lunch http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1921/all en-US Flashback Friday: 106 Delicious Lunches That Will Make You Excited to Brown-Bag It http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-106-delicious-lunches-that-will-make-you-excited-to-brown-bag-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-106-delicious-lunches-that-will-make-you-excited-to-brown-bag-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_sandwich_lunch_18207339.jpg" alt="Woman eating delicious lunch and excited about brown bagging it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Lunch might not be as important as breakfast, and not as decadent as dinner, but it's still a meal you need each day. But so many of us are pressed for time that we either skip lunch, get quick and easy fast food, or are utterly bored with the plain sandwich we brought from home.</p> <p>It's time to change that. Here are 106 delicious lunches that will make you excited to brown-bag it.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/63560539.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-10-frugal-lunches-are-delicious-hot-or-cold?ref=fbf">These 10 Frugal Lunches Are Delicious Hot or Cold</a> &mdash; In the heat of the summer, who could ever get a hankering for soup? Well, cold soups are so in right now, and here are some other delicious lunches that taste good hot or cold.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-brown-bagging-it-better-than-buying-lunch?ref=fbf">15 Ways to Make Brown Bagging It Better Than Buying Lunch</a> &mdash; When you buy lunch everyday, you spend way more money than you should. But it's hard to top the convenience and taste in a meal that's loaded in sugar and that you didn't have to make yourself. There are ways to make brown-bagging it way better, though, and they're all right here.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/eating-5336068-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas?ref=fbf">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a> &mdash; With just a little planning, you can prep and pack a ton of easy lunches for the week. Oh, and they'll taste amazing, too!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-dishes-you-can-make-with-a-can-of-tomato-soup?ref=fbf">11 Delicious Dishes You Can Make With a Can of Tomato Soup</a> &mdash; Who knew a basic can of tomato soup could be so versatile? It's true. So stock up on tomato soup and have some of the best lunches ever.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000017035986_Large.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-cheap-spring-roll-wrappers-at-every-meal?ref=fbf">20 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Cheap Spring Roll Wrappers at Every Meal</a> &mdash; The wonderful thing about spring roll wrappers, is that you can put just about anything in them. I'm talking buffalo chicken, mac and cheese, or chili. And here are 17 more you'll absolutely love.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches?ref=fbf">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a> &mdash; Sandwiches are the most common option for lunch, as they're portable and uber affordable. However, don't let that be a daily routine, or you'll get sick of sandwiches quickly. Here are 25 excellent non-sandwich options.</p> <p><em>What are some other lunch hacks we should try? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-106-delicious-lunches-that-will-make-you-excited-to-brown-bag-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-41-coffee-hacks-that-will-instantly-improve-your-morning">Flashback Friday: 41 Coffee Hacks That Will Instantly Improve Your Morning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-102-amazing-food-hacks-you-have-to-try-this-summer">Flashback Friday: 102 Amazing Food Hacks You Have to Try This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-104-sweet-ways-to-celebrate-valentines-day">Flashback Friday: 104 Sweet Ways to Celebrate Valentine&#039;s Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-119-amazing-meals-you-can-make-from-a-can">Flashback Friday: 119 Amazing Meals You Can Make From a Can</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink bag lunch brown bag fbf flashback friday Food food hacks healthy living lunch lunch hacks recipes Fri, 17 Jun 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1732948 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Delicious Dishes You Can Make With a Can of Tomato Soup http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-dishes-you-can-make-with-a-can-of-tomato-soup <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-delicious-dishes-you-can-make-with-a-can-of-tomato-soup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000050693370_Large.jpg" alt="make easy recipes with a can of tomato soup" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ah, tomato soup. Not only is it inexpensive, but it's a terrific comfort food. You don't need to be limited to eating just soup, though. Tomato soup is also a great base for fast meals. Here are 11 delicious dishes to make using that can of comfort food.</p> <h2>1. Quick Creole</h2> <p>This one comes from Campbell's Cookbook, published in 1969. Saute one chopped green pepper, one onion, and one minced clove of garlic in a skillet until tender. Stir in a can (10 &frac34; ounces) of tomato soup, ⅓ cup of water, two teaspoons of lemon juice, a dash of pepper, and a dash of Tabasco sauce. Add a pound of cooked, cleaned shrimp. Serve over rice.</p> <h2>2. Mexican Marvel</h2> <p>Prepare soup using milk rather than water. Place a handful of tortilla chips in a soup bowl. Sprinkle generously with shredded pepperjack cheese; top with hot soup and a dollop of sour cream. This is good when you have a cold, especially when used in conjunction with a soft quilt and Netflix.</p> <h2>3. Mom's Layered Dinner</h2> <p>This feeds a lot of hungry teenagers. You'll need a large, covered skillet.</p> <h3>Ingredients</h3> <ul> <li>3 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into &frac14; inch slices</li> <li>3 carrots, peeled and sliced into &frac14; inch slices</li> <li>&frac12; onion, peeled and sliced into &frac14; inch rings</li> <li>1 pound hamburger or turkey burger</li> <li>Salt and pepper</li> <li>2 T olive oil</li> <li>2 cans tomato soup</li> <li>1 can water</li> <li>1 can corn, drained</li> <li>1 cup shredded cheddar cheese</li> </ul> <h3>Method</h3> <p>Heat the olive oil in the skillet and brown the hamburger; drain off any fat. Remove the burger from the skillet and set aside.</p> <p>In the skillet, add the potatoes; salt and pepper generously. On top of the potatoes, add the carrots, a little more salt and pepper; finally, add the corn. Return the meat to the pan, on top of the corn. Combine the soup and water; pour over all. Cover skillet and turn to medium. Cook until potatoes and carrots are tender, adding a little more water if necessary. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with garlic bread and a salad.</p> <h2>4. Slow-Cooker Lasagna</h2> <p>The busier I get, the bigger fan I have become of slow cookers. This <a href="https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2657595">lasagna</a>, using tomato soup, is easy to throw together quickly. While the shape will be more like, well, a stew, you'll still get the lasagna flavors. I skipped the bouillon cubes altogether and used one cup of red wine in place of one of the cups of water. Yum! Serve with garlic bread.</p> <h2>5. Grilled Cheese Croutons</h2> <p>A grilled cheese sandwich is always a natural with tomato soup. Amp that up by cutting your sandwich up into little squares, and then float those on the top of your soup as &quot;croutons.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Quick Curry</h2> <p>Cube and steam butternut squash. Add a teaspoon of red curry sauce to the prepared soup, and a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter. Stir well and serve it over jasmine rice. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.</p> <h2>7. Meat and Noodles</h2> <p>Add leftover hamburger, diced chicken, or chopped ham to the prepared soup. Serve over noodles. Sprinkle with parsley for a little color.</p> <h2>8. Stuffed Cabbage Rolls</h2> <p>Combine a pound of cooked, ground beef (or turkey) with a cup of cooked brown rice, two tablespoons of diced shallots, and a beaten egg. Stir together; add &frac14; teaspoon of pepper and a teaspoon of garlic salt. Cook eight cabbage leaves in boiling, salted water for 3&ndash;4 minutes to soften them. Drain. Roll meat mixture in drained cabbage leaves, and place in skillet. Combine a can of tomato soup and a can of water; pour over rolls in skillet. Cover and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, spooning tomato soup mixture over frequently.</p> <h2>9. Hot Dog Stir Fry</h2> <p>Slice eight hot dogs (any type, even tofu) and heat in a pan in a little olive oil. Add a teaspoon of prepared mustard, a can of tomato soup, a dash of Worcestershire, and a half-can of water. Heat until bubbly. Prepare hot noodles (two cups). Serve mixture of over hot, buttered noodles.</p> <h2>10. Cheesy Delight</h2> <p>If you add some cream cheese (stir well) to the soup, the result will be absolutely decadent. I feel very guilty doing this so I just use a tablespoon or two. Add a small handful of baby spinach leaves and stir in for a delicious lunch.</p> <h2>11. Fast Stew</h2> <p>Season and flour a pound of beef or pork cubes. In a Dutch oven, brown meat in two tablespoons of shortening or oil. Add a can of tomato soup, a soup can of water, a third of a bag of frozen pearl onions, three carrots, peeled and halved, and three potatoes, peeled and quartered. Add a soup can of red wine. Toss in a teaspoon of thyme, a teaspoon of garlic salt, and sprinkle with a little pepper. Put the lid on and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.</p> <p><em>What other tomato soup dinners can you make? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-dishes-you-can-make-with-a-can-of-tomato-soup">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-106-delicious-lunches-that-will-make-you-excited-to-brown-bag-it">Flashback Friday: 106 Delicious Lunches That Will Make You Excited to Brown-Bag It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-and-delicious-meals-to-make-with-your-kids">10 Frugal and Delicious Meals to Make With Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-raw-recipes-to-try-this-summer">11 Delicious Raw Recipes to Try This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-ways-to-eat-cauliflower-rice">12 Delicious Ways to Eat Cauliflower Rice</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink dinner recipes easy dinners easy recipes frugal food lunch recipes tomato soup Mon, 16 May 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Marla Walters 1709864 at http://www.wisebread.com Are You Wasting $300,000 on Lunch? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-300000-on-lunch <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-wasting-300000-on-lunch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_lunch_break_000063560539.jpg" alt="Woman wasting $300,000 on lunch every day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems obvious that a serious handbag habit, or a penchant for champagne might damage your finances. But lunch? Seriously? Afraid so.</p> <p>I know, I know. Lunch is hardly an extravagance. We all need to eat, and picking up something to take out is a far easier option than preparing something at home.</p> <p>But did you ever really consider the long-term costs? Although the small daily outlay on a restaurant or cafeteria lunch (not to mention coffees, sodas, and snacks) may seem insignificant, it adds up over time. If you're like the average American office worker, you could be spending about $3,000 on lunch and coffee this year. Just imagine how that mounts up over a whole working lifetime.