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Copyright 2007


Saving on lunches

Making lunches to take to school, work or play can become a chore, especially if you want something more than a vegemite sandwich everyday.

One option is to go to the supermarket and stock up on small food serves that are easy to pack. Of course, hat can become an expensive option, and not everyone is happy with the additives in many convenient lunch items.

So how can you have convenience, low cost and interesting packed lunches?

To start with, you need to set yourself up to make it possible:

  • Invest in some small containers that can be washed and reused over and over
  • Find some containers that snugly fit a sandwich – it saves on using cling wrap every day
  • Have lunch boxes available that are tall enough to hold an orange
  • Label all containers likely to be used for lunches – ok, maybe not so necessary for work lunches unless you share workspaces, but very important for school lunches!

Then, start thinking about what lunch ingredients suit you and your family and try out the following ideas:

  • Buy bulk dried fruit, such a 2kg of sultanas or mixed fruit, and place in a large container you keep somewhere handy. Each day, fill a small container with fruit and you’ll save a fortune compared to buying those small boxes of fruit. You can do the same with large packets of biscuits and chips, too
  • Divide a large tin of fruit or a bowl of home-made fruit salad into small containers – again, his is much cheaper than buying the single serve fruit packs
  • Spend a few hours once a month doing a lot of baking. Make muffins, slices, mini-quiches, mini pies, sausage rolls and even toasted sandwiches, then wrap/pack then ready for lunches and place them in the freezer. Then you simply pull out something to pack each day
  • Buy heaps of fruit and add a couple of different fruits to each lunch box
  • If you eat a lot of dried fruit, consider getting a system for drying fruit yourself – not only will it be cheaper than buying the packets, you will avoid the additives in commercially dried fruit and will save the planet from more packaging
  • When cooking each night, make enough to fill containers for lunches – left overs often taste better anyway! You can also freeze lunch size serves if you make a really big batch of soup, bolognaise sauce or similar
  • Grab packets of cup-soup when they’re on special if you can boil water to make your lunch. Add a fresh roll from a bakery for a cheap, warming lunch
  • Put salad vegetables into a container and take bread separately so you can have a fresh salad sandwich (because who wants a salad sandwich hours after it’s made?)
  • An easy to carry lunch is a hard boiled egg and slices of bread. If this appeals, boil up a few eggs at once to cover a couple of lunches
  • Buy big containers of dips and spoon some into smaller containers to take for lunch with some dried biscuits, carrot sticks, bread, etc. Even better – make up your own dips at home! Add interest by adding home-grilled capsicum and eggplant, along with some sliced cheese and tomatoes
  • Instead of packet cheese and biscuits, buy larger sizes and prepare your own snack serves


Tash Hughes is a Mum of two in Melbourne. She is also a writer and owner of Word Constructions. Tash is available to write articles and profiles for any business, as well as doing other business documentation projects. You can see her site and services at


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