of cottage cheese makes a great alternative, as is swapping your normal bread for wraps, rolls or bagels.
  5. Try to balance your lunch to provide you with all the brilliant energy, vitamins and minerals to keep you going throughout the day. Great ingredients include:
    1. A couple of portions of fruit and vegetables (e.g a banana and some carrot sticks or an apple and a large handful of salad leaves in your sandwich) to count towards your five a day.
    2. A portion of protein (e.g. egg, fish, meat, egg, beans or lentils) to provide those all important nutrients for healthy muscles, hair and skin.
    3. A portion of calcium rich dairy (e.g. a low fat cheese or yoghurt) for strong bones and teeth.
    4. A portion of carbohydrate provided by you bread, pasta, rice or cous cous to give you the energy you need to get through the day.
  6. Don’t forget your drink!  Anything goes – try to stick to low sugar versions and remember water is always a great option. Having a safe refillable bottle is a good way to keep yourself hydrated and save money.

So, I hear you say, how is all this going to save me money and make me healthier? By planning a head and buying in bulk all of the above can be bought for a snip of the price of eating out. If you still don’t believe me….

  • 2 slices of own-brand wholemeal bread – around 7p
  • ½ tin flaked tuna – around 60p
  • Tablespoon mayonnaise – around 5p
  • Handful of salad leaves – around 20p
  • An own-brand low-fat yoghurt (bough as part of a six pack) – around 16p
  • Banana – around 15p
  • A bottle of tap water – free!

Giving us a total of 1.13p! Using a guesstimate of around £4 for the same lunch bought out, we can estimate another £14.35 saved over five working days.

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