</p> <p>Ouch.</p> <p>But turn this on its head, and there is some really good news. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-brown-bagging-it-better-than-buying-lunch">Bringing in your own lunch</a> to work could save you so much money, you could take a vacation, save for a new car &mdash; or even knock <em>years</em> off your planned retirement date. Put down the double skinny caramel latte, and read on to check out how.</p> <h2>1. Crunching the Numbers</h2> <p>According to survey findings, 82% of working Americans spend at least <a href="http://www.accountingprincipals.com/Documents/downloads/workonomix_spending_habits.pdf">$20 a week on coffee</a>, and no fewer than 89% spend at least $35 every week on lunch. That works out to at least $57.49 per week. So, let's take an average Joe example:</p> <p>Spending $57.49 a week on lunch and coffees, for 50 weeks in a year, means you're handing over $2,874.50 to eat an unsatisfactory (and probably unhealthy) meal at your desk daily. And if you spend more than $11 or so per day on lunch and coffee (as many of us are guilty of doing), that figure increases rapidly.</p> <p>What better use could you be putting that money to?</p> <h2>2. The Beauty of Compound Interest</h2> <p>You're reading a personal finance blog &mdash; so you probably already know that compound interest is your friend. Interest earned on an initial deposit is added into the overall sum held, meaning you get interest paid on interest already accrued. The net result is that small sums of money, over a long period of time, can grow. And grow. And grow. It's a personal finance nerd's dream.</p> <p>This effect is shown even in a relatively conservative &mdash; but slow and steady &mdash; account that will give you a 1% return on your cash (and don't forget that interest rates will fluctuate and are likely to rise at times over the course of your working life). With compound interest, and time, even a small regular deposit can grow to something worth having. The longer you squirrel it away, the bigger it gets &mdash; and remember, in the case of saved lunch money, this was cash you hadn't counted on having. You should not miss it.</p> <p>For example: If, instead of buying lunch &mdash; for this year only &mdash; you invest the $2,874.48 saved in a skimpy 1% interest savings account, it could become a &quot;happy retirement&quot; holiday once you get to the point of ditching work, turning into $3,874.85 over the course of 30 years. Just by sitting there! Putting the same amount of cash aside into a vehicle that mirrors the S&amp;P 500 over 30 years, based on a historic average return of 7%, your savings would turn into $23,409. Of course, additional contributions will lead to even greater gains.</p> <h2>3. How to Retire &mdash; Effortlessly</h2> <p>Okay, 30 years is a long time, and the idea of sacrificing your convenient sandwich for something that far hence might not sound so appealing. But how about if quitting your sandwich habit could actually bring your anticipated retirement forward?</p> <p>Don't shout about it, but it can. Here are the sums:</p> <p>By continuing with your &quot;average&quot; annual savings from ditching takeout lunches over the course of 30 years, your pot, even at a low 1% yield, would become just over $100,000 thanks to the magic of time and compound interest. If you learn enough about investing to achieve that historic average of 7% from the S&amp;P 500 over that period, you could accumulate an astonishing $312,362. Enough to change your retirement plans?</p> <p>By simply squirreling away that tiny amount of lunch money every day, you can either increase your total lifetime retirement savings by hundreds of thousands of dollars, or retire years sooner, altogether.</p> <p><em>Does giving up that sandwich or passing up Chinese takeout still sound like such a sacrifice?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-300000-on-lunch">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-smart-thing-you-can-do-for-your-retirement-today">One Smart Thing You Can Do for Your Retirement Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-you-arent-saving-enough-for-retirement">10 Signs You Aren&#039;t Saving Enough for Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-retirement-account-is-right-for-you">Which Retirement Account Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-save-on-7-everyday-buys">Easy Ways to Save on 7 Everyday Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking-expensive-coffee">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be if You Stopped Drinking Expensive Coffee</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement brown bagging coffee compound interest lunch Office saving money Takeout Wed, 24 Feb 2016 10:30:24 +0000 Claire Millard 1659932 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Most Relaxing Ways to Spend Your Lunch Hour http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-relaxing-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-most-relaxing-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000025339603_XXXLarge.jpg" alt="women lunch break" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Find yourself working through your lunch break? Are you stressing out about what's left on your to-do list when you should be resting and re-energizing? You're not alone. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-productive-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour?ref=seealso">The 10 Most Productive Ways to Spend Your Lunch Hour</a>)</p> <p>Starting today, set all that aside &mdash; 60 minutes of downtime never hurt anybody, after all &mdash; and learn how best to de-stress and re-focus on your lunch break.</p> <h2>1. Leave the Office and Have Lunch With a Friend</h2> <p>The most common way to leave the stress of work behind during lunch is to leave the workplace altogether. Plan a lunch date with an available friend and put your place of business out of sight and out of mind.</p> <p>&quot;If you're stuck at a desk from 9:00 to 5:00, and most of us are in that position, use your lunch break as a way to escape from the feeling that your day is owned by Corporation X,&quot; says Kevin Barrett, a Chicago-based psychotherapist. &quot;You know that friend who works from home or recently quit their day job to freelance? Encourage them to come meet you near your workplace for lunch. The time away from your desk spent with a friend will help remind you that your life belongs to you. Let that energy carry you all the way to 5:00 p.m.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Connect With Your Co-Workers on a More Personal Level</h2> <p>You see the people with whom you work on a daily basis, and you spend more time with them day in and day out than you do with your own friends and family. But that doesn't have to cramp your style. Turn this forced &quot;friendship&quot; into the real thing by getting to know your work mates better. You might have more things in common than you think.</p> <p>Jacel Egan is a media-relations coordinator for the startup <a href="http://technologyadvice.com/">TechnologyAdvice</a>, and this practice is commonplace at her office.</p> <p>&quot;What I find to be the most relaxing during lunch is learning more about what my teammates do outside of work,&quot; she says. &quot;We have an open office environment and are fortunate to get catered lunches four times week, so most of us eat in the break room. Finding out what others are interested in, what concerts they attended, or where they went hiking last weekend can spark conversations that provide a midday mental break. If the weather is nice, many of us will sit out on the patio and enjoy the sunshine as well.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Meditate and Focus on Muscle Relaxation Techniques</h2> <p>Sure, meditation at work is a little New Age-y (my old office hosted yoga at lunchtime, so it's not that farfetched), but the medical benefits of meditation have been proven time and again. Combine this quiet time with muscle relaxation techniques for a double whammy of mind, body, and soul exercises.</p> <p>Jennifer Erickson, a nationally certified counselor and owner of <a href="http://www.refocuscounselingllc.com/">ReFocus Counseling</a>, recommends some short relaxation techniques to her clients.</p> <p>&quot;There are many free [progressive muscle relaxation] videos on YouTube and they range from six minutes up to 30 minutes,&quot; she says. &quot;Progressive muscle relaxation is the process of tightening muscles and then relaxing them. This is an excellent way to wake up the body and loosen muscles that get tight from sitting in one position. People that either sit at a desk, behind a counter, or stand in the same stance for several hours can benefit. Not only does this loosen up the body, [but] it clears the mind of everything going on, allowing the individual to recharge and get ready for the second half of their day.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Exercise Outdoors With a Coworker or Friend</h2> <p>I used to walk around my office park with a few co-workers on nice days, so I can vouch for Scott Crabtree, &quot;chief happiness officer&quot; at <a href="http://www.happybrainscience.com/">Happy Brain Science</a>, when he suggests that we keep it movin' at lunchtime.</p> <p>&quot;According to the science of happiness, the best possible lunch break is to exercise outdoors with a friend,&quot; Crabtree says. &quot;This gives us three happiness and brain-function boosts.&quot;</p> <h3>Physical Activity</h3> <p>The data indicates this boosts brain function and mood. Exercise is as effective as antidepressants in treating depression in the long run. Even a walk at a relaxed pace counts.</p> <h3>Social Connection</h3> <p>The quality of our relationships is a key factor in our happiness. Happiness boosts productivity, creativity, resilience, health, and success.</p> <h3>A Real Break From Work</h3> <p>Studies show we need time away from screens, and in a new setting, and that time outdoors refreshes us in unique ways.</p> <p>&quot;The eating part of our lunch break can happen at the end of the workout, when we feel we've really earned it with the exercise,&quot; Crabtree adds.</p> <h2>5. Become One With Nature &mdash; If Only for Half an Hour</h2> <p>Turning our constantly connected lives on silent for a half hour a day during lunch isn't a bad idea. It can be quite soothing to free your mind of all that whirling technology and add something a little less demanding to your day.</p> <p>Marketing manager Christine Morales live nears the coast and she takes advantage of her good fortune on a regular basis.</p> <p>&quot;My all-time favorite way to relax and spend my lunch hour is sitting on a bench and watching the ocean, waves, and sometimes people,&quot; she says. Hearing the roar and crash of waves is exhilarating; the sparkle from the sunshine on the ocean is mesmerizing. Don't live near the coast? The next best thing would be a park with grassy area to sit and enjoy a quick meal either reading a book or just enjoying nature and listening to all wonderful sounds Mother Nature and urban areas provide.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Escape Into a Good Book</h2> <p>Fiction books provides a fantasy world to which you can travel for an hour or so, but if nonfiction is your personal preference that's okay too. The important thing is that you're calm, collected, and concentrating on relaxing during &quot;me time.