Author Topic: What food do you prepare for work?  (Read 11865 times)

zb3

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What food do you prepare for work?
« on: December 26, 2014, 09:07:24 PM »
Hi everyone,

I am curious as to what food you all prepare for work, what your meals cost, whether you prepare in advance? etc.  I am about to start full time work and am trying to think of a healthy and cost effective meal option.   I am thinking of preparing chicken, veges and rice meals on a sunday, freezing them, and then microwaving them at work.  I would be interested to see what everyone else does.

imustachemystash

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2014, 09:11:00 PM »
I always make a sandwich, fruit, nuts, some sort of treat, and a beverage for 3 out of the 4 family members. I get most the ingredients at Costco or Grocery Outlet.  I have recently discovered you can make and freeze PB&J's and they defrost in time for lunch.  I used to make a bunch of soups and freeze them in mason jars and heat them up for lunch.  Now that I am making 3 lunches each morning it's easier to just make the same thing.

AK

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2014, 11:34:17 PM »
The misses packs my lunches and I eat whatever. Typically, it's sandwiches, some fruit and a little snack like cheese crackers. Sometimes it's soup. Otherwise, it's leftovers. Most of my colleagues buy each day and it's hard not to join them but I persevere. Anyone else find that hard?

Greenroller

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2014, 02:08:39 AM »
I tend to do the soup/salad combo. One thing I always pack is a nice size bag of home popped pop corn to snack on- very cost effective, tasty, and not too unhealthy.

mostlyeels

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2014, 02:08:53 AM »
I try and cook something on one night a week that packs easily into microwaveable containers, usually a stew or casserole, a curry or stir fry of some kind. I buy a couple of pieces of fruit on the way to work most mornings. My vice is lollies: I keep a jar on my desk and am very strict with myself ... mostly :) I found the biggest money wasters for me during the working day were sweet snacks, but having some nearby and just eating a little bit killed the need for me to get anything bigger. Kept me sane (I neeeeed sweets) and cut out a spendy habit all at the same time.

Primm

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2014, 03:22:37 AM »
Leftovers. Well strictly speaking not actual leftovers, when I make stuff I freeze half of the 4 person serve in 1 person portions and defrost them.

When I run out of freezer food I eat ham and cheese sandwiches. Toasted.

DeltaBond

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2014, 05:30:47 AM »
Each Sunday I bake a quiche with as many veggies crammed in there as I can manage so it only takes about 5 eggs, lots of seasonings so I don't feel I'm skimping... and I cut a piece each morning to have at work for breakfast.  The entire thing costs around $5 to make.

For lunch, don't laugh, Yakisoba or Nissin noodles.  Somehow, they're actually filling.  An apple and small bag of baby carrots.

I keep gatorade powder at work if I feel the need for more than water. 

Some days I'll join coworkers for a cheap Mexican lunch, but not more than once a week.

bdoubleu

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2014, 05:46:02 AM »
I work overnight shifts.  On nights that I work, I eat the majority of my food for the day at work (~10 hour days, a half-hour break, and I can snack whenever throughout the night).  I usually take some sort of leftover food (winter is the best, as we rotate through various filling crock pot meals such as chili, hearty soups, etc.).  Other "main entree" staples I rotate through are: spaghetti, noodles with shredded Parmesan cheese, couscous with veggies, leftover pizza, various types of sandwiches.  Then I bring a lot of snacks/mini-meals (pretzels, fruit, yogurt with frozen berries (berries from Costco), popcorn, protein shakes), basically so I have a large variety of choices, so as to avoid going to our sub-par cafeteria for overpriced, bland, unhealthy food.  For extra excitement, I have crystal light packets I mix with the water I drink! :)

Total cost is pretty low (sorry, poor estimator), but significantly lower (and significantly tastier!) than buying food at the work cafeteria.  And I actually eat healthier on nights that I work (vs nights I don't work), since my "rule" is I can eat everything I bring (generally mostly healthy foods), if I so choose, as long as I don't make the trek to the cafeteria.

