lunch box http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4277/all en-US When to Buy Disposable http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-buy-disposable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-to-buy-disposable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2253484235_ebf7986b79_z.jpg" alt="paper bag" title="paper bag" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a question I struggle with &mdash; when should I buy disposable, and when should I buy stuff made to last?</p> <p>My first impulse is always to to buy stuff made to last. That hits the right note in at least two ways. Over the long term, it ought to be cheaper, plus it ought to produce less impact on the environment, by using less resources and by taking up less landfill space. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fix-energy-in-tangible-form">Fix Energy in Tangible Form</a>)</p> <p>Reality is more complex.</p> <h2>A Story About&nbsp;Reusable Bags</h2> <p>For a summer in in the late 1970s, I worked as a day camp counselor. That was when everything was being made disposable &mdash; and reacting against it was very trendy. At the day camp, kids and counselors were strongly encouraged to bring their lunches in reusable containers. (The kids got tokens as a reward for good behavior. We got our pay docked if we showed up with our stuff in brown paper bags, or if we used <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-disposable-products-you-can-reuse">disposable plastic bags</a> to hold individual items.)</p> <p>Now, I understood that actual environmental impacts were only a secondary consideration. The main goal was to get the kids to think about issues like resource usage and landfill space. But containers for sack lunches seemed like an odd place to make a stand.</p> <p>To my way of thinking, those brown paper bags after which the brown-bag lunch is named are a pretty sound choice both financially and ecologically. The resources required to make them are modest and largely renewable, they take up minimal space in a landfill, and they are biodegradable. That's pretty serious competition for the alternative &mdash; a reusable lunch box of some sort.</p> <p>Consider a few of the possibilities. The sort of steel lunch box that workmen used to carry would require vastly more resources to construct, starting with mining iron ore. Of course, a steel lunch box might last for decades, but it would probably <em>take</em> decades before you'd have used as much energy making brown paper bags as you'd have spent smelting and then rolling the steel to make the lunch box.</p> <p>Almost certainly worse were the cardboard-and-vinyl lunch boxes that most of the kids actually used. They were reusable, but generally only lasted a year before the vinyl cracked at the hinge points. (And they would be printed with a graphic that was dreadfully out-of-date a year later, and in any case inappropriate for a kid a year older.) The vinyl was a non-renewable resource, which was probably never recycled in practice (because of the effort needed to separate it from the cardboard). It wouldn't take as much energy to make as a steel lunch box, but enough to make many brown paper bags &mdash; probably more than the 180 paper bags that would be the break-even point, given the expected lifespan of one year.</p> <p>I ended up using a nylon draw-string bag that I'd gotten for organizing small items in my backpack when I went camping. It was about the same size as a brown paper bag, was reusable, and served my purpose well. Of course, it was also made out of non-renewable resources, but it probably didn't require nearly as much energy as making a steel lunch box.</p> <p>As an aside, much later I won (in a raffle) a fancy lunch container that was a big stainless steel thermos bottle, designed with stackable containers that you could pack with hot food in the morning so you would still have hot food at lunch time. I still have it and use it occasionally when I'm having that sort of lunch, but I'm rather doubtful that I'll ever use it enough times to justify the resources that must have gone into making it.</p> <h2>The Limits of Analysis</h2> <p>Part of my point here is that this sort of question is hard to answer analytically. What is the environmental impact of cutting down a forest versus operating iron and coal mines? Are the chemicals released into the water when making paper worse than those released into the air when smelting iron? How does a petrochemical plant compare to a steel foundry? And, of course, there's the issue of the unknowable future. What if you only use the steel lunch box for a year, and then start eating at the cafeteria? What if treating your vinyl lunch box with great gentleness makes it last three years?