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Everyone's tastes are different, but I personally prefer fiction &mdash; something that actually pulls me away from whatever story is developing about my own day in the office and into an entirely different world,&quot; says Jamie Netzer, content editor at <a href="https://www.thezebra.com">The Zebra</a>. &quot;It doesn't have to be much; even 20 minutes of story is enough to be a small emotional recharge for me. The distraction of my phone is not enough, because I want to be emotionally and mentally engaged in something that is ultimately without consequence in my real life. Fiction fits that bill perfectly.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Drop Everything You're Doing and Look at Photos of Baby Animals</h2> <p>You're probably like, &quot;Whaaaaat? That's silly!&quot; &mdash; and you're right, it is. But wouldn't you know, looking at photos of baby animals is a scientifically proven method of helping you relax during lunch so you can be more productive later in the day.</p> <p>According to research by Hiroshima University, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/looking-at-cute-animal-pictures-at-work-can-make-you-more-productive_n_1930135.html">looking at cute animal photos</a> can increase fine motor coordination and attention to detail. During the course of the study, subjects were shown photos of baby animals, adult animals, and delicious looking food before being given a test. Only the group shown photos of baby animals recorded a marked increase in coordination and response time.</p> <p>If you want to get in on this action, check out <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cute-contest-kittens-puppies/id961404463">The Cute Contest app</a>, which will probably keep you occupied longer than it probably should. But, hey, at least you'll be relaxed and ready to attack the rest of the day.</p> <p><em>How do you relax and recharge at lunch? Take a break and let us know in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-relaxing-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon">What to Eat for Lunch for a More Productive Afternoon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-productive-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour">The 10 Most Productive Ways to Spend Your Lunch Hour</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-take-a-break-at-work-and-still-look-busy">8 Ways to Take a Break at Work (and Still Look Busy)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more">6 Little Ways to De-Stress (and Enjoy Life More)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips lunch lunch break relax Tue, 24 Feb 2015 12:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1302598 at http://www.wisebread.com The 10 Most Productive Ways to Spend Your Lunch Hour http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-productive-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-10-most-productive-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000014488020_Double.jpg" alt="businesswoman meditating" title="businesswoman meditating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="126" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Lunch breaks are the most important breaks of the day. Taking regular breaks leads to productivity and can <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/jobs/take-breaks-regularly-to-stay-on-schedule-workstation.html?_r=0">reduce stress and exhaustion</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-you-can-do-on-your-lunch-break-to-change-your-life?ref=seealso">11 Things You Can Do on Your Lunch Break to Change Your Life</a>)</p> <p>And even though lunch breaks are required by law for most employees, there's no law saying you have to spend them just eating! So check out this list of how to best spend your precious lunchtime respite.</p> <h2>1. Take a Nap</h2> <p>Thomas Edison napped. Winston Churchill napped. John D. Rockefeller napped. Research shows that naps will&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-benefits-of-naps-including-the-best-time-to-take-them">make you more productive</a> and reduce stress. So if you have an hour lunch break and live nearby or are comfortable sleeping in a parking lot (a lot of my coworkers do this), take a nap and rest your mind!</p> <h2>2. Meditate</h2> <p>Like napping, mediation can alleviate stress and get your brain back to functioning. It will make you happier, help your concentration, and increase self-awareness. If you can't get away from the office, reserve a conference room with no windows and quietly meditate. Or try meditating at your desk.</p> <h2>3. Practice Yoga</h2> <p>And of course there's always yoga, which not only helps you relieve stress but can also tone your muscles. You can also ask your coworkers to join in by planning a yoga workout in the board room or asking if they want to go to a class together. This will help you rejuvenate your work day and bond.</p> <h2>4. Go for a Walk</h2> <p>If you work in a walkable neighborhood or close to a park, bring a pair of walking shoes and walk around during lunch. Again, see if a coworker wants to come, especially if you have one that you've been having trouble communicating with or if you need to work something out. Do not use this time to gossip &mdash; it will only make you more stressed.</p> <h2>5. Eat Together</h2> <p>Invite a coworker out to lunch. To save money, plan ahead of time and each of you can bring your own. Or if there is an issue between you two, this lunch can provide a chance for reconciliation. If you're a manager, invite your employee out to lunch and find out how they tick and how you can be more supportive.</p> <h2>6. Read</h2> <p>Explore your mind. Maybe there's a book you've been meaning to read or a trashy magazine you can't wait to crack open. Let your mind concentrate on something else for a few hours.</p> <h2>7. Learn</h2> <p>Spend your lunch break to learn something new &mdash; not necessarily something job related, but anything you want to learn. Try <a href="https://www.khanacademy.org/">Khan Academy</a>, <a href="http://www.skillshare.com/">Skillshare</a>, <a href="https://www.coursera.org/">Coursera</a> or <a href="https://www.edx.org/">edX</a>, or one of these other&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-make-yourself-smarter-today">online learning resources</a>.</p> <h2>8. Write</h2> <p>Writing down your thoughts can free your mind of something burdening, but it's also a chance to explore a different side of you. Maybe you've been itching to try your hand at writing poems, short stories, novels, or scripts. Or maybe you want to write for a blog or website in your spare time for extra money. Practicing written communication <a href="http://business.time.com/2013/04/19/good-writing-can-help-you-succeed/">will help you succeed</a>.</p> <h2>9. Listen</h2> <p>Spend your time listening to a podcast.</p> <ul> <li>You can go for a funny one from Earwolf: <a href="http://www.earwolf.com/show/comedy-bang-bang/">Comedy Bang Bang</a>, <a href="http://www.earwolf.com/show/improv4humans/">improv4humans</a> or <a href="http://www.earwolf.com/show/professor-blastoff/">Professor Blastoff</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Go for an educational one from NPR: <a href="http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=151861924">Ask Me Another</a>, <a href="http://www.radiolab.org/series/podcasts/">RadioLab</a> or <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/podcast">This American Life</a> (their archive goes back to 1995!).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Catch up on some music: KEXP's <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/kexp-presents-music-that-matters/id76069540?mt=2&amp;ign-mpt=uo%3D8">Music that Matters</a>, Earwolf's <a href="http://www.earwolf.com/show/who-charted/">Who Charted?</a>, or <a href="http://thelistmusicpodcast.com/">The List Music Podcast</a>.</li> </ul> <p>If none of these categories strike your fancy, Digital Trends has <a href="http://www.digitaltrends.com/music/best-podcasts/">a great list of podcasts</a> broken down by type.</p> <h2>10. Watch TV</h2> <p>Sometimes when I eat at my desk at work, I watch a television show. Although it's not necessarily educational, it is relaxing. I usually choose something from Netflix or on Hulu. It's just a good way to turn off my mind for 30 minutes to an hour.</p> <p>If you want something educational or need a little inspiration, watch a <a href="https://www.ted.com/talks">TEDTalk</a>. Keep in mind if you do this at work, make sure you put up a sign saying you're on lunch. You don't want your boss to think you're just watching television shows instead of working!</p> <p><em>How do you spend your lunch hour? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-productive-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-relaxing-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour">The 7 Most Relaxing Ways to Spend Your Lunch Hour</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-take-a-break-at-work-and-still-look-busy">8 Ways to Take a Break at Work (and Still Look Busy)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-doing-nothing-will-make-you-more-productive">7 Ways Doing Nothing Will Make You More Productive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better">These Checklists Will Make Your Life Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity breaks lunch lunch break productive lunch rest Thu, 08 Jan 2015 12:00:18 +0000 Jennifer Holder 1277628 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Eat for Lunch for a More Productive Afternoon http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman-eating-lunch-185591453-small.jpg" alt="businesswoman eating lunch" title="businesswoman eating lunch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You need fuel to perform your best. And it makes all the difference whether that fuel consists of processed sugars or healthful, natural ingredients like protein and vitamins. Exhibit A: It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a post-turkey nap, now would it?</p> <p>So on days when you want to keep your energy levels up and your focus razor sharp well into the evening, skip the burgers, fries, and sugary soda, and opt instead for one of these energizing mid-day meals.</p> <h2>1. Spinach Salad</h2> <p>An excellent source of iron, spinach is a nutrient-loaded, low-calorie superfood that is one of the body's best energy producers. It's also affordable and readily available year-round.</p> <p>Consider topping your spinach salad with a sprinkle of health-enhancing cranberries and energy-boosting mandarin orange slices or protein-packed almonds and sugar spike-slowing strawberries. You might also want to add a dash of chia seeds, which promote energy metabolism, regulate insulin levels, and help keep you hydrated.</p> <h2>2. Salmon and Brown Basmati Rice</h2> <p>Salmon is chock full of protein, vitamin B6, niacin, and riboflavin &mdash; all of which help convert the food you eat into energy. Lest we forget the other superpowers of this pink fish, such as its ability to lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. We recommend enjoying a filet or two with a side of brown basmati rice, a whole grain that <a href="http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/eating-brown-rice-day-good-you-10049.html">prevents blood sugar spikes</a> and helps the body rev up for action.</p> <h2>3. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich</h2> <p>A fan favorite among athletes, bananas are a go-to food for energy and endurance. And one of the best ways to incorporate them into your lunch is to stuff fresh slices between two pieces of peanut butter covered bread. Peanut butter is full of protein and fiber, which give you <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/peanut-butter-a-great-runners-food?page=single">a slow, sustained release of energy</a> &mdash; a foolproof lunch choice for those of us who want to avoid that late afternoon slump. The carbohydrates in the sandwich bread will give your body even more fuel to last you 'til dinner time.