Frankies Girl

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2014, 06:18:31 AM »
Leftovers mostly.

I also have some packets of oatmeal and cans of soup (if I want a hot meal) or tuna fish and chicken breast, and have access to mayo at work, so can make tuna or chicken salad if I run out of everything else.

crazy jane

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2014, 06:45:36 AM »
Jar salads. I make them for myself and my husband
 People have been offering me from 5-8 dollars apiece to make them for them.

Inkedup

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2014, 07:10:07 AM »

Usually sandwiches and a piece of fruit. I keep oat bars in my bag in case I need a snack.

pminkler

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2014, 09:33:52 AM »
For the past couple months I've been making chicken breast and frozen veggies for about $2 per meal.  I get a big package of chicken breasts @ $1.99/lb, and 80oz of frozen veggies for $0.05/oz.   I'll also get some marinade that adds about $0.17 per meal.

The process is simple.  The day before, jaccard the crap out of the chickens and marinade them.  On cooking day (I cook for the week), put the chickens in the oven at like 375 for 30min...covered in parchment paper.  At the same time, boil 40oz of vegetables.  Distribute the veggies into lunch containers.  Chop up the chicken and put them in the lunch containers.  Done.

I love this meal because you can get different marinades.  You can get two different marinades for the same week.  You can use different veggies.  You can boil rice instead of veggies (cheaper).  You can boil rice AND veggies.  Very versatile, but it's the same steps and cost.  It's also very healthy, depending on what marinade you get.

thedayisbrave

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2014, 09:48:29 AM »
When I worked a desk job, I made sandwiches most days.  Key is buying good lunch meat and good bread.  That made me actually look forward to my lunches rather than feel tempted to eat out with my colleagues.  I also use hummus to moisten it rather than mayo, but YMMV.

Also was very good about cooking extra and bringing leftovers.  Cooking for 1 is difficult anyway, so I'd make large batches and keep smaller portions in the fridge to vary the lunches so I wasn't eating a sandwich 5x a week.  One of my favorites is making pasta with meat sauce - 1 lb of lean ground beef, 1 jar of pasta sauce and then your choice of noodles.  Ton of food really but would last me 5-6 meals and was really tasty.

I need to get more creative, now that I'm an independent contractor I think I definitely will :)

mm1970

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2014, 10:42:45 AM »
Well, I'm an old lady (mid 40s) and working on continuing weight loss.

So I eat salad just about every day.

I prepare the night before, sometimes more than one day ahead.

I use a tupperware container that's 4 cups.

Salad dressing on the bottom, then hard veggies (snap peas, carrots, chick peas), then protein (hard cooked egg, turkey, tuna, ham), then cheese (if I'm using it), then greens on top.  I put my sunflower seeds in a separate container.

Shake up at lunch, pour onto a plate or bowl, top with seeds, and eat!

If I'm out of lettuce or greens, then I may take stir-fry like steamed veggies and a protein.

Lots of my coworkers take sandwiches and fruit, or spaghetti, or beans and rice.

mm1970

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2014, 10:43:50 AM »
The misses packs my lunches and I eat whatever. Typically, it's sandwiches, some fruit and a little snack like cheese crackers. Sometimes it's soup. Otherwise, it's leftovers. Most of my colleagues buy each day and it's hard not to join them but I persevere. Anyone else find that hard?
Hard for my husband, sure.  Not for me because of the cost and the weight factor.

So he eats out with a friend once every 2 weeks.

Anus Hurricane

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2014, 10:57:32 AM »
Soylent, homes.  All liquid diet; hospital food now available to the public and more sexily packaged.  Food and the entire kitchen infrastructure is a complete waste of time.  I'm not joking.
http://www.soylent.me/
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 08:08:22 PM by Anus Hurricane »

AK

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2014, 11:36:35 AM »
Quote
I keep gatorade powder at work if I feel the need for more than water.