</p> <p>The financial questions are a little more tractable, if only because you actually know the prices of the alternatives. If a steel lunch box costs $12 and a brown paper bag costs 2.5 cents, then the steel lunch box wins if it lasts at least 480 lunches &mdash; less than three years of school; less than two years of work. (Properly speaking, you'd want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-low-interest-rates-might-save-the-world">discount the initial investment</a> to account for the fact that you've lost the use of the whole $12 up front. But if the potential investment return is roughly equal to the inflation rate on brown paper bags, the simple calculation is close enough.) But even the financial questions founder on the unknowable future. What if you lose your lunch box? What if a bully pitches it under the wheels of a school bus? What if the actor depicted on the front gets involved in a scandal?</p> <p>Without the ability to determine the answer analytically, we're inevitably reduced to answering such questions intuitively. To aid that, I've come up with a new rule of thumb:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Buy to last </strong>when most of the cost is for <em>materials</em> &mdash; because that's what's inevitably going to cost more in the future.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Buy disposable</strong> when most of the cost is for <em>non-materials</em> (the brand or the technology or the &quot;intellectual property&quot; embedded in the item) &mdash; because these sorts of non-materials will go on getting cheaper in the future.</li> </ul> <p>You can really see this rule at play in items where there's an intellectual property premium added to a durable item. A metal lunch box printed with characters from a canceled TV show can probably be had almost for free at a salvage store or a garage sale (until the series has been canceled long enough that the item starts having some retro appeal).</p> <p>If you have the data and the inclination to analyze the financial and environmental costs of the various alternatives, that's a worthy effort, especially for a major purchase such as a car. But for smaller purchases, and ones where the data to produce an analytical solution are hard to come by, this rule of thumb is a useful guide.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-buy-disposable">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/21-disposable-products-you-can-reuse">21 Disposable Products You Can Reuse</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-high-cost-of-catching-a-cold-or-the-flu">The High Cost of Catching a Cold or the Flu</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/9-things-you-can-do-online-besides-watch-cat-gifs">9 Things You Can Do Online Besides Watch Cat GIFs</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/one-surprising-skill-that-can-save-you-money-when-you-travel">One Surprising Skill That Can Save You Money When You Travel</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-smart-money-moves-to-make-in-the-new-year">8 Smart Money Moves to Make in the New Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living disposable lunch box reusable Wed, 09 May 2012 10:24:10 +0000 Philip Brewer 928765 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-quick-cheap-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/eating-5336068-small.jpg" alt="woman eating sandwich" title="woman eating sandwich" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know how difficult it is just to get out the door in the morning (though it can be easier if you know how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-day">wake up fast and attack the day</a>), so it's no surprise that preparing lunch often falls by the wayside. Make bringing lunch &mdash; or preparing it at work &mdash; easier by using one of these 25 trouble-free and tasty ideas.</p> <h2>Sandwiches</h2> <p>Sandwiches are the epitome of an uncomplicated lunch, but they don't have to be boring. Use ingredients from last night's dinner in innovative ways to bring new life to those two slices of bread. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-bread-machines">The 5 Best Bread Machines</a>)</p> <p><strong>1. Chicken Salad Sandwich</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="454" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-chicken-salad-sandwich-1362532-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Dice or shred leftover chicken with celery or pickles (both are delicious), mix with mayonnaise or ranch dressing, and add a Kaiser roll, and you've got one delicious, easy lunch.</p> <p><strong>2. Meatball Sub</strong></p> <p>This is one of my all-time easiest lunches. Anytime I have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, I reserve three to five meatballs and some sauce for lunch the next day. After dinner, I cut a French baguette in half, layer on meatballs on sauce, and go to bed. That <em>is</em> the easiest lunch ever, right?