</p> <h2>4. Crab Cakes With Edamame Salad</h2> <p>High in protein and low in fat, crab meat helps you feel full more quickly as it <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/apr/20/crab-good-for-you">ramps up your metabolism</a>. It's also rich in vitamin B12, which helps the body convert food into energy. Round out your meal with a side of edamame, a soybean packed with protein, magnesium, fiber, and B vitamins that help the body power up to its full potential.</p> <h2>5. Southwestern Corn and Black Bean Salad</h2> <p>A one-cup serving of corn has 5 grams of energy-building protein complete with all the essential amino acids. What it lacks is a sufficient amount of lysine to be considered a complete protein. That's where the black beans come in. Beans are packed with all the lysine your body needs to <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/403305-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-corn/">get that extra boost</a>. Add sliced avocado to your salad for an extra boost from <a href="http://www.californiaavocado.com/nutrition/">this fruit's 20 essential nutrients</a>, which include fiber, potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and folic acid. It's a tasty lunch that's guaranteed to get you ready and raring to go for the rest of the day.</p> <p><em>What's your usual workday lunch? Does it keep you going or slow you down? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter">7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-snacks-that-will-keep-you-energized-through-the-day">20 Snacks That Will Keep You Energized Through the Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-foods-you-can-turn-into-chips">10 Surprising Foods You Can Turn Into Chips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-rice-cake-topping-ideas">40 Rice Cake Topping Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink General Tips afternoon doldrums brain food energy food healthy food lunch Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:00:11 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1260443 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Packed Lunch Ideas You'll Want to Steal From Your Kids http://www.wisebread.com/10-packed-lunch-ideas-youll-want-to-steal-from-your-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-packed-lunch-ideas-youll-want-to-steal-from-your-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/packed-lunch-465017965-small.jpg" alt="packed lunch" title="packed lunch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Now that school is back in session, you might find that evening lunch-prep has become quite laborious. Maybe that means you're packing the wrong lunches. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas?ref=seealso">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a>)</p> <p>By focusing on meals adults can enjoy too, you'll rediscover old favorites of your own, and maybe even be surprised by your child's adventurous palate. Whatever the case, using the same ingredients for similar meals will save you money and eliminate food waste.</p> <p>Here are 10 ideas (two whole work or school weeks!) to get you started.</p> <h2>1. PB&amp;J Wrap</h2> <p>I've been eating this simple lunch since I was a kid. Just spread a thin layer of peanut butter on a whole wheat wrap and top it with a thin layer of your favorite jam or jelly or honey. Adults might want to jazz this meal up by using red pepper jelly and sprinkling a bit of granola. Children might enjoy some thinly sliced apple tossed in.</p> <h2>2. Cheese Plate</h2> <p>My mom used to pack me Lunchables, and I'd always toss the meat. Make what I used to eat healthier by packing multigrain crackers, grapes or other fruit, sliced or string cheese, and some hummus or peanut butter for added protein. Add sliced carrots or your other favorite fresh veggie to complete the nutrition for adults and kids alike.</p> <h2>3. Quiche</h2> <p>Skip the sandwich and pack a couple mini quiches made in a cupcake tin. What you fill your quiche with is up to you, but this <a href="http://bakedbree.com/mini-broccoli-quiche">Broccoli and Cheese</a> one looks like a solid choice. The best part? You can customize them however you want to suit your tastes as well as your child's (and pantry's ingredients). Eat hot or cold.</p> <h2>4. DIY Parfait</h2> <p>Fill one of the larger slots in your lunch box with nonfat or Greek yogurt. I even like to mix a couple teaspoons of peanut butter in there. Round out the rest of your box with mixed berries, a helping of granola, some nuts and seeds, even mini chocolate chips. Pack a homemade muffin or half sandwich on the side. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches?ref=seealso">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a>)</p> <h2>5. Bagel-Wich</h2> <p>When I came across this idea to pack a whole grain bagel stuffed with goodness instead of a sandwich, I got excited for the many possibilities. This <a href="http://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2014/05/stuffed-bagel-sandwiches.html#_a5y_p=1731989">salami and dill stuffing</a> seems better suited for adults. To make this concept work for the whole family, consider simple egg or tuna salad. My personal favorite? <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2012/06/family-and-food.html">Avocado egg salad</a> or its vegan counterpart, <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/03/tofu-avocado-salad-gf.html">avocado tofu salad</a>.</p> <h2>6. Nachos Grande</h2> <p>Pack some multigrain tortilla chips in one section of your lunch box. Use leftover taco meat (or veggie substitute) from your dinner the night before and top with shredded cheese and mild salsa. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt to act as a healthy sour cream substitute and some avocado slices on the side. This is a lunch that you'll certainly want to make (and eat) again and again.</p> <h2>7. Overnight Oats</h2> <p>Though this staple is often eaten at breakfast, I love the idea of packing a jar of <a href="http://www.supergluemom.com/bananas-foster-overnight-oats-recipe/">Overnight Oats</a> as the bulk of a lunch for school or work. As the name describes, this meal is prepared the night before by tossing &mdash; in this case &mdash; steel cut oats with milk, maple syrup, flax meal, cinnamon, and bananas in a jar. The mix thickens overnight to make a hearty, cold meal.</p> <h2>8. Pizza</h2> <p>Who doesn't love a good pizza? You can make healthy pies on pita bread to cut and slice for lunchtime eating. Just spread pizza sauce on the pitas and sprinkle with cheese and top with whatever other ingredients you like. Then bake at 350 degrees F for around 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Let cool, slice, and pack.</p> <h2>9. Slow Cooker Soup, Two Ways</h2> <p>If you're a fan of slow cooking, toss your favorite veggies, broth, and whatever protein in the pot and let simmer. You <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/01/10-steps-for-slow-cooker-perfection.html#_a5y_p=1187104">don't need a recipe</a> for success and can use up any possible food waste before it spoils. In my experience, kids don't always like a thick soup. So, pack the whole monty for yourself and strain out the softened and seasoned vegetables for your child. Serve both meals with crackers or even a whole wheat biscuit.</p> <h2>10. Pasta Salad</h2> <p>Make a big batch of this <a href="https://www.hiddenvalley.com/recipe/81/ranch-tortellini-salad/">Ranch Pasta Salad</a> and let all those colors and shapes dazzle your family. If your kid isn't into Tortellini, consider trying a plainer pasta. Mix and match the rest of the ingredients (in equal ratio) to customize and utilize the ingredients you already have on hand.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite workday and school day lunch? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-packed-lunch-ideas-youll-want-to-steal-from-your-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon">What to Eat for Lunch for a More Productive Afternoon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-gluten-free-lunch-ideas">20 Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/onigiri-behold-the-mighty-triforce">Onigiri: Behold The Mighty Triforce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink bulk meals cheap eats easy lunch lunch Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1216062 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Take a Break at Work (and Still Look Busy) http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-take-a-break-at-work-and-still-look-busy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-take-a-break-at-work-and-still-look-busy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/office-copier-100831546-small.jpg" alt="office copier" title="office copier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you spend your day in an office, a cubicle, a dark room, or behind a desk, chances are good that &mdash; at some point &mdash; you are going to lose focus, your productivity is going to decrease, and your energy level will plummet. Combating those problems can mean the difference between staying ahead of your work or getting behind, getting out of the office on time or staying late, or even impressing your boss or getting on her bad side. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/science-shows-you-need-to-work-less-heres-why?ref=seealso">Science Shows You Need to Work Less</a>)</p> <p>If you can work in breaks, whether they are small ones or a full hour, it is possible to keep your level of productivity and attention to detail at its peak. Here are eight ways you can do just that.</p> <h2>1. Deliver Messages Rather Than Emailing</h2> <p>Instead of sending a short email from your desk, take a walk and deliver the information in person. This little break will get the blood flowing, give you a couple of minutes to think, and allow you to return to work refreshed for a bit longer. Plus, a little face-to-face interaction with your co-workers is great for networking and relationship building.</p> <h2>2. Make Multiple Trips to the Copier</h2> <p>It might be more efficient to save up everything that needs to be copied and do it all at once, but if you find that you are losing focus throughout the day, make two or three trips to the copier to give yourself a break.</p> <h2>3. Split Your Lunch Into Smaller Breaks</h2> <p>If you get an hour for lunch, speak with your boss about breaking that up into three smaller breaks &mdash; 30 minutes for lunch and two smaller 15 minute breaks at other times later or earlier in the day. During these times, head outside to get some sunshine and fresh air. Walk around the block or even the parking lot.</p> <h2>4. Utilize the Speaker and Mute Functions on Your Phone</h2> <p>If you are going to be on a long conference call, familiarize yourself with how the speaker and mute buttons work. Use the two of them at the same time while you walk around your office space and listen to the call. The movement will do your body good.</p> <h2>5. Do Simple Exercises at Your Desk</h2> <p>When walking around is not an option, but your body needs a break, try to do some simple stretches or exercises from your desk. There are many videos that show <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/office-stretches/art-20046041?pg=2">examples of these easy-to-do exercises</a>. These will help release tension from your body and get the blood flowing back to your brain. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-no-sweat-workouts-perfect-for-the-workplace?ref=seealso">10 No-Sweat Workouts Perfect for the Workplace</a>)</p> <h2>6. Volunteer to Go on an Errand</h2> <p>It could be an errand for your boss, a quick trip to the supply closet, or an afternoon pick-me-up at Starbucks. Whatever it may be, look for opportunities to get out of your space and move around. As an added bonus, those times you offer to run errands makes you look like a team player in the boss's eye.