When the going gets tough
Back to Main MenuReal Estate TransfersBack to Main MenuLocal Grocery AdsSpecial SectionsLocal AdsLagniappeBrown bagging is back, up about a fifth in the past seven years, according to a recent poll by the NPD Group, a na free run 2 tional market research firm.The savings add up fast. The average brown bag lunch costs about $2 to pre free run 2 pare, compared to a $6 averag free run 2 e for a fast food lunch. Save $4 a day and that’s $20 for a five day work week, which is about $80 a month, or roughly $1,000 a year.Tarr’s typical lunch from home is a turkey sandwich, a piece of fruit and a granola bar, or sometimes peanut butter and jelly. Or he will bring whatever is left after he cooks dinner the night before.Gina Mullins brought her lunch to work often last year, she says, and she plans to do so more often this year.”I lose too much money buying lunch,” she says. She packs a “ham and pepper cheese sandwich, spicy mustard, and of course romaine, on wheat bread with a pickle on the side. A few chips. Or homemade mac and cheese. I love red beans on Monday, so will start packing a side dish for the freezer in a disposable dish. If we fry fish, I will bring it cold and eat at my desk. I LOVE cold fried fish.”When his children lived at home, Randy Patterson would pack them and himself the same homemade lunch after he made dinner the night before. He’d serve grilled chicken breasts, capellini pasta with putanesca sauce, salad and garlic French bread. The next day: grilled chicken strips with the putanesca dipping sauce and garlic French bread.The Norco free run 2 resident now works on a contract in Dallas, where he’s not really fond of the food. Last week, he made a roast so he could take roast beef po boys to work, packaging the beef, gravy and mayonnaise in separate containers to heat and combine with mayonnaise and French bread.Chris Granger / The Times PicayuneThink about the next day’s lunch as you make dinner. Cook an extra chicken breast or two; put a few pieces of raw veggies aside to pack with ranch dressing.Pack lunch for the next day as you clean up after dinner.If packing pasta, add a little extra sauce, if possible; some pastas dry out when reheated.chill packs to the freezer as soon as you get home, so they’re ready to use the next day.When they’re on sale, buy a few frozen dinners for lunch on the days when you can’t pack something else.Crackers, dried fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt and fresh fruit are all excellent lunchables, easy to keep on hand.Package salads for an entire week. Portion greens into zip top bags or containers and take a bottle of salad dressing to work with you.Save some cash: Buy crackers, chips, nuts, yogurt and other munchies in large sizes instead of individual packages, and reportion them yourself.Keep it neat and tidy: If you absolutely have to work (or worse, drive) and eat at the same time, pack solid cubed cheese; apple wedges; crustless quarters of sandwiches.