With the cost of living rising, many more are finding their weekly and monthly food shop to be expensive. Not only is there breakfast, dinner and snacks, your lunch for work every day needs to be factored in. Preparing work lunches at least five times per week can be time consuming. That’s why we have come up with some quick and affordable lunch ideas that you can prepare for work!
Tip: Read until the end to find some money saving tips on your food shop
- Beans on toast
- Scrambled egg on toast
- Fruit salad
- Wraps – fill with a protein of your choice, some salad and mayonnaise (add some sweet chilli sauce for something different).
- Oatmeal/ Porridge – add some maple syrup or honey and top with fruit of your choice! (Bananas and blueberries are a common favourite).
- Pancakes – Perfect if you want a sweet treat! Homemade pancakes are quick and easy to make, or you can purchase packet pancakes at the supermarket for often £1 or less. Add some syrup and fruit.
- Couscous – You can get multiple portions out of one 80p bag in the supermarket. All you need is some hot water and it’s ready. Add some cooked vegetables and tinned mackerel to give it more flavour.
- Smoothies – You can create any smoothie you like and they’re often surprisingly filling.
- Soup – Quick and easy from the tin to the microwave. Bring some bread and you’ve got a meal.
- Greek yoghurt with fruit – A great option for those on the healthier side
- Bagels – A personal favourite! Grab a wholemeal bagel and toast it slightly. Mix together 50g of cream cheese, a tsp of lemon juice and some dill. Spread this onto the bagel and you’re done! Get fancy with it by adding some thinly sliced cucumber, smoked salmon and avocado.
- Pot noodles/ Ready meals are a good choice if you’re really stretched for time and want a quick snack
Money saving ideas for food shopping…
- Purchase more canned food – these are very versatile, have a long expiry date and often a lot cheaper than buying it fresh or frozen. Items such as tinned tomatoes can be used to create a delicious tomato sauce for pasta dishes, just add 2tbsp tomato puree and some herbs like oregano and basil. Extremely cost effective and easy to store.
- Buy alternatives to branded items – While you may have the odd item that you cannot compromise on, quite often there are more affordable substitutes for items which taste just the same and bring the cost down.
- Frozen food – It’s no secret that frozen lasts longer than fresh but when buying fresh food also, check if it can be frozen before and after cooking. This way you can batch create meals and freeze an items like chicken if you won’t use it by the ‘use by’ date. It saves money by preventing waste.
- Create meal plans – Research cost effective meals and ingredients and plan your weekly meals. This way you only buy the items you will use.
- Use ingredients that have multiple purposes – Purchase sauces/ herbs/ spices that can be used to create a variety of sauces for different dishes. Then you only need the basic ingredients for the rest such as chicken, onion and bell pepper. Some good sauces to have are: Oyster sauce, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar.
- Change where you shop – Different supermarkets have different prices, places like Aldi and Lidl seem to be the most affordable. Other supermarkets have their own branded items which are more affordable such as Asda’s new yellow range.
- Shop at the right times – Supermarkets reduce the price of items at different times where you can get some amazing deals. Sometimes a loaf of bread is as affordable as 15p.
- Coupons – Sign up to the supermarket websites and any saving saving scheme that they have, for example Tesco Clubcard. You can also sometimes find coupons in magazines, newspapers, email newsletters.