Filling but cost effective lunch

When I first started working my mum would make me a packed lunch. It consisted of 4 croissants, a chocolate bar, a packet of crisps, a cereal bar, a cake bar, a rice krispie square, a yoghurt and a pot of jelly. I may have missed something (was 20+ years ago). It was filling but I also felt terrible when going back to work in the afternoon, I'd feel sleepy and my belly often didn't agree with it either.

When I moved out I decided to reduce my lunch down to a sandwich and packet of crisps. Not very filling but helped with fatigue in the afternoon and I could have a big meal when I got home. This worked for years.

I recent times though I've found myself getting really hungry during the working day. Yesterday I didn't get home until gone 10pm and I've never felt so hungry in my life. My wife said no wonder given I'd only had a sandwich and packet of crisps all day. She gets meals provided for her at work so she doesn't have that problem.

There's lots of food options round where I work but they're so expensive. My colleagues think nothing of paying £12 for lunch but I could never do that.

One important factor is that it's something that I can eat outside the office, the only thing that makes the work day bearable is spending lunchtime outside the office and being amongst the crowds on the streets of London.

Any ideas?


  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,238
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    I always loved leftovers.  It was amazing to me that that at dinner I might want a massive portion of XX but for a lunch the next day I was happy with a small serving.  Really starchy things would make me need a nap - so I tried to avoid bread.  But a whole wheat pasta (fusilli is nice) with a bit of left over chilli or stew or just some tuna mayo and tomatoes is great.  Plastic pot, fork and you're good to go to the park.  Have a big spotted hankie to keep yourself tidy and it's good to wrap up things once you've eaten.  

    Little pots of cream cheese or (again) tuna mayo and some chopped up wholewheat pita or a packet of oat cakes works well.  If you find you're flagging in the afternoon it might be time for a quick cuppa soup at your desk - my favourite was always to have a little carton of the instant borscht sold at Polish supermarkets - most of their soups are very tasty but the borscht was sold in a little container meant to make 17 servings and cost about £1.49 so excellent value.  
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  • Katiehound
    Katiehound Posts: 7,499
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    Soup & crackers
    perhaps a small pot of yoghurt or a 'baby' fromage frais (they're not just for toddlers!)
    or a jelly (not a bought one)
    Save/ buy some small containers- these would do for jelly, yoghurt, grapes, carrot barons etc.
    Eggs are excellent for protein- either hard boiled or in a sandwich
    if you like fish perhaps a couple of sardines?
    Not much nutritious  in crisps so better with a piece (or 2) of fruit or some berry fruits

    if you google ideas for packed lunches adults you get lots of ideas from different sources- they may not be budget but you can pick & choose from the different recipes
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  • Emily_Joy
    Emily_Joy Posts: 1,159
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    If you can be flexible with timing, take a look at too good to go, where you can get a fresh meal for £4. I do it every time I am in the city. 
  • Rosa_Damascena
    Rosa_Damascena Posts: 6,202
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    Emily_Joy said:
    If you can be flexible with timing, take a look at too good to go, where you can get a fresh meal for £4. I do it every time I am in the city. 
    That was to be my suggestion. Places like Pret, Costa and Paul get rid of a lot of stuff after 5pm - so take something for the day, and reserve something from your TGTG bag for the next day.
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