</p> <h2>7. Get a Longer Phone Cord</h2> <p>I once worked at a call center where I was attached to a phone for eight hours a day. Thankfully the phones had longer-than-usual cords, which gave us the opportunity to stand up and pace a short distance during calls, while on hold, or between speaking to customers. These weren't full-fledged breaks, but they did help.</p> <h2>8. Set a Timer to Take a Breath</h2> <p>If walking away from your desk isn't always an option, set a timer to go off every 30 to 45 minutes and then reset it for three or four minutes. (If you are using <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/timer/edebbhkhcaafmolanelponjjanocpacd?hl=en">Google Chrome</a>, there's even an extension for that.) During the reset, close your eyes and take deep, cleansing breaths. Try to relax and shut out any worries you have about work and the stress you are feeling.</p> <p>If you are finding that your attention wanes at certain times of the day, such as 10 a.m. and then again at 3 p.m., ask your boss for planned breaks during those times. Often, employers will agree to schedule in these breaks because it means more productivity from the employees who slip around the same time every day. You could justify these breaks with your boss by offering to come in 15 minutes earlier or stay a half hour longer. It never hurts to ask for what you need to be a happy employee.</p> <p><em>How do you work in an extra break (or two) at work? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-take-a-break-at-work-and-still-look-busy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-more-out-of-business-trips">10 Ways to Get More Out of Business Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-time-and-money-saving-apps-for-freelancers">16 Time and Money Saving Apps for Freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-relaxing-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour">The 7 Most Relaxing Ways to Spend Your Lunch Hour</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-before-your-first-day-at-a-new-job">5 Things to Do Before Your First Day at a New Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-productive-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour">The 10 Most Productive Ways to Spend Your Lunch Hour</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building General Tips breaks lunch productivity work breaks Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:00:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1149978 at http://www.wisebread.com 40 Rice Cake Topping Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/40-rice-cake-topping-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/40-rice-cake-topping-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-122775290.jpg" alt="rice cake" title="rice cake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let&#39;s be honest, here. By themselves, unflavored rice cakes aren&#39;t terribly exciting. However, they have some sterling qualities:</p> <ul> <li>They are gluten-free.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>They are vegan.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can buy them non-GMO, organic-certified.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>There are only 60 calories in a rice cake (some brands have fewer).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The plain varieties contain no saturated or trans fats.</li> </ul> <p>I like them because they are versatile, fairly inexpensive, and crunchy.</p> <p>As a person who struggles with portion control, I&#39;d like to remind you that it doesn&#39;t matter if you are eating a very healthy, 45-60-calorie gluten-free snack <em>if you use too much of the topping</em>. I noticed during one testing session that my cottage cheese layer was as thick as the rice cake. If I am making a meal out of one of these, I&#39;d give myself a little leeway. However, if it&#39;s supposed to be a snack, I have to be careful about how much topping I am using. End of lecture. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-portion-control-to-lose-weight?ref=seealso">How to Lose Weight With Portion Control</a>)</p> <p>Back to their versatility, though. Below are forty suggestions for topping rice cakes.</p> <h2>Brown-Bagging It</h2> <p>I eat a lot of rice cakes at work, because I hate it when my sandwich bread gets mushy. Simply pack the toppings separately from the rice cakes, and assemble at lunchtime.</p> <h3>1. Egg Salad</h3> <p>Don&#39;t have an <a href="http://tipnut.com/egg-salad-recipes/">egg salad recipe</a>? Now you have 12.</p> <h3>2. Tofu-Eggless Salad</h3> <p>I like <a href="http://happyherbivore.com/2010/12/egg-salad/">tofu-eggless</a> recipe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list?ref=seealso">Frugal Organic Vegan Grocery Items</a>)</p> <h3>3. Chicken Salad</h3> <p>When Mikey was coming up with his list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">25 Non-Sandwich lunches</a>, he shared this <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Neiman-Marcus-Chicken-Salad?cmpid=enews072511">chicken salad recipe</a> from Neiman Marcus&#39; cafe</p> <h3>4. Tuna Salad</h3> <p>Often made with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">mayonnaise, Max&#39;s favorite secret ingredient</a>.</p> <h3>5. Ham and Swiss</h3> <p>I usually add a squirt of Dijon mustard.</p> <h3>6. Devilled Ham</h3> <p>I like mine with Dijon mustard <em>and</em> green onions, as in <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/30323-deviled-ham">this devilled ham recipe</a> (just use green onions instead of yellow).</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/rcaketop-devilledham-ggnoads.png" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h3>7. Turkey and Muenster Cheese</h3> <p>With sprouts and some of that delicious spicy horseradish mustard &hellip; so good.</p> <h3>8. Holiday Turkey Sandwich</h3> <p>My new favorite &quot;holiday sandwich&quot; is this one: Turkey breast, cream cheese, red onion, sprouts, and cranberry relish. Instead of bread, rice cake! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-creative-simple-frugal-recipes-for-leftover-turkey?ref=seealso">Creative Recipes for Leftover Turkey</a>)</p> <h3>9. Quick Pizza</h3> <p>For a more Italian flavor, try salami or pepperoni with mozzarella , olives, and a tomato slice. I like to microwave that one briefly, just to melt the cheese. Emergency pizza!</p> <h3>10. Peanut or Almond Butter</h3> <p>There&#39;s nothing wrong with the basics.</p> <h3>11. Peanut or Almond Butter&hellip;</h3> <p>and honey, or jelly. An even better basic.</p> <h2>Appetizers Using Rice Cakes</h2> <p>When I get home from work, I usually have a snack. By keeping rice cakes handy, I can conjure up something delicious. Here are some of my favorites.</p> <h3>12. Tapenade</h3> <p>I could just eat <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/tapenade-recipe/index.html">tapenade</a> with a spoon and be happy. A rice cake holds more tapenade than a spoon, so that makes me happier.</p> <h3>13. Salmon Spread</h3> <p>I&#39;m still not tired of salmon, even after this post. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-use-canned-salmon">Salmon spread</a> is great on a rice cake!</p> <h3>14. Smoked Salmon</h3> <p>Smoked salmon with capers (drain them) is also delicious, albeit expensive.</p> <h3>15. Cream Cheese and Chives</h3> <p>I love cream cheese, but I use the low-fat version on rice cakes (and spread thinly). Sprinkle some chopped chives and just a little salt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quick-easy-and-festive-cream-cheese-appetizers?ref=seealso">Quick and Easy Cream Cheese Appetizers</a>)</p> <h3>16. Pesto</h3> <p>Camilla has <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/better-with-basil-21-uses-for-jarred-pesto">21 uses for pesto</a>, and I&#39;d like to add #22, which is to spoon it over a rice cake.</p> <h3>17. DIY Veggie Spread</h3> <p><a href="http://www.today.com/id/26740912#.UmQgIdKTgo0">Veggie spreads</a>? Mark Bittman of the New York Times has developed several variations. I particularly like the broccoli with parmesan, pine nuts, and olive oil. Swoon.</p> <h3>18. White Bean Dip</h3> <p><a href="http://www.treehugger.com/easy-vegetarian-recipes/simple-creamy-white-bean-dip-lemon-zest-vegan.html">White bean dip </a>is a super-healthy, vegan option. I really like this recipe&#39;s combination of beans with lemon, garlic, parsley, and black pepper. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-delicious-healthy-and-cheap-bean-recipes?ref=seealso">25+ Cheap and Delicious Bean Recipes</a>)</p> <h3>19. Canned Bean Dip</h3> <p>I also like the bean dip that comes in a can, at the grocery store, by the tortilla chips section, on a rice cake. That works.</p> <h3>20. Hummus</h3> <p>While we&#39;re on legumes, don&#39;t forget about hummus. My daughter thinks the one with roasted red peppers is the best. If your store doesn&#39;t carry it, here&#39;s my favorite <a href="http://www.inspiredtaste.net/22016/roasted-red-pepper-hummus-recipe/">hummus recipe</a>.</p> <h3>21. Pimento Cheese</h3> <p>Again, thin layer, folks: <a href="http://www.southernliving.com/food/kitchen-assistant/pimiento-cheese-recipes-00417000072327/">Pimento cheese.</a> Yum!</p> <h3>22. Canned Cheese</h3> <p>If you just want instant gratification in a pimento-cheese like fashion, heck, you can get that cheese that squirts out of the can. Don&#39;t judge me.</p> <h3>23. Artichoke Dip</h3> <p>Turns out that rice cakes are an excellent vehicle for <a href="http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/hot-artichoke-dip/e900c4c9-a91a-4e0d-ae23-8ba1ac8090f6">hot artichoke dip</a>. They are sturdier than dumb ol&#39; crackers. This stuff is dangerously good. I like to add a can of mild chiles for a little more zip.</p> <h3>24. Pears, Spinach, and Bleu Cheese</h3> <p>Slice up some pears, thinly, add to your rice cake along with some baby spinach, and sprinkle with bleu cheese.</p> <h3>25. Avocado, Salsa, and Cilantro</h3> <p>Let&#39;s try Mexican flavors: To a rice cake add sliced avocados, salsa, and cilantro.</p> <h3>26. Cottage Cheese</h3> <p>When I am starving, I just plop a tablespoon of low-fat cottage cheese onto a rice cake and call it good, because it is.</p> <h3>27. Chopped Avocado Salad</h3> <p>Combine chopped avocados, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, a little olive oil and garlic salt and try that on top. Delicious!</p> <h3>28. Sliced Avocados or Guacamole</h3> <p>We have an avocado tree. It&#39;s one of my favorite things in the whole world. My husband started it from a seed. They are delicious, so sometimes I just eat sliced avocados (or guacamole) on a rice cake.</p> <h2>Make a Meal of Rice Cakes</h2> <p>Why not? It&#39;s a low-calorie starch to round out any meal.</p> <h3>29. Rice Cakes and Chili</h3> <p>Cornbread with chili is great, but so are rice cakes, particularly if you get the cheesy ones. If your chili is really thick, just spoon it on top. I used a little low-fat sour cream on top of that combo.</p> <h3>30. Croutons</h3> <p>Gluten-free croutons! Just break a rice cake into pieces and float it on split-pea, tomato, or any creamy soup.</p> <h3>31. BLT</h3> <p>Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato . . rice cakes? Sure, why not.</p> <h3>32. Peanut Sauce</h3> <p>Thai-inspired! Top a rice cake with a layer of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/perfect-peanut-sauce">peanut sauce</a>. Add cooked, cleaned shrimp and chopped cilantro. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/70-scrumptious-shrimp-recipes?ref=seealso">Scrumptious Shrimp Recipes</a>)</p> <h3>33. Ahi Poke</h3> <p>I live on the Island of Hawaii, and so I took some of my favorites and rice cake&#39;d them: Spicy Ahi Poke with Cilantro.