Lunch Without Feeling Like a Loser

Brian says:

Let’s face it: we all love any chance to leave our places of work to catch some fresh air and go out for lunch. But in this topsy-turvy economy, people are being more compelled to make and take their own lunches. When it comes to this, there are some rules to follow to keep from looking like 3rd grader on the first day of school.

Lose the paper bag.

Like those who insist on bringing reusable bags to their local grocery store, the same can be done by bringing a proper lunch bag. Think about something that’s durable, washable and age appropriate. I recommend the “Mega food Carrier” from Bed, Bath and Beyond; they have an assortment of colors and styles that’ll make your lunch stand out without looking like a dunce.

Embrace the art of “The Leftover”.

So many people are convinced that going to the deli section of a store, purchasing a pre-made sandwich or tray of sushi and then placing it in their lunch sack is the same as “making” their lunch. Negative. You can start by embracing many of the recipes found on this very website. Instead of cooking for just you or your family, cook as if two or three more people are just going to magically show up for dinner. If they don’t then you can make and refrigerate portions for later on that week at work. I promise it will go a long way without the guilt of cheating.

Never forget to treat yourself…sparingly.

Constantly going out for lunch, or even dinner, is not only expensive, it leads to a slew of health problems down the road, we get this. This does not mean that you can’t live a little every once in a while. Set one day for yourself during a week where you leave the lunch bag at home and treat yourself to your favorite burger or slab of ribs from the joint around the corner. This allows you to build an incentive-based routine that makes you look forward to rewarding yourself for being so diligent.

I understand, especially in a home where both spouses are working, that time can be an enemy of yours which could cause even the most dedicated lunch maker to fall off the wagon. Try switching up the lunch responsibilities or make everyone lunch one day as a sign of appreciation. I assure you everyone else will follow suit and make the experience much more worthwhile.


  1. pacman on February 15, 2011 at 5:14 am

    small but nice tips to open the gates of happinesss thanks alot..

  2. miniclip on February 15, 2011 at 5:03 am

    really great tips thanks alot.

  3. ben 10 on August 23, 2010 at 7:33 am

    i just wanna thank you for the great tips and read.

  4. Courtney on July 20, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Great tips, and super first post!

  5. Stacy on July 20, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Thanks for the post. I started making lunches a few years ago, and we have saved lots of money. Well, I haven't ever added it up, but I know we have. We've also eaten much better. I get pretty tired of making them, to be honest, but I feel like it's the best thing for our family. I found some nice looking recycled lunch bags at . As I was looking at the link you included for the Mega whatever, I started thinking that it would be fun to have a variety of cool looking lunchbags. Maybe it would make it a LITTLE more fun to prepare them.

    • Stacy on July 20, 2010 at 7:21 am

      One more thing: for little kids, the Skip.Hop lunch bags are super cute. They're also on the Bed, Bath, and Beyond website.

  6. @vhanna26 on July 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Great tips! That Mega Food Carrier is pretty sweet!

  7. Jenn on July 19, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Great post! I've learned from experience that if I'm making extra portions of something, I'd best set them aside before I bring the meal to the table or they will get eaten. I've even made a double batch of a dish (admittedly one of my husband's favorites) and had next to nothing left for later.

  8. Kenneth Andrews on July 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Some great things to think about here in your first post Brian, great to see you jumping right on in!

  9. Sarah on July 19, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    My husband went from a 5 times a week eater-outer to someone who takes his lunch nearly every day of the month! The tricky part is that his job takes him away from a refrigerator or microwave. He has a 4-tier tiffin container and a Mr. Bento. He takes great pride in whipping up new and interesting lunches that he can take in four containers – he tweets them from time to time at (with pictures!).

  10. Rae on July 19, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    My husband and I swap lunch making duty from time to time, and leave each other cheesy love notes. It's good for morale and sometimes a blush in the middle of the day!

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