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  • FIRST POST
    • piggeh
    • By piggeh 3rd Jul 06, 11:29 PM
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    piggeh
    saving money on lunch
    • #1
    • 3rd Jul 06, 11:29 PM
    saving money on lunch 3rd Jul 06 at 11:29 PM
    Right, at the moment I don't make any of my lunches for work, and instead either go to Asda or buy it from the sandwich van as it comes round each day. However, I want to start putting some money aside for a holiday or a car, so need to cut some expenses, and this seems like a fairly obvious one!

    At the same time, I'm fairly lethargic once I get home, and I very much doubt I would stand there each evening/morning doing a lunch, so was thinking of something I could do at the weekend and then freeze during the week and take what I need each day.

    I quite like some salads, but dont like fish, or anything really oily, or nuts. I wouldnt mind say, chicken, bacon, potato salad, pasta, lettuce, etc, but dont know how well these freeze or how well they store for a week in the fridge!

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do that I could get away with doing just once a week and that then stores well?

    Last edited by Former MSE Natasha; 11-07-2006 at 5:24 PM.
Page 1
    • Anne_Marie
    • By Anne_Marie 3rd Jul 06, 11:37 PM
    • 2,080 Posts
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    Anne_Marie
    • #2
    • 3rd Jul 06, 11:37 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Jul 06, 11:37 PM
    Was going to leap in here with some suggestions, apart from the freezing bit. I have never frozen any of my home made salad concoctions, but they usually have mayo, fromage frais or yoghourt, and I suspect they would separate.
    Salad vegetables do not generally freeze well in my humble opinion.
    You could make up sandwiches, pitta bread or wraps and freeze them, depending on fillings - wouldn't advise sliced tomato, they go all soggy and watery, likewise cucumber and lettuce.
    • piggeh
    • By piggeh 4th Jul 06, 12:05 AM
    • 1,679 Posts
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    piggeh
    • #3
    • 4th Jul 06, 12:05 AM
    • #3
    • 4th Jul 06, 12:05 AM
    So basically I'm doomed eh?

    You are probably right, it would probably seperate the mayo and that. Otherwise I guess the next best option is to do as much as possible and add the mayo and salad each morning/evening.
    • Anne_Marie
    • By Anne_Marie 4th Jul 06, 12:10 AM
    • 2,080 Posts
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    Anne_Marie
    • #4
    • 4th Jul 06, 12:10 AM
    • #4
    • 4th Jul 06, 12:10 AM
    So basically I'm doomed eh?

    You are probably right, it would probably seperate the mayo and that. Otherwise I guess the next best option is to do as much as possible and add the mayo and salad each morning/evening.
    by piggeh
    Not at all, I just can't think of anything salady that can be frozen, but I may well be wrong!
    What about making a quiche and freezing that in slices. You could make up some potato salad, bean salad, coleslaw - some other kind of salad. They will last for several days in the fridge. Pop into wee containers to take to work. Pack quiche seperately, or it will go soggy, add a few tomatoes, a lettuce leaf or some spinach and there you go! A total feast!
    If you like dressing with your salad - take in a wee screwtop jar.

    When I said make a quiche, make more than one, because it will just disappear - only evidence left will be crumbs, but it's just as easy to make two as one.
    Last edited by Anne_Marie; 04-07-2006 at 12:15 AM.
    • Anne_Marie
    • By Anne_Marie 4th Jul 06, 12:26 AM
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    Anne_Marie
    • #5
    • 4th Jul 06, 12:26 AM
    • #5
    • 4th Jul 06, 12:26 AM
    You could always make pasta in tomato sauce and freeze that, and have as a salad in a bowl. You might just have to add a little water as it does get a bit thick. You could always add some chopped chicken or whatever you fancy - keep some leftovers from night before depending. Otherwise some nice crunchy veggies.

    Wraps are easily my favourite, but you don't want to do mornings or evenings - they are a cinch honest.

    Well that's my brain drained out of recipes for tonight! Someone will along in the morning with some good ideas.
  • Penny-Pincher!!
    • #6
    • 4th Jul 06, 7:14 AM
    • #6
    • 4th Jul 06, 7:14 AM
    HM Coleslaw and Potatoe Salad will last about 3 days in the fridge, so you could make some up on Sunday night, then only have to make one batch through the week.

    Rice/Pasta salad are nice and refreshing. Normally have with chicken,ham, cheese, tuna etc. I have a chopped salad in the fridge (lasts 2/3 days) then add salad daily to pasta/rice-take in Mayo or Salad cream.

    Cold Chicken, Cold Pizza, sausage rolls, pork pies. HM Quiche is lovely and can be frozen easily and portioned. Just take a bag of salad with you to go with it.

    Do they have a fridge?

    HTH

    PP
    xx
    To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
    requires brains!