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/rcaketop-spicyahipoke-ggnoads.png" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h3>34. Loco-Moco!</h3> <p>Caramelize sliced Spam in medium-heat frying pan with shoyu (soy sauce). While you are heating the Spam, fry an egg. Assemble in layers of rice cake, Spam, and fried egg. If I were really making it correctly, I&#39;d add gravy on top.</p> <h3>35. California Roll</h3> <p>I had fun making this one. Mix crab (fresh or canned, drained and flaked) with mayonnaise. I added a few drops of Sriracha sauce to mine, but it&#39;s spicy, so be warned. Place crab mixture on rice cake and add some chopped avocado, a little grated carrot, a drizzle of sesame oil, and sprinkle with chopped nori (sushi wrapper).</p> <h2>For the Sweet Tooth</h2> <p>For a sweet snack or a light dessert, try these delicious toppings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ultra-quick-homemade-desserts?ref=seealso">15 Super Quick Homemade Desserts</a>)</p> <h3>36. Sliced Bananas and Peanut Butter</h3> <p>This really hits the spot. My daughter likes a drizzle of honey on that one, too.</p> <h3>37. Cinnamon Toast Cakes</h3> <p>My husband suggested we try &quot;cinnamon toast&quot; flavors &mdash; yum! Spread a thin layer of butter, and add a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar. I couldn&#39;t remember the last time I had had cinnamon toast.</p> <h3>38. Nutella</h3> <p>You were waiting for this one, I know. NUTELLA. That&#39;s all I have to write about that suggestion.</p> <h3>39. S&#39;more Cakes</h3> <p>While we&#39;re on chocolate, you can make a S&#39;more rice cake from the aforementioned Nutella. Add some mini-marshmallows. Devour.</p> <h3>40. Strawberries and Cream Cheese</h3> <p>Again with the light cream cheese &mdash; but this time, slice some strawberries and put those on top.</p> <p><em>What do you like to top your rice cakes with?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-rice-cake-topping-ideas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-delicious-healthier-appetizers">20 Delicious, Healthier Appetizers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-waste-your-money-on-these-6-workout-snacks">Don&#039;t Waste Your Money on These 6 Workout Snacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-a-humble-head-of-cabbage">15 Delicious Ways to Prepare a Humble Head of Cabbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-use-frozen-mixed-vegetables">25 Ways to Use Frozen Mixed Vegetables</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-mouth-watering-lentil-recipes">35 Mouth Watering Lentil Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink appetizers cheap recipes lunch rice cakes snacks toppings Sun, 24 Nov 2013 20:43:35 +0000 Marla Walters 776187 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/20-gluten-free-lunch-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-gluten-free-lunch-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6265879733_96362f1284_z.jpg" alt="family lunch" title="family lunch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Taking your lunch to work saves you money, but it's such a hassle when you're living with a gluten allergy. Something as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich becomes a nightmare of buying expensive bread or making your own. Although you can make your own gluten-free bread ahead of time for days you want a sandwich, here's a list of 20 non-sandwich lunches for a frugal gluten-free lifestyle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas" title="25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a>)</p> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-easy-pizza-crust">Gluten-free pizza</a></li> <li>Cream cheese wraps with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-flour-tortillas-that-taste-great">homemade gluten-free tortillas</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.deviledeggs.com/classic_deviled_eggs.html">Deviled eggs</a></li> <li>Chef's salad</li> <li>Gluten-free pasta salad (quinoa pasta is best)</li> <li><a href="http://thaifood.about.com/od/oodlesofnoodles/r/basilcasnoodles.htm">Thai food (rice noodles)</a></li> <li>Chili</li> <li>Nachos</li> <li><a href="http://recipes.kaboose.com/brown-bag-bean-burritos.html">Burritos with gluten-free tortillas</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.cookingquinoa.net/greek-quinoa-salad/">Greek quinoa salad</a></li> <li>Veggies with hummus and cottage cheese</li> <li><a href="http://www.recipe4living.com/recipes/moroccan_lentil_salad_2.htm">Moroccan lentil salad</a></li> <li>Hard tacos</li> <li>Soft tacos with corn tortillas</li> <li><a href="http://chinesefood.about.com/od/fusionrecipes/r/lettucewraps.htm">Lettuce wraps (use gluten-free soy sauce)</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.recipe4living.com/recipes/peanut_butter_and_jelly_roll_ups.htm">Peanut butter and jelly roll-ups </a>with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-flour-tortillas-that-taste-great">gluten-free tortillas</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.recipe4living.com/recipes/pepperoni_pizza_wraps.htm">Pepperoni pizza wraps</a> with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-flour-tortillas-that-taste-great">gluten-free tortillas</a></li> <li>Taco salad with crunchy tortilla chips on top</li> <li>Fried rice</li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/crustless-quiche-an-easy-gluten-free-breakfast-lunch-or-snack">Quiche muffins</a>&nbsp;(recipe below)</li> </ol> <p><strong>Quiche Muffin Recipe</strong></p> <p><em>Makes 12</em></p> <p>Ingredients:</p> <ul> <li>8-10 eggs</li> <li>&frac14; cup frozen, chopped spinach (thawed)</li> <li>&frac14; cup green onions diced</li> <li>2 wedges Happy Cow swiss cheese (or 2 tablespoons cream cheese)</li> <li>3 slices lunchmeat ham, diced</li> <li>&frac14; cup mushrooms, diced</li> <li>3 cloves crushed garlic</li> <li>seasoning to taste</li> </ul> <p>Preheat your oven to 325&deg;F. Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor, or just beat very well with a whisk. Pour them into a greased cupcake pan, about 2/3 full. Place them in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until set. Allow to cool before putting them into plastic storage bags. Freeze or refrigerate. After thawing, place them in microwave on high for about 30 seconds before serving.</p> <h2>Packing Gluten-Free Lunches</h2> <p>Some of these lunches would do well if you have access to a microwave at work. Also, it pays to invest in a small cooler to keep the meats chilled before lunch.</p> <p>If you're packing lunch for your kids, here are ideas to <a href="http://parentingsquad.com/gluten-free-back-to-school-survival-guide-in-three-easy-steps">prepare your gluten-free kids to go to school</a>, with age-appropriate lunch ideas.</p> <h2>Gluten-Free Snacks</h2> <p>Snacks on the side are relatively easy. There are a lot of very gluten-free friendly snacks out there if you read the labels. Some of our family favorites are:</p> <ul> <li>Baby carrots</li> <li>Celery and peanut butter</li> <li>Kettle chips</li> <li>Tortilla chips</li> <li>Popcorn</li> <li>Pop Chips</li> <li>Apples</li> <li>Oranges</li> <li>Almonds</li> <li>Peanuts</li> <li>Honey Nut Chex (Buy them on sale and use coupons.&nbsp; We live by these snacks.)</li> </ul> <p>Also, if you really want a no-brainer and are craving sandwiches in your lunch, just bake double a batch of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-french-bread-in-under-an-hour">gluten-free french bread</a> on Sunday, cut each loaf in half, (you should have four) and freeze the loaves. Microwave a half of one the night before work and you have yourself enough bread to make a six inch sub. This makes for an easy lunch that doesn't need a microwave at work (unless you do something really tasty like a tuna melt or a meatball sub).</p> <p>Making life as simple as possible for the gluten-challenged is what I&nbsp;spend my days doing. I'm always looking for ways to keep it cheap and simple. If you have any gluten-free lunch ideas, I'd love to hear them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sonja-stewart">Sonja Stewart</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-gluten-free-lunch-ideas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-delicious-homemade-gluten-free-bread">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Delicious Homemade Gluten-Free Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gluten-free-carb-free-noodles">Gluten-Free, Carb-Free Noodles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-flour-tortillas-that-taste-great">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Flour Tortillas that Taste Great!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-budget-friendly-gluten-free-grocery-staples">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Budget Friendly, Gluten-Free Grocery Staples</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-homemade-gluten-free-noodles">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Homemade Gluten-Free Noodles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty allergy frugal gluten-free gluten-free lunch recipe Mon, 17 Jan 2011 15:00:10 +0000 Sonja Stewart 455893 at http://www.wisebread.com Save Money: Take the Boring Challenge http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-take-the-boring-challenge <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-money-take-the-boring-challenge" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bored look.jpg" alt="bored girl" title="Boring can save you money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How boring can you be?&nbsp;</p> <p>Most of you probably don't want to think of yourselves as boring, but what if being boring could save you some big bucks?&nbsp;I&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/2009/02/27/saving-boring-2000/">saved over $2,000</a> by eating a boring lunch every day for the past three years. Does that make me lame?&nbsp;Boring? Uninteresting?&nbsp;</p> <p>Maybe, but it also means I&nbsp;have $2,000 that I&nbsp;didn't have before. Ka-ching!</p> <h3>What's The Boring Challenge?</h3> <p>The Boring Challenge is all about changing a daily routine or habit for one week to see how much money you can save.&nbsp;</p> <p>Why make it boring?&nbsp;Because making it boring makes it nice and simple to stick to, and that's a good thing. If you can keep it up for a week and see how much money you can save, then odds are you'll graduate to non-boring and start saving some real money month after month.</p> <p>I&nbsp;can't promise all your friends will stick around...but maybe if save enough to buy them a round they will.</p> <h3>Some Ways to Get You Started</h3> <ul> <li><strong>Food:</strong> <a href="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/2009/02/27/saving-boring-2000/">I&nbsp;saved $2,000</a> by eating the same lunch for three years. Think you can top that? Here's a quick tip: make lasagna and you'll have enough food for the whole week!<strong>&nbsp;</strong>Sound boring?&nbsp;That's the whole point!<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>MP3 Downloads:</strong> Some of you love buying new music, but those $1 downloads add up quick. Instead of paying for music, check out Pandora or any of the hundreds of free podcasts that are out there. Oh and remember your old friend, FM&nbsp;Radio? Zzzzzz... Sound boring?