</p> <p><strong>3. Italian Sub</strong></p> <p>The classic Italian sub is both practical and delectable. Start yours with a good foundation of a French or sourdough sub roll, and layer on salami, provolone, lettuce, and add Italian dressing. Done! You can spice up your sub with the addition of pepperoncini, roasted red pepper, or even artichoke hearts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sex-up-your-sandwich-ideas-for-budget-conscious-brown-baggers">Sex Up Your Sandwich</a>)</p> <p><strong>4. Philly Cheese Steak</strong></p> <p>Being a new resident of Philadelphia, I had to add this one to the list. Make your own, super-easy version of this old favorite by sautéing half a white onion and half a bell pepper in 1 tbsp of butter until the onion is translucent. Mix in leftover steak and heat. Put the filling on a hoagie roll and top with provolone cheese (or, like the real cheese steak, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006NMGC4C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B006NMGC4C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Cheese Whiz</a>). What's that you say? No leftover steak? No problem &mdash; just use sliced roast beef deli meat for an easy alternative, like <a href="http://hillshirefarm.com/recipes/philly-cheese-steak-sandwich.aspx">Hillshire Farm</a> recommends.</p> <p><strong>5. Tasty Turkey Sandwich</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="403" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-turkey-sandwich-1932401-small.jpg" /></p> <p>We've all probably had a turkey sandwich greet us for lunch at some point in our lives. Dress up your turkey with this <a href="http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/garden-turkey-sandwich-lemon-mayo">turkey sandwich recipe</a> from Good Housekeeping. It gets a lift from fresh lemony mayo and spinach greens.</p> <h2>Pasta</h2> <p>Pasta is a lunchtime staple because it's easy to combine the three main components of any pasta dish &mdash; noodles, sauce, and a protein or veggies &mdash; in countless ways to create delectable new lunches.</p> <p><strong>6. Pasta Frittata</strong></p> <p>Almost everyone eats spaghetti, but not everyone enjoys eating leftover pasta the next day. Transform leftover spaghetti noodles into a tasty pasta frittata by adding six eggs and &frac14; cup milk to one cup of leftover spaghetti or fettuccine noodles and cooking on medium heat in a skillet for about five minutes. Add about two cups of cheese (any kind will do), and broil the frittata until the eggs are set and the cheese is golden brown. For a more fancy version, try this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/egg-pasta-frittata-recipe/index.html">frittata recipe</a> from Rachel Ray.</p> <p><strong>7. Easy Pasta Salad</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="403" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-pasta-salad-4158989-small.jpg" /></p> <p>I love pasta salad, not only because it's delicious, but also because it's easy to make and easy to eat on the go. The most economical way to make past salad is, of course, with leftovers &mdash; use pasta, veggies from another dish, and cheese (cubed or grated), then toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and spices. You can also add in a protein for an even more filling salad. My personal favorites are cubed chicken, shrimp, or pepperoni.</p> <p><strong>8. Shrimp and Orzo</strong></p> <p>Orzo (that small, rice-shaped pasta) is wonderful eaten both hot and cold. I make a lunch version by cooking &frac14; pound orzo the night before and throwing in &frac14; pound pre-cooked shrimp, &frac12; cup feta cheese, &frac12; of a chopped cucumber, and some cherry tomatoes. Toss all the ingredients with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and chill. Mmmm, mmmm good!</p> <h2>Random Lunches</h2> <p>For those people who refuse to be boxed into a neat category, try a lunch recipe that refuses to do the same. Decide for yourself which most suits your unique personality.</p> <p><strong>9. Pinwheels</strong></p> <p>This staple at office food days and parties is easy, cheap, and can be made with a tortilla and just about any filling your heart desires. One of my go-to favorites is cream cheese and turkey, but if you're looking for some inspiration, try a few of these ideas from the <a href="http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/pack-pinwheels-for-a-fun-lunch/">Williams-Sonoma Blog.</a></p> <p><strong>10. Mediterranean Pita Pocket</strong></p> <p>In my humble opinion, the pita pocket is second only to sliced bread when it comes to making a variety of lunch items. I personally love a Mediterranean-inspired version, which involves stuffing a pita with lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, and Kalamata olives and topping with Greek yogurt and cucumber (a quasi-tzaziki sauce, if you will). You could substitute the yogurt and cucumber with hummus, too.