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So you want to save a ton of money on lunch

Duh.

Illustration Sharon Gong
September 28, 2017
So you want to save a ton of money on lunch

I am bad with money. At the end of every month, without fail, I am left stretching the last few dollars of my paycheck as far as they will go. It's embarrassing: I'm old, I should be better at budgeting. Or N.Y.C. shouldn't be so damn expensive. Either way, something I've become pretty passionate about this year is making lunch instead of buying it.

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I generally head to Trader Joe's on a Monday, pick up a bunch of groceries to store in the fridge at work, and make the same thing all week. [Note: I do not prep lunches at home 'cause when I am at home, I am lazy.] Sometimes I do fancy sandwiches with nice bread, sharp cheddar, red onion pickle, and mixed leaves. Other times, a big salad with chickpeas and tomatoes and feta. I never spend more than around $20 for a week's worth of lunch items.
To get in the lunch-making groove, here are a handful of kitchen aids that will prove to be $$$-savers in the end.

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Prepworks/Prep Solutions by Progressive Lettuce Keeper
So you want to save a ton of money on lunch

Get fresh.

It's got a silly name, but make no mistake, this piece of tupperware is no normal storage solution: it's also a colander and will keep your groceries day-one fresh for longer.

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$13 on Amazon

Reusable Silicone Food Savers Fruits and Vegetables Storage Containers
So you want to save a ton of money on lunch
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Forget cling wrap.

Speaking of freshness, here are some handy lids for any leftovers: you can stick 'em on onions, on cans of tuna, on anything you'd like.

$12 on Amazon

Micro Egg Microwave Egg Cooking Cup
So you want to save a ton of money on lunch

Soft or hard-boiled in seconds.

Eggs are great. Office kitchens are not. But they usually have a microwave, so homemade egg salad here I come.

$7 on Amazon

Clean Dezign Bamboo Fiber Bread Box Bin with Cutting Board Lid
So you want to save a ton of money on lunch

Use your loaf.

Don't be like me and put your bread in the fridge to keep it fresh: it ends up tasting like cardboard. Instead invest in a 2-in-1 bread bin that comes with a handy chopping board lid.

$36 on Amazon

Sound Harbor Music Shopping Bag
So you want to save a ton of money on lunch

Plastic is not fantastic.

Thousands of tonnes of plastic bags are dumped in the ocean each year, says my president David Attenborough, and that "has a catastrophic effect." Think about the turtles and whales and use a shopping tote to lug your lunch groceries instead.

$7 on Amazon

From The Collection:

Life Upgrades
So you want to save a ton of money on lunch