&nbsp;Sure, but it's still free. There are also a bunch of ways to listen to <a href="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/2009/04/07/free-music/">free music</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Books:</strong> I&nbsp;know a lot of you love to browse the shelves at Border's for hours -- I'm the same way. But here's a boring thought: pick one of the books sitting on your shelf that you still haven't read. And don't forget: your <a href="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/2008/01/07/why-a-library-card-is-more-valuable-than-a-college-degree-the-pros/">library card is your friend</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Coffee:</strong> Don't worry, I'm not going to suggest you quit coffee for a week. I&nbsp;don't want your head to explode. But instead of buying it from Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts every day, try dusting off your coffee machine at home and brewing it yourself. Or if your work has a machine, try using it for a week. It may not be what you're used to, but that's the whole point here.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Be Creative: </strong>Some of you may hate the thought of being boring. And that's OK -- you can come up with your own set of <a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2009/03/10/unorthodox-way-to-earn-extra-money/">odd ways to save cash</a>. I&nbsp;don't care how you do it, The Boring Challenge is all about jacking up those savings.</li> </ul> <h3>Then What?</h3> <p>Before you begin your boring week of savings, make sure you write it all down. Every penny you save has to be accounted for somewhere. When the week is over, tally up the results and see how much you could save if you kept it up for a whole month.</p> <p>What about a year?&nbsp;Three years? Can you beat my $2,000 savings?</p> <p>Leave a comment at the end of the article on how boring you can be or <a href="mailto:thewriter@thewriterscoin.com?subject=Boring%20Saver">email me</a> here so we can see who is the best boring saver out there!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-take-the-boring-challenge">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-starbucks-drinks-you-can-easily-make-yourself">4 Starbucks Drinks You Can Easily Make Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-106-delicious-lunches-that-will-make-you-excited-to-brown-bag-it">Flashback Friday: 106 Delicious Lunches That Will Make You Excited to Brown-Bag It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-save-on-a-shoestring">25 Ways to Save on a Shoestring</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living boring coffee lunch MP3 saving Mon, 24 Aug 2009 16:46:23 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 3527 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Brown Bag it With Style http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-brown-bag-it-with-style <p><img width="352" height="440" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/Food_568.jpg" alt="wine and grapes" title="jazzy brown bag lunch story pic" /></p> <p>Finding time to pack your lunch for work each day can feel pretty overwhelming. Trying to be creative about it can be even more frustrating. Following are several categories of suggestion ideas to help you get started, and stay psyched, about joining the brown bag movement.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Having One or Two Large Batch Items Available Each Week </strong>- This can work well if you have several small containers to pack up ahead of time and toss in with your other lunch items. The smaller Gladware containers or a small thermos from the thrift store are helpful items. Some ideas for large batch items to round out your lunch repertoire? Zingy pasta salad, chili, soup, quiche, fried rice, pizza, tabouleh, pancit or lo mein noodle dishes. I think it's fun to bring things occasionally that you need something besides a fork to eat. If you have children to keep happy with their lunch options, this works great for that, too.</li> <li><strong>Pre-packaging some &quot;grab and takes&quot;</strong>&nbsp; - Grab and takes is the term we use in our house for those little extras that are easily eaten at your desk, on the run or in the car. One item I used quite often during the last few years of my husband's military career was the large packages of restaurant style tortilla chips from the bulk warehouse stores. They were easy to break down into pint or snack size re-sealable containers. They are also much sturdier than regular tortilla chips and hold up to some seriously sturdy dips. Other ideas? Popcorn, roasted almonds, home made trail mix, pretzels (chocolate coated or otherwise), bargain store cheese and cracker combos by the case, dried fruit, raisin and sunflower kernel mixture, dried cereals and the snack mixes you can creat from them, fruit, etc.</li> <li><strong>Factor in Some Finger Foods </strong>- This strategy really goes a long way towards breaking up the monotony of the traditional bag lunch. Finger food is also great for those who don't have a long break for lunch and need to be nibbling on it in stages throughout the day.Some ideas to get you started? Hard boiled eggs, cold chicken drummies / nuggets, home made versions of the popular &quot;lunchables&quot; combos, pinwheel appetizer style sandwiches (tortillas rolled up with your favorite filling spread and sliced into rounds works great for this), and self-cut string cheese snacks from bulk block mozzarella. Ham and cheese cubes you can snag with a toothpick are also great for those cutting carbs as well as school children who like to try something different. One of my favorite (and affordable) ideas for finger type foods though is using non-dessert mini muffins or scones with the meal items baked right in. A couple of examples of this would be ham and cheese scones, or corn muffins with turkey sausage, cheese and chopped green chiles.</li> <li><strong>Celebrate Your Sandwich Ingredients </strong>- Let's face it. Tuna salad, while affordable, just really doesn't cut it long term. Neither does PB &amp; J. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with those sandwich selections. In fact, they are both used quite frequently in our home. What I am saying is that most people (including myself) will not stick with the &quot;take my lunch to work&quot; resolution if they get bored too quickly. If you grow your own basil, caprese sandwiches can be quite affordable. Another one my husband and I both like is zatyr with olive oil as a spread, combined with mozzarella and roma tomatos. A little curry powder in with your chicken salad can really help a lot, as can a pinch or two of horseradish. Alternative greens to lettuce (spinach, basil, radicchio, etc.) and home grown sprouts can also help. A break from the traditional mayo for a spread can keep you motivated as well. (Think hummus or mashed avacado.) Bored with your wonder bread? Try a wrap, a roll, or a different grain entirely. Here are some other <a href="http:// http://www.wisebread.com/sex-up-your-sandwich-ideas-for-budget-conscious-brown-baggers">ideas for sandwiches</a>, to help get you started. Those reducing meat and dairy in their diets should find this <a href="http://webesharin.com/2010/06/07/hot-vegan-sandwiches-even-meat-lovers-will-enjoy/">list of vegan sandwiches</a> helpful.</li> <li><strong>Dunkin' and Dippin' Combos </strong>- I'm partial to this, because I'm a dunker from way back. In addition to the age old carrots and peanut butter, here are a few ideas you may not have thought of. Tortilla chips with salsa, guacamole or ranch sauce. Celery with a multi-ingredient cream cheese spread (think smoked salmon or pineapple).&nbsp;Mini cocktail meatballs with sweet and sour dip, or pita bread chips with hummus are also some out of the ordinary ideas, depending upon where you live.</li> <li><strong>Romancing the Stone </strong>- I guess what I'm saying here is, make it sexy and you'll stick with it. If some of the more elaborate ingredients are out of your budget reach, try keeping <strong>picnic</strong> supplies packed in your lunch bag (fabric napkin, sarong, good book). You can hit the park if there's one near your work place. You could also try organizing a weekly or monthly <strong>pot luck</strong> lunch at work, or a <strong>brown bag buffet</strong> of simple items. Two things that come to mind? First,&nbsp;a &quot;make your own Italian&quot; lunch buffet the PTO used to coordinate for a school I used to work at. You could sign up for lunch meat, green peppers, sliced cheese, whatever. It's just important that everyone gets on board and commits to their assigned item. This worked well, was healthy, and affordable for nearly every budget. Second is a lunch we used to have in the teachers' room on Guam quite often . . . Vietnamese lumpia. If you've never had it, it's sort of like having a spring roll inside a veggie taco. You need the long lumpia, fish sauce, rice noodles, bean sprouts, mint leaves and long pieces of lettuce to use like a soft tortilla.</li> <li><strong>Consider Starting a Brown Bag Theater at Work </strong>- A teacher of mine in high school started hosting one of these when she was trying to encourage all of us to eat healthier. We had to bring a healthy lunch to get in on each afternoon's installment of the movie or mini-series she was showing. A similar idea I used years ago is how I got to know a co-worker who is to this day one of my closest friends. The murder trial of a famous sports star (you know the one) was on television practically non stop. I was working at a software company at the time and there was no time to step out to grab lunch as well as catch the TV coverage. She and I used this as motivation to start bringing low cal lunches and opted for catching the news. Soon, many of our co-workers started joining us. You don't need a major long-term news item to get one of these started. Check out episodes of a popular TV series no one has time to watch. Without the commercials, they are often around 40-45 minutes long. That's enough time with an hour lunch break for everyone to get there, get settled with their lunch and enjoy the episode. It would also be a great way for bloggers and other reviewers to keep up to date on a show they were posting about online. Or, try it with a book on tape for an alternative form of a book club. There are many ways to make this work. I'd love to hear some of your ideas.</li> </ul> <p>I guess in conclusion, my only additional advice is to cut yourself some slack if you need it. I don't know how many times I made myself be extra frugal when shopping for lunch items for the week, only to blow it by Thursday because I was so bored with what I had selected that I caved and ordered take out food. In retrospect, would those frozen chicken nuggets have been as expensive as I thought they were the Friday before? Ditto for the sliced Swiss or occasional bottle of fruit flavored sparkling water? There's nothing wrong with adding a little spice to the brown bag experience. It's one of the most powerful cash-carving strategies we have available to us, and if shaking it up a little is what will help you stick with the habit, go for it.</p> <p>Have some fabulous and fun ideas for sticking with the brown bag movement? I'd really love to hear them.