My achilles heel is soda. I love the stuff. I drink it for a caffeine source and because it tastes good. This year I've cut way back but I'm on my way to remove it completely. I like drinking water at work and sometimes I feel the need to drink something else. I didn't know gatorade came in powder form! I will give that a shot.

Quote
One of my favorites is making pasta with meat sauce - 1 lb of lean ground beef, 1 jar of pasta sauce and then your choice of noodles.  Ton of food really but would last me 5-6 meals and was really tasty.

Mine too.

KimPossible

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2014, 11:47:33 AM »
I take breakfast and lunch each day.  Breakfast is usually steel cut oatmeal with blueberries, chia seeds, and pecans. I found a Zojirushi rice cooker at a thrift store this summer (score!), and I LOVE it for making oatmeal.  I used to make 4 cups of steel cut oats in 12 cups of water and put it in the fridge for the week or so (DH and one kid like it, too), but now we just make oatmeal whenever we need it, about 2 nights out of 3 keeps us stocked.

Lunch is usually leftovers (soup, curry, stew), usually with a slice of homemade bread w butter and a couple of clementines.

I started at this job about a month and a half ago and one of my favorite parts of the job is being able to eat lunch at my desk. :)

I also keep a hot water kettle in my office and have green tea 2-3 times a day.

Zikoris

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2014, 12:37:28 PM »
I bring a small baggie of nuts and a banana or orange for a morning snack. Lunch is leftovers. My absolute FAVOURITE lunches are yakiudon and burritos, but I'm happy with anything.

I work in a big office that gets a lot of catering, so sometimes I snack on raw vegetables or fruit or salad leftover from a big lunch, but that's more because it's tasty than due to hunger.

socaso

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2014, 12:58:26 PM »
I plan for leftover lunches for the hubby and myself. For instance, I'm making lentil stew tonight and the recipe makes about 6 servings so 4 leftover portions. This keeps us in lunches 90% of the time and when we are out of leftovers we will do PB&J or cheese sandwiches. Every day we also take 1-2 pieces of fruit and something else small like crackers or sunflower seeds. I tend to need a meal plus a snack to get through my day.

pachnik

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2014, 02:05:00 PM »
I take fruit and yogurt for mid-morning snack, then usually leftovers for lunch + a piece of fruit for mid-afternoon.

Beardog

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2014, 02:25:43 PM »
Every Sunday night I cook up a batch of brown basmati rice (bought inexpensively in 10 lb quantities from local Indian grocery).  Near the end, I may add some pressed tofu to steam on top of the rice ($1.66 for 4 pieces, 13g of protein each).  Other protein sources might be TVP (textured vegetable protein) or canned beans or frozen peas.  Each lunch will include vegetables, such as frozen mixed vegetables (Oriental blend, for example) or I may cook up some veggies (onions, bok choy, napa cabbage, mushrooms, etc.).  (Frozen veggies are very convenient when pressed for time or tired.)  Rice, protein, and veggies are divided up between 5 plastic containers.  Lunch for the week is ready and I don't have to think about it again until next Sunday.  At work I have olive oil, sesame oil, and siracha sauce which can be added for extra flavor.

TerriM

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2014, 08:23:24 PM »
Whatever you make, make sure it doesn't stink and won't cause gas.

For example, leftovers are great, but fish leftovers might be stinky.  Curry smells good.  Beans will make you toot, and you'll regret it. :)

Datastache

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2014, 08:42:17 PM »
PBJ is my go-to.

jslasher88

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2014, 09:00:42 PM »
I usually build my meal around a "base" item, typically a sandwich. PB&J, or PB&Honey, etc. Then I add some crackers, a cheese stick or two, piece of fruit, granola bar and some gummi snacks for desert. If I'm sick of peanut butter I'll bring a bowl of meatballs and veggies (thaw overnight from the freezer) and steam that up for 2 minutes. Gets the job done without a lot of annoying prep time!

