Packed lunches aren’t just for school kids. Follow our tips for free lunches that will keep you going all afternoon.
Are you tired of eating the same old sandwich at lunch or finding your work canteen uninspiring. Workers spend £5.5 billion on buying lunch each year while at the same time they throw out almost the same value of perfectly good lunch foods. So why not break with tradition and start bringing your own lunch to work? Not only will you save money, but you’ll eat better and waste less too.
If time’s an issue, try putting together your packed lunch the night before. 86% of us have access to a fridge at work, so pop your lunch in as soon as you get to work. If you don't have a fridge at work, invest in a mini cool bag and a couple of ice-packs.
Top five tips to get you started
Mini vegetable quiches batch cook and freeze ready for lunch or a filling after school snack.
Not only can soup be a healthy option, it is also a great way to use up almost any vegetable and store cupboard ingredient.
Leftovers can be perked up in a pitta and taken to work. Try our courgette fritters in pitta recipe. Finish up the ends of plain yoghurt by stirring in seasoning and fresh herbs and topping your sandwich and salads.
Add different ingredients to your basic green salad. Strong tasting goat’s cheese or halloumi adds great depth and flavour to a simple salad lunch. Try our recipe for salad with halloumi
Experiment with different breads. Tortilla are great for lunch as are neat to eat and can be wrapped with many different tasty ingredients.
Our savvy readers share their best free lunch ideas
“For a super speedy lunch, ripe avocado can be spread onto toast instead of butter!” Donated by Caroline Marson to Love Food Hate Waste
“Minestrone soup can be made with leftover shards of pasta, tinned or pre- soaked beans and any veg needing used up. Just boil it up in a big pot. It’s easy and very fulfilling meal!” Donated by Caroline Walker to Love Food Hate Waste
“Entertained at the weekend and have sandwiches leftover from a family buffet? Instead of throwing them away, freeze them whilst they are still fresh. Most sandwiches can be frozen e.g cheese and pickle or ham and mustard freeze well, but not ones with salad. If you freeze in lunch size sandwich bags, you have readymade packed lunches to grab when in a hurry before work. They will thaw in time for lunch!” Donated by Louise to Love Food Hate Waste
“If you have a few veggies left from a meal but not enough to reuse for another meal, put them in a container and freeze. Add any other leftovers such as veg, pasta, spuds or beans to the container as they arise. When full, make up a couple of pints of stock add the contents of the container and cook until tender. Whizz in the blender adjust flavouring and consistency to your liking and enjoy. Almost free soup that tastes different every time!”Donated by Tania to Love Food Hate Waste
What’s your favourite free lunch? Share your best tips and ideas @TescoFood #eatwell
With thanks to Love Food Hate Waste