February 2019 - Mystery Employee, Guess Who it is and Win!
This month a mystery employee shared their personal tips that help them bring lunch almost every day. Read more and email us a guess of who it is. The first person to guess correctly wins a lunch related prize!
We noticed you've brought your lunch almost every day the last four years, how do you keep it up?
My go to strategy is leftovers. I love to cook and share a meal with my family every day, and while the dog would love to get all the leftovers, we try to limit that! To make this work I plan to cook for both my husband and I to have another serving the next day for lunch. So, as I dish out the meal on plates for dinner I also dish it out into to-go-containers for lunch for the next day. This saves time in the morning when we are getting ready and makes the choice on what to take easy. This means I also don't have to plan for what we are having for the week for dinner and also for lunch...meaning less time of prepping, cooking, and cleaning.
Has it always been easy, or are there times that you get in a slump with bringing lunch?
There have been times in my adult life when I've been pretty bad at bringing a lunch. For example, while I was in grad school I not only went out for lunch most days (typically at Panera while working on my own school work or grading papers for my role as a TA), but I also had a bad habit of doing the same with breakfast (Dunkin' Donuts was my guilty pleasure). Still today, there are a few weeks during the year when home and work life gets busy, or we have trips out of town when there simply isn't time to make a lunch, get to the grocery store, or have leftovers.
What do you think about indulging in lunch out?
I encourage it, and I do it myself! Typically there is one dinner a week that just isn't going to be good as leftovers, or for some other reason we don't have any or I need a lunch on-the-go. I take advantage of these days so I don't get bored with taking my own lunch. My typical go-to is Oneota then since my office is in the Union, but I occasionally can get away for a quick lunch downtown with a friend or colleague.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with folks?
I think one of the biggest factors with bringing your own lunch to work is that you can control two things, what's in it and how much it costs. For me the financial wellness benefits are clear, as I could spend 50 dollars a week on eating out, and instead my lunch cost per week is probably more like 10 dollars just in terms of making a little more the night before. There's an added enviromental wellness factor in that as I don't end up with leftovers sitting in the fridge for weeks that end up going to the garbage or compost pile. Plus, while I encourage folks to not get too wrapped up in exactly what you eat at every meal there is the nutritional component. I like that I can make sure I'm getting a well rounded diet, limiting my sodium intake which can be high when eating out, and add a small snack or desert to my lunch bag so I don't get the urge to run downstairs for a Marty's cookie! But, I'd be lying if I said I never ate one ;)