</p> <p>Photo by Art Expressions</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/staff">Staff</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-brown-bag-it-with-style">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-save-money-when-getting-your-drink-on">15 Ways to Save Money When Getting Your Drink On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-that-are-actually-cheaper-at-whole-foods">6 Foods That Are Actually Cheaper At Whole Foods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-rice-cake-topping-ideas">40 Rice Cake Topping Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-106-delicious-lunches-that-will-make-you-excited-to-brown-bag-it">Flashback Friday: 106 Delicious Lunches That Will Make You Excited to Brown-Bag It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-worlds-most-affordable-michelin-starred-restaurants">The World&#039;s Most Affordable Michelin-Starred Restaurants</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink fun food lunch make your own saving money thrift Fri, 20 Jul 2007 19:54:47 +0000 Staff 873 at http://www.wisebread.com Buy a drink, get a free Whopper - every single day? http://www.wisebread.com/buy-a-drink-get-a-free-whopper-every-single-day <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/burger_small.jpg" alt=" " width="298" height="197" />Did your mom always nag you to keep your receipts? Mine did. She&#39;d see me charge something to a credit card and then casually toss away the receipt, and I&#39;d get an immediate lecture about what it means to <em>keep track of my expenses yada yada yada</em> (Mom actually included the yada&#39;s). Frankly, budgeting has never been an issue for me, even when I was close to the poverty line, and receipts seemed to be a wallet-cluttering nuisance. But that all changed for me recently, and now I treasure receipts because they are kind of convenience that is rare - <strong>they are pre-cut coupons</strong>.</p> <p>You&#39;ve probably noticed that lots of stores and restaurants print coupons on the back of their receipts. You probably throw them out like I used to. </p> <p>I&#39;d still be throwing them out if my local Albertson&#39;s hadn&#39;t started printing a rent-one-get-one-free coupon for my favorite independent video rental store. At $4 a pop, I felt like I was doing my duty, keeping a local, independently-owned business in business, but honestly, with the number of films that I watch, it was really starting to hurt my bottom line. The coupon helped me reduce the cost of my film habit without reducing my intake. Yes, I&#39;m paying a bit less to the store than I used to, but I still buy my caramel corn there. Lots and lots of caramel corn.</p> <p>I understand that many coupons are not really a money-saving device, because you have to buy something to get something. And it&#39;s true that if you go out of your way to get $5 off of a meal at a Greek restaurant that you never eat at because you have a receipt-coupon in hand, then you&#39;re not saving money at all. But, if you use a coupon for a place that you frequent... frequently..., then coupons like this can be your best friend.</p> <p>Paul&#39;s <a href="/the-ghetto-mac-yours-for-1">Ghetto Burger post</a> reminded me that I&#39;ve been living large on more-or-less complimentary BK Whoppers for a while. I didn&#39;t exactly classify my situation as &#39;ghetto&#39;, but rather &#39;frugally fabulous&#39;. You can call it what you will.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/coupons.jpg" alt=" " width="280" height="198" />OK, is it <strong>really</strong> free? No, I suppose it isn&#39;t. But it&#39;s as close to free as I can hope to get. </p> <p>The back of every Burger King receipt should have a coupon for a free Whopper with the purchase of a drink at Burger King, should you take 5 minutes to answer survey questions on the phone (you have to fill out your survey code on the receipt to get your pseudo-free Whopper). My first thought was, &quot;Well, it&#39;s the least I can do. I eat here pretty often.&quot; </p> <p>So I rang up the toll-free number on my cell phone and spent the next 10 minutes politely trying to help the automated system understand that the Burger King that I eat lunch at is neither clean, nor friendly, nor prompt. The problem is that every time you answer with a less than perfect score (let&#39;s say you give them a 4 out of 5 on service), you&#39;ll be asked to tell them more, and rate EVERY ASPECT OF THEIR SERVICE. Is the bathroom clean? Are the employees human? Do the employees bathe frequently?</p> <p>The crazy thing is, once I filled out my code and brought in my receipt-coupon, bought my obligatory Coke and got my free Whopper, I got another receipt for the Coke. <em>With another coupon for another free Whopper on the back</em>. All I had to do was master the phone system, and I appeared to be set for life with close-to-free Whoppers.</p> <p>My advice, should your discount coupon rely on something like an online or phone survey code, make sure you do it on a landline or during your offpeak hours on your cell. If you are really smart, you can use your VoIP system to call the survey line using your computer, and assuming you have dynamic IP capabilities, it shouldn&#39;t be obvious that you are the same person calling everyday. Answer every question as though the company couldn&#39;t be better and you simply love them to death, unless you really want to give honest feedback (this takes some more time - and time is money, so it&#39;s really up to you).</p> <p>I&#39;m not sure that every Burger King is like this, or for how long this kind of discount will continue, but for now, I&#39;m enjoying my nearly free burger binge. Because there is such thing as a mostly free lunch.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/troy-hadley">Troy Hadley</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-a-drink-get-a-free-whopper-every-single-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-key-to-free">The Key to Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-health-food-worse-for-you-than-junk-food">Is &quot;Health Food&quot; Worse for You than Junk Food?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-rice-cake-topping-ideas">40 Rice Cake Topping Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-106-delicious-lunches-that-will-make-you-excited-to-brown-bag-it">Flashback Friday: 106 Delicious Lunches That Will Make You Excited to Brown-Bag It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Burger King coupon customer service discount Fast Food free lunch receipt survey Whopper Wed, 28 Mar 2007 19:24:00 +0000 Troy Hadley 408 at http://www.wisebread.com Onigiri: Behold The Mighty Triforce http://www.wisebread.com/onigiri-behold-the-mighty-triforce <p><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/183/419564642_48fdba92bc_m.jpg" alt="behold the power" title="onigiri is the triforce" width="240" height="227" /></p> <p>He zips around the lush pixelated world of Hyrule, battling monsters on his quest to save Princess Zelda, a sacred triangle perched atop his head. Link knows that the ancient relic holds great power, but what Link never learned is that <strong>the Triforce is also deeelicious</strong>.</p> <p>I visited Japan with friends in fall of 2005, and while there, we made an amazing discovery: <em>onigiri</em>. As our days in Japan increased, the fatness of our wallets decreased, and we learned the true glory of this humble food. <em>Onigiri</em> is a Japanese convenience store food consisting of rice formed into a triangular cake around a center of something yummy (salmon, tuna, <em>umeboshi</em> [pickled sour plum], and <em>kimchi</em> are just some examples), and wrapped in seaweed. We ventured to say that the three elements that constituted this Triforce were rice for Wisdom, a shield of seaweed for Courage, and the Power of delicious fillings. </p> <p>But perhaps <strong>the true magic of <em>onigiri</em> is its packaging</strong> (wow, a Japanese product with genius packaging. <a href="http://www.bringitaroundtown.net/nippon/2006/07/eating-in.html">Big shocker</a>). You see, wrapping <em>onigiri</em> comes with a challenge: if the seaweed has contact with the rice for more than a couple seconds, it gets soggy and sticky. But the ingenious Japanese came up with an elegant solution.</p> <p>First, the seaweed is wrapped within a two-layer sheath of plastic. </p> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tannazie/420619120/" title="onigiri intact"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/123/420619120_2ba3628d21_m.jpg" alt="onigiri intact" width="240" height="181" /></a></p> <p>The plastic protects the seaweed&#39;s inside from the rice&#39;s moisture, and its outside from external elements. </p> <p>So, the seaweed is wrapped separately from the ricey triangle. Then, how do you get it out of the wrapper, without compromising the structural integrity of the mighty Triforce? Well, first, you pull down the tab that starts at the upper point of the triangle. </p> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tannazie/420631679/" title="onigiri -- pull the tab"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/151/420631679_06d660a5fc_m.jpg" alt="onigiri -- pull the tab" width="240" height="166" /></a></p> <p>Note at this point, that the inside layer of the plastic sheath is split down the center. As you pull the tab all the way down and around the <em>onigiri</em>, the outer layer also splits down the center (are you seeing where this is going?).</p> <p>Now, this next step is the culinary equivalent of the <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=chMbD044B0k">take-off-your-bra-without-taking-off-your-shirt</a> trick. </p> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tannazie/420619216/" title="onigiri -- split wrapper"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/181/420619216_5d67c4330a_m.jpg" alt="onigiri -- split wrapper" width="240" height="168" /></a></p> <p>You tug on each corner of the wrapper, now split in two, and, astonishingly, the wrapper slides right off the seaweed, leaving the mighty onigiri unwrapped and intact! </p> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tannazie/420619242/" title="onigiri unwrapped"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/176/420619242_ee14d36feb_m.jpg" alt="onigiri unwrapped" width="240" height="219" /></a></p> <p>Okay, maybe not completely intact. You do have to fold the corners over. But a few quick tucks and a few quick bites, and you get to that all-powerful center. </p> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tannazie/420757815/" title="onigiri bite"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/163/420757815_74c7ff3f7f_m.jpg" alt="onigiri bite" width="240" height="167" /></a></p> <p>See? Magical! Now, why would Link run around with this thing on his head when he could be eating it? </p> <p>Convenience stores in Tokyo are pretty exceptional. In a city known for being prohibitively expensive, it&#39;s nice to know that on just about every corner, there&#39;s a friendly shop when you can get a substantive meal for the equivalent of a few dollars. You find a mix of US chains like 7-Eleven or am/pm and homegrown convenience stores, or <em>combini</em>, like FamilyMart and Lawsons. In addition to <em>onigiri</em>, you can get little packages of egg salad, hot steamed buns filled with seasoned pork, and even the occasional sandwich. And in today&#39;s gloriously shrinking world, Japan&#39;s Family Mart has dressed itself up with gourmet snacks and sleek stylings and brought its act to the states as <a href="http://famima-usa.com/">Famima!!</a> (that&#39;s right, the <em>two</em> exclamation points are part of the name). Which means that <strong>the True Force to Govern All is just a buck-fifty away.</strong> </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tannaz-sassooni">Tannaz Sassooni</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/onigiri-behold-the-mighty-triforce">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-rice-cake-topping-ideas">40 Rice Cake Topping Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-106-delicious-lunches-that-will-make-you-excited-to-brown-bag-it">Flashback Friday: 106 Delicious Lunches That Will Make You Excited to Brown-Bag It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-gluten-free-lunch-ideas">20 Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon">What to Eat for Lunch for a More Productive Afternoon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-dishes-you-can-make-with-a-can-of-tomato-soup">11 Delicious Dishes You Can Make With a Can of Tomato Soup</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink convenience famima japanese lunch onigiri snack Wed, 14 Mar 2007 14:45:25 +0000 Tannaz Sassooni 343 at http://www.wisebread.com