</p> <p><strong>11. Quinoa Salad</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="404" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-quinoa-salad-5273480-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Quinoa, a grain-like crop grown for its edible seeds, is a good source of protein, amino acids, and calcium. It is also, by the way, gluten free. Quinoa can be a perfect lunch staple because it is so healthy and easy to make. Try making your own quinoa salad by cooking two cups chicken broth with one cup of quinoa according to the package directions. Add cooked broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Enjoy!</p> <h2>Mexican-Inspired Fare</h2> <p>The tortilla is Mexico's answer to the sandwich. Endlessly versatile, inexpensive, and tasty, tortillas can be filled and folded in innumerable ways. Here are some of my favorites.</p> <p><strong>12. Black Bean and Corn Burrito</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="403" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-burritos-5009998-small.jpg" /></p> <p>What could be easier than opening a can of beans and a can of corn, and folding into a burrito? I make these tasty lunches by using one can of black beans and one can of corn (rinse before using); adding an avocado, red onion, and cilantro; and mixing with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Pile the filling on a flour tortilla, <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_2126935_fold-burrito.html">fold burrito-style</a>, and enjoy!</p> <p><strong>13. Taco Salad</strong></p> <p>OK, this one does not call for a tortilla like the other lunches in this category, but it's equally versatile. I'm not a huge fan of leftover ground beef (personal choice, I guess), so I leave that out when making a super-easy taco salad for lunch. Instead, I substitute black beans. I pack beans and salsa separately from shredded iceberg lettuce and cheese. Also separately, I pack a nice lime vinaigrette (2 tbsp lime, 4 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper). Come lunchtime, my lunch is still fresh and appetizing.</p> <p><strong>14. Omelet Burrito</strong></p> <p>Take a portable, protein-filled lunch by wrapping your omelet in a tortilla. Cook three eggs in a skillet, adding cheese, veggies, and ham as desired. Fill a tortilla, fold burrito-style, and wrap in wax paper until ready to eat. I especially love to eat this one when I'm feeling under the weather &mdash; maybe because having breakfast for lunch is also a pick-me-up.</p> <p>(Wise Bread Pick: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-L10SK3-12-Inch-Pre-Seasoned-Skillet/dp/B00006JSUB?tag=seealso-20">Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet at Amazon</a>)</p> <p><strong>15. Chicken, Apple, and Cheese Quesadilla</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="402" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-quesadillas-4187670-small.jpg" /></p> <p>If you have leftover chicken from last night's dinner, use some of it to make this easy lunch. Place &frac12; cup of shredded cheese (mozzarella is my personal favorite, although cheddar works fine too) on a tortilla, add chicken and apple, and top with another &frac14; cup of cheese. Add another tortilla on top and microwave for 30 seconds, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Slice and eat.</p> <h2>Old Favorites</h2> <p>Just because you grew up doesn't mean your lunch has to &mdash; as far as the basics, that is. Below are some of the best of classic lunches from our childhood, dressed up in work-appropriate form.</p> <p><strong>16. PB&amp;J</strong></p> <p>What's not to like about the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-update-peanut-butter-and-jelly">peanut butter and jelly sandwiches</a> of our youth? They are the epitome of cheap, easy, and tasty. If you feel that you need your PB&amp;J to grow up with you, try preparing a gourmet version, with almond butter, peach raspberry preserves, and sliced sourdough bread. You can get creative in other ways, too, like with <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/peanut-butter-and-jelly-sushi-rolls/detail.aspx">PB&amp;J &quot;sushi&quot; rolls</a>.</p> <p><strong>17. Macaroni and Cheese</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="452" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-mac-n-cheese-4054850-small.jpg" /></p> <p>It doesn't have to come from a box to be easy and cheap! Try making this easy <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-stove-top-macaroni-and-cheese-60350">stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe</a> the night before and taking it along for lunch. I also like to add a protein to my mac, like chicken, shrimp, or sliced Italian sausage.</p> <p><strong>18. Hot Dogs</strong></p> <p>Try making these childhood favorites easier to eat at the office by wrapping them in croissant rolls. Buy refrigerated croissant rolls at the grocery store, and unwrap one of the triangular squares. Add a shredded cheese of your choice and a hot dog, roll up, and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350&deg;F for 15 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.