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Hints & Tips

Top 10 Lunch Box Ideas | Reduce Waste and Save Money

As thoughts turn to the kids going back to school the nightmare of finding interesting andhealthy lunch ideas on a budget once again looms. So Love Food Hate Waste have come up with our top 10 lunch box ideas to help you make the most of the food you buy, save more and waste less:

mother and daughter going to work and school with lunch boxes

Lunch Box Tip 1

Switch to something like ryvita, oatcakes or rice cakes instead of bread – they last longer once opened (in an airtight tin/pot) and don’t need wrapping to keep them fresh.

Lunch Box Tip 2

Cook an extra portion of their favourite meal at tea time and send the leftovers to school with them. Pasta salad, soup in thermos, chopped chicken salad and leftover veggies – they’re all lovely the next day!  For salads, try swapping bottles dressings for homemade dressing (mix of 5 spoons oil to 2 spoons vinegar along with a bit of mustard if you have some) .

Lunch Box Tip 3

Try wholewheat pitta (keep in the freezer and just take out one the evening before so it’s defrosted when you wake) with hummus (whizz a tin of chick peas with some garlic and oil – add tahini paste if you have some as it really adds a great flavour), cucumber and lettuce (keep the salad in the fridge and the lettuce in a Tupperware pot with kitchen roll to jeep it fresh and dry).

Lunch Box Tip 4

Try a mixture of cubes of hard cheese on a kebab stick with celery, apples (bit of lemon juice stops them going brown) and grapes or mushrooms and cherry tomatoes – whatever you have that works on a kebab really!

Lunch Box Tip 5

For a meat alternative to the above, simply replace the cheese with chopped up cooked sausage or chicken. And for a vegetarian preotien option why not try tofu?

Lunch Box Tip 6

Instead of buying ready made fruit packs, create your own fruit snack packs with grapes, cherries or peach slices in a reusable container.

two nurses eating lunch at work

Lunch Box Tip 7

If you have leftover potatoes, fry them in a pan with onion and add a few frozen peas – tip in beaten eggs and top with grated cheese to make your very own spanish omlette. Sliced up this makes a great lunch with some salad or chopped carrots.

Lunch Box Tip 8

If you’ve forgotten to get the leftovers or bread or wraps out of the freezer the night before, don’t worry – let the kids mix and match and everything will have defrosted by lunch time keeping the other food cool at the same time!

Lunch Box Tip 9

Bananas on the turn? Add to wholemeal bread for a fab banana sandwich!

Lunch Box Tip 10

And finally get the kids to come up with some ideas and get them to help you making them in the morning – they’re more likely to eat it especially if you set them a lunch from the fridge challenge!

Feeling inspired but still at a loss at where to start? There are hundreds of great recipes and ideas over at Love Food Hate Waste.

Emma Marsh

Emma Marsh

Community User

Emma Marsh is head of Love Food Hate Waste. The group was launched in 2007 by non-profit recycling company WRAP to help raise awareness of the amount of food waste we produce and how this is effecting the environment, and our wallets.