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    • Eels100
    • By Eels100 4th Jul 06, 8:05 AM
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    Eels100
    • #7
    • 4th Jul 06, 8:05 AM
    • #7
    • 4th Jul 06, 8:05 AM
    I was always the same as you when it came to making lunches but I now make one for OH every morning! I bake a cake at the weekend (the weetabix recipe on here is FAB!) and give him a slice of that, I buy big packs of mixed nuts and raisins, or seeds, and give him a small mixed bag of them, fruit (eg plums, grapes, pomegranate, use your imagination!) and a yoghurt. That all takes a matter of seconds to put together, then I make a couple of rolls with last night's leftover cold meat or salad, or whatever.

    Planning your evening meals to provide leftovers for the morning mean you can get two meals for the time and effort it takes to make one. Quiche is a good suggestion, but pasta, cold potatoes, pizza, wraps all make yummy lunches. And leftover cold vegetables can usually be mixed through rice in a dressing to make another tasty salad.

    Oh, and frozen homemade soup is a good one - take it to work in the morning and it'll be almost defrosted at lunchtime, then just zap it in the microwave if you have one.
  • aimeelister
    • #8
    • 4th Jul 06, 8:44 AM
    • #8
    • 4th Jul 06, 8:44 AM
    I knew i had seen it on here somewhere before

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=157506
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=185456

    Im sure theres a better way of doing a link, but im not that clever!

    I must say ive started making my lunches and im really bad with bread, so im fishing 2 slices out the freezer each day and slopping some spread and a slice of cheese on it and a bit of lettuce, the bread is then defrosted by the time it gets to lunch.
    • Austin Allegro
    • By Austin Allegro 5th Jul 06, 12:05 PM
    • 1,445 Posts
    • 4,072 Thanks
    Austin Allegro
    • #9
    • 5th Jul 06, 12:05 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Jul 06, 12:05 PM
    I just do sandwiches every morning at breakfast - only takes about 2 mins.

    Sometimes I'll do curry or pasta or something in the evening, do a double lot and keep the excess for lunch the next day - no extra time spent at all.
  • molesworth
    Cheese scones are handy to have in the freezer - just grab and go!
    • Linda32
    • By Linda32 5th Jul 06, 2:16 PM
    • 4,236 Posts
    • 9,313 Thanks
    Linda32
    I oftern take salads to work and they keep fine without going in the fridge, well I'm still here anyway

    This is what I do, We usualy have salad on the side rather than veggies during the summer, so when I do the tea in the evening, I also chop up salad stuff into a small bowl.

    Then in the morning, I open a tin of mackeral (I know you said you don't like fish but I wanted to include that to show it stays fresh until dinner with out being in the fridge ), throw half in my salad bowl and store the other half in the fridge for next day.

    Or boil an egg the night before, leave in fridge until morning then chop that into your salad bowl.

    OH likes sticks of celery and carrot so every now and again I chop up a batch and keep them in the fridge, so I just take an handfull out in the morning.

    HTH
    • Gers
    • By Gers 5th Jul 06, 2:51 PM
    • 6,793 Posts
    • 44,671 Thanks
    Gers
    If you like dressing with your salad - take in a wee screwtop jar.
    by Anne_Marie
    I find the little bluey-green bottles which contain Bencol are perfect for this. Haven't bought it for ages but have kept the bottles and use them for our salad lunch boxes with some dressing in.
    • lynzpower
    • By lynzpower 5th Jul 06, 4:40 PM
    • 24,746 Posts
    • 39,940 Thanks
    lynzpower
    If you have a microwave at work, you can take some cracking stuff into work

    Pasta with any sauce, bolognaise, tomato & veg whatever
    Curry & rice ( stink out your office
    Soups with bread
    casseroles & stews
    All these can be frozen

    I dont think theres that much hassle of slicing a couple of bits of bread & wacking some ham, chicken beef in and a bit of salad is there? Oh does his in about 2 seconds flat! Also we use things like sausage rolls, bake at home, yoghurts, bag of crisps or twiglets, cereal bars
    Well aint funny how its the little things in life that mean the most? Not where you live, the car you drive or the price tag on your clothes.
    Theres no dollar sign on piece of mind
    This Ive come to know...
    So if you agree have a drink with me, raise your glasses for a toast
  • Mirtos
    This soup is amazing - make up a batch at the beginning of the week and it'll keep for 5-6 days in the fridge! Lovely warm or cold for llunchRecipe:250 gr green lentils1 large onion finely chopped or grated1 large/ 2 small tomatoes finely chopped or grated2tblsp olive oil1 clove garlic2 bayleaves if you have them but not essential!2 vegetable oxo cubessalt to taste2pints water.wack it all in a pan and boil for an hour, stirring occasionally and topping up water if necessary. done. yum yum.
    Official Debt Free Wannabe Nerd Club member 095! Debt Now:
    M&S 5000 2071.49 - 3.9% |Cahoot Loan 8646.96 7453.24 - 5.8%| Barclays OD 2250.00 991.99 - 0% Halifax Card 1620.60 - 0% Savings: 927.59
    Grand Total = 22,540 11,209.73 Total paid off since 31st May '06 = 11,330.27 Semi-DFD Dec'07?
    Savings for temporary unemployment fund: 763.05 @ 8%, 164.54@ 4% Total savings: 927.59