</p> <p><strong>19. Ramen Noodles</strong></p> <p>This staple of college dorm pantries is also an easy and cheap lunch option for grown-ups. For an exhaustive list of things to do with ramen noodles, check out the appropriately named book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1586857355/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1586857355&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"><em>101 Things to Do with Ramen Noodles</em></a>. For a quick lunch without the tutorial, simply add 1 cup of fresh or frozen veggies of your choice and &frac12; cup alfredo or pasta sauce to ramen noodles. Cook according to noodle directions, but only add &frac12; of the seasoning included &mdash; that's where all the sodium is.</p> <p><strong>20. Grown-Up Lunchables</strong></p> <p>A typical Lunchables package is filled with crackers, cheese, and meat. Pack your own version with whole-wheat crackers, cubed or sliced cheeses, and deli meat. Add some hardy fruit that's easy to eat on the go (like sliced apples, grapes, or clementines), and you've got a balanced lunch for cheap.</p> <p><strong>21. Mini-Pizzas</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="402" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-mini-pizza-4720219-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Spread some tomato sauce on an English muffin, add cheese, top with pepperoni or chicken, and broil until the cheese bubbles. These delicious bites are easy to take with you on the go and just as easy to make. You can also try variations on the theme, like chicken alfredo pizza (alfredo sauce), barbeque chicken pizza (barbeque sauce), or buffalo chicken pizza (with butter and hot sauce).</p> <h2>Soups</h2> <p>Soups are great lunches for a number of reasons: They won't make you feel full enough to put you to sleep mid-afternoon, they're generally healthy, and they are almost always economical to make. Here are a few that are particularly well suited to lunchtime.</p> <p><strong>22. Cheddar Beer Soup</strong></p> <p>Who couldn't use a drink at the office? Get your fix with a hearty cheese soup enlivened with a splash 'o beer. This <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/claire-robinson/cheddar-beer-soup-recipe/index.html">cheddar-beer soup recipe</a> takes only 15 minutes to make and requires only five ingredients. Make it the night before (or even the morning of), take along, and heat for lunch.</p> <p><strong>23. Sweet Corn Soup</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://divya-dilse.blogspot.com/2008/07/sweet-corn-soup.html">sweet corn soup recipe</a> is delicious, nutritious, and (bonus!) can be made in the microwave, making it officially one of the easiest soup recipes around. I highly recommend it for a chilly fall day.</p> <p><strong>24. Gazpacho</strong></p> <p><img width="605" height="404" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lunch-gazpacho-5226004-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Gazpacho, or cold tomato soup, was originally invented to avoid using the stove on a hot summer day. Make it any time of year for an easy lunch using this simple <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/gazpacho/">gazpacho recipe</a>. Add some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-uses-for-stale-bread">croutons</a> or a crusty baguette, and you're set!</p> <p><strong>25. Cannellini Bean and Tomato Soup</strong></p> <p>Here's another one that is über-simple to make ahead or even in the microwave at work, if you have one. Empty one can of cannellini beans (plus liquid) and one can of spaghetti or marinara sauce into a microwave-safe container and microwave on high for three minutes. Let sit for one minute before removing. Dress it up with Parmesan cheese and bacon if desired, and enjoy with some croutons.</p> <p>So there's the big list of 25 quick and cheap lunch ideas. Was there anything I left out, or do you have a variation on a theme? Share your thoughts in the comments!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F25%20Quick%2C%20Cheap%20Lunch%20Ideas.jpg&amp;description=25%20Quick%2C%20Cheap%20Lunch%20Ideas" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/25%20Quick%2C%20Cheap%20Lunch%20Ideas.jpg" alt="25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-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-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/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes">25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes</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/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</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/17-uses-for-stale-bread">17 Uses for Stale Bread</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-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken">25 