5 Quick And Cheap Lunch Recipes (Slide Show)

You know that you could save cash by bringing your lunch to work, but you simply don't have the motivation to make elaborate meals the night before. At any rate, brown-bagging it reminds you of high school and soggy sandwiches. Somehow, saving a little money just doesn't feel worth eating tired PB&J or sweaty cheese sandwiches every day.

So, skip the sandwiches. We've brought you a slide show of five real, legitimately delicious meals that you can prepare in under ten minutes. To cut down on costs, we've chosen some key ingredients that can be used in multiple meals throughout the week. Our week-long lunch menu will take you through five unique recipes that nonetheless help you to use up that avocado and red pepper from day one, rather than letting them go bad while you buy new ingredients for something totally different.

To follow our week-long plan, there's no need to be a culinary whiz. We've chosen recipes that are easy, tasty, and healthy (unlike that PB&J, these contain vegetables). Most of the recipes we've chosen are simple and basic, so you should feel free to tweak amounts or serving sizes to fit your palette. Also, you can easily omit or substitute any proteins or vegetables you don’t like. Making this entire week's lunch menu will yield an average per-lunch price of about $4.75.

To calculate how much you'll save over time by bringing your lunch from home, use this lunch savings calculator.

Click the first image to start the slide show >>

View Slide Show

*Assuming you already have cream cheese, oil, soy sauce, salt, pepper, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and basil or other spices of your choice.

Link for Day Two: Chicken Tacos


If you do what's in this Daily, you save:


$85 x 12 = $1,020/year

If you invested this amount today and earned an 8% return, you would have $22,159 by retirement.**

That's LearnVest.

*Savings for bringing lunch from home every day, if eating out costs $9 and a lunch from home costs $4.75.
**If you are 25 today and retire at age 65. We calculated that number here.


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  • Darlene Bishop

    $12 for lunch is cheap? Not where I come from. I can eat lunch for $1 or less. THAT’s cheap.