    18k Challenge 18,934.21 11,209.73 to go!
    Proud to be dealing with my debt.
  • Mirtos
    On the recipe front, you might also want to try this;gently 'sweat' one large onion in 2tblsp olive oil in a large saucepan, add;500g green/runner beans, de-stringed and cut into large chunks1tblsp tomato puree1 can chopped tomatoessalt to tasteoregano if you've got it but not essentialwater to cover beansbring to boil and simmer for an hour or so. Hey presto! It feeds two people with decent appetites and is delicious with crusty bread - it's also always tastier if left to stand over night - so is perfect for lunches made the night (or week) before!xx
    Official Debt Free Wannabe Nerd Club member 095! Debt Now:
    M&S 5000 2071.49 - 3.9% |Cahoot Loan 8646.96 7453.24 - 5.8%| Barclays OD 2250.00 991.99 - 0% Halifax Card 1620.60 - 0% Savings: 927.59
    Grand Total = 22,540 11,209.73 Total paid off since 31st May '06 = 11,330.27 Semi-DFD Dec'07?
    Savings for temporary unemployment fund: 763.05 @ 8%, 164.54@ 4% Total savings: 927.59

    18k Challenge 18,934.21 11,209.73 to go!
    Proud to be dealing with my debt.
  • Mirtos
    sorry about crazy formatting there. Don't know what's going on with my computer! Both those recipies are very tasty, veggie based meals that are light enough for hot weather, but still satisfying. Hope that helps.xxx
    Official Debt Free Wannabe Nerd Club member 095! Debt Now:
    M&S 5000 2071.49 - 3.9% |Cahoot Loan 8646.96 7453.24 - 5.8%| Barclays OD 2250.00 991.99 - 0% Halifax Card 1620.60 - 0% Savings: 927.59
    Grand Total = 22,540 11,209.73 Total paid off since 31st May '06 = 11,330.27 Semi-DFD Dec'07?
    Savings for temporary unemployment fund: 763.05 @ 8%, 164.54@ 4% Total savings: 927.59

    18k Challenge 18,934.21 11,209.73 to go!
    Proud to be dealing with my debt.
    • scotgirl
    • By scotgirl 6th Jul 06, 1:20 PM
    • 802 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    scotgirl
    You say you are lethargic at night but if you eat an evening meal just make another portion - this is so eas if you are cooking already!Pasta, rice, potatoes, bread - anything you make in the evening will be nice for lunch the next day!
    The Best Things in Life Are Free
  • mirakl
    I used to be reasonably lethargic when I came home from work but once we got our breadmaker, the novelty of it encouraged me to bake bread and rolls and sort out sandwiches last thing at night so I just have to grab them in the morning.

    There's a great dough setting so you can make mini pizzas, bake and then freeze them so you can just bring them into work in the mornings and microwave them at lunch time.

    I've just ordered a new one because I've used mine to death and they're not expensive http://www.tesco.com/electrical/product.aspx?R=8344010&bci=311|S_Id
  • GardenMillie
    Quick Savoury Rice
    I love this recipe as it's quick and cheap. Try Lidle Chicken Curry flavour savoury rice and add in anything you have, chopped tomatoes, left over meat, mushrooms, frozen peas. It's a great way to get extra veg and makes enough for two generous portions.

    Yum yum.
  • laughing cow
    Have you got a fridge at work? I like my food really fresh so don't like taking in sandwiches or salads that I've made the night before - and I also can't be bothered. I buy lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olives, avocado, hummus etc (I'm veggie) from the Tesco Express near work and keep them in the office fridge all week and make my lunch there, fresh each day. I've also got oil, lemon juice and mustard there for dressing. I then just add bread (keep pittas in the freezer compartment and warm in the toaster), and anything else I fancy that day or that I might have at home - yesterday I took some grilled asparagus left over from the previous night's dinner - you could take some chicken/cheese etc.

    In the winter I batch make homemade soup/stews and freeze in individual containers. I also take leftovers (pasta etc) from last night's dinner. If you've got an office microwave and toaster, beans on toast cannot be beaten on a cold day!

    One tip - just because you're moneysaving it doesn't have to be miserable. I'm a bit of a foodie and to be honest, my salads/sandwiches are much better than all the local sandwich bars (ooh, get me!). Even though I sometimes have fancy ingredients - posh deli bread, artichokes etc, it still works out cheaper than shop bought sandwiches - and I've got a gourmet lunch that everyone in the office is jealous of.
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