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken</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-ways-to-update-peanut-butter-and-jelly">11 Ways to Update Peanut Butter and Jelly</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink bread cheap lunch ideas easy lunch ideas easy recipes lunch box lunch ideas quick meals Wed, 05 Oct 2011 10:36:15 +0000 Janey Osterlind 731740 at http://www.wisebread.com Keep These Things in Your Car; Save Money http://www.wisebread.com/keep-these-3-things-in-your-car-save-money <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/nuts.jpg" alt=" " width="256" height="171" /></p> <p>As I fall deeper and deeper into veggie-eating, plastic-eschewing hippiedom, I thought I&#39;d share some of my ideas for reducing, reusing, or recycling. There&#39;s nothing here you haven&#39;t heard before, but that doesn&#39;t mean it isn&#39;t valuable information!</p> <p>Here are things that I&#39;ve started keeping in my car to keep me from overspending or wasting.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Pack a lunch that packs a punch</strong></p> <p>Not only is packing your own lunch a very frugal option, but it can be fun, sassy, and will cause you to waste less. Think about how much you throw away if you get a sandwich, chips, and drink at Subway. Even the cafeteria where I grab work puts half a sandwich in a big styrofoam container, rather than on a paper plate or even a reusable plate. Even if you decide to eat lunch out on the town, having your own containers on hand can help you avoid bringing home paltry leftovers on a stryofoam shell. Keep some reusable plastic containers in your car or at your desk, and use them for leftovers or take-out as necessary.</p> <p>Lots of people brown-bag it, but if you want a stylish lunch box in which to transport your Spamwich, there are <a href="http://lunchboxes.com/">lots</a> and <a href="http://www.laptoplunches.com/products.html">lots</a> and <a href="http://www.lunchboxcollector.com/">lots</a> to chose from. The Bruce Less lunchbox pictured above can be purchased at <a href="http://toys.wowshopper.com/toys-bruce-lee.htm">Wow Shopper</a>.</p> <p>Just for kicks, you can use <a href="http://www.hughchou.org/calc/lunch.cgi">this web page</a> to calculate how much money you can spend or save between dining out and brown-baggin&#39;.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Get a hold of your hunger</strong></p> <p>Very often, I will find myself driving home, stuck on the freeway, and my blood sugar drops. Or I&#39;m so hungry that I get incredibly cranky. The traffic is bad enough as it is - I don&#39;t really need to be hungry on top of it all.</p> <p>So, I&#39;ll pull into the nearest fast food chain and get some fries. Great. That&#39;s not a lot of money, but I just <a href="http://www.mcdonalds.com/app_controller.nutrition.index1.html">spent my calories</a> for the evening. </p> <p>How to keep from losing your cool to a growling stomach?</p> <p>Make, bake, and bring. Here are some recipes that I really like to use to create Road Food. They&#39;ll hold me over until I get home, satiate my noisy gut, and help me keep from gorging on a fries-and-blizzard combo at Wendy&#39;s.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1610,158182-245196,00.html">Peanut Butter Granola Bars</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.chex.com/Recipes/RecipeView.aspx?RecipeId=6709&amp;CategoryId=343&amp;t=1">Chex Mix Recipes</a></li> <li><a href="http://walking.about.com/cs/snacks/a/recipetrailmix.htm">Trail Mix (Gorp) Recipes</a></li> </ul> <p>Also consider keeping something really simple in your glove compartment, like dried fruit or nuts, or both. Change them out every week (either eat them, compost them, or let the dog have them).</p> <p>There is an intial expenditure with these items, and the swankier you get with them, the more the upfront cost. But the cost is usually balanced out very quickly in the savings.</p> <p>(<em>Photo by <a href="http://www.muratbayral.com/">MURAT BAYRAL</a>)</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keep-these-3-things-in-your-car-save-money">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/new-ideas-for-the-chopstick">New Ideas for the Chopstick</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/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</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/22-ways-to-reuse-paper">22 Ways to Reuse Paper</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/18-clever-ways-to-reuse-your-plastic-shopping-bags">18 Clever Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Shopping Bags</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-things-we-keep-buying-that-are-killing-the-planet">8 Things We Keep Buying That Are Killing the Planet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink frugal lunch box paper plastic recycle shopping bags waste Thu, 19 Apr 2007 23:04:08 +0000 Andrea Karim 534 at http://www.wisebread.com