DeltaBond

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2014, 10:57:04 AM »
Quote
I keep gatorade powder at work if I feel the need for more than water.

My achilles heel is soda. I love the stuff. I drink it for a caffeine source and because it tastes good. This year I've cut way back but I'm on my way to remove it completely. I like drinking water at work and sometimes I feel the need to drink something else. I didn't know gatorade came in powder form! I will give that a shot.
[

Just a tip, I fill a third of my cup with water, then heat that up in the microwave before adding the powder, just so it dissolves a little better, although its not completely necessary.

lielec11

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2014, 11:36:31 AM »
The misses packs my lunches and I eat whatever. Typically, it's sandwiches, some fruit and a little snack like cheese crackers. Sometimes it's soup. Otherwise, it's leftovers. Most of my colleagues buy each day and it's hard not to join them but I persevere. Anyone else find that hard?

Some days harder than others, especially after a tough week where you feel more of a need to get away during lunch.

Typically, though, it is sandwich/soup or leftovers. Today I went the extra mile and brought a frozen chicken burger and some brussel sprouts. Heated everything up at the office and "dinner" for lunch :-)

Full Beard

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2014, 11:47:47 AM »
I usually pack two peanut butter and honey sandwiches on wheat or 12 grain bread and a banana.  It's just enough to get me through the day and I don't have to worry about keeping it in a refrigerator.

I'm a red panda

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2014, 01:17:46 PM »
If we made a dinner, I take leftovers for lunch.

Today, we didn't have that so I took:
Hard-boiled egg + 2 slices of turkey bacon (for breakfast)
Can of tuna mixed with greek yogurt and apple slices (taken out of the can at home), with 8 crackers
Orange
2 cups of mixed vegetables


Things like that are really typical.

I like rice + beans and salsa as an easy lunch. Sometimes with chicken. A pot of rice and a pot of beans on Sunday will last the whole week.
Sometimes I have sandwich turkey (but no bread) for breakfast instead of the egg and bacon.

MrsPotato

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2014, 01:30:01 PM »
I have pretty much the same thing everyday which is fresh fruit and vegetables. Cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes and carrots chopped up in a tuperware container, and an apple and banana. I find that I don't need to eat anything that's heavy/dense since I'm sitting at my desk all day and burning very little energy, plus I have a hard time concentrating after a heavy meal. Sometimes I take some nuts and dried fruit too.

P1

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2014, 01:53:50 PM »
Bring in leftovers from the night before usually. For breakfast I bring eggs mixed with turkey bacon and a banana.

minimustache1985

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2014, 02:34:10 PM »
For breakfast I do the same thing all week but vary what I bring from week to week.  Last week was hard cooked eggs, this week is bagels, next week will be smoothies.

Lunches are always leftovers, and I keep some backup lunches (lean cuisine, progresso, etc) in my office in case I don't make enough food or make something that reheats poorly, etc that I probably eat once or twice a month.  I tend to make homemade pizza, pork roast, chili, chicken w/ rice n veggies, etc which all reheat well.

swick

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2014, 02:35:31 PM »
Usually it is whatever leftovers we have from the night before, a piece of fruit (hubby loves dates, they are super portable and meets the "sweet" need) and he has bulk tea and instant (homemade) soup mix that my mom makes from her organic garden veggies in the summer.  This has been pretty key as we lived somewhere with a distinct lack of fresh fruits and veggies. Now we are a little less remote the mason jar salads are going to be made :)

Hubby also has a panini press at work (purchased at a garage sale for a couple of bucks) such a simple way of making boring sandwiches hot and tasty and like something special.


4alpacas

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2014, 02:39:38 PM »
I eat a lot of leftovers.  I also keep cans of soup in my office for the days that I forget to pack my lunch. 

I also keep a lot of snacks in my office (nuts, fig newtons, and a jar of peanut butter) and brew loose leaf tea every day. 

3Mer

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2014, 05:39:57 PM »
I bring an apple or an orange and keep a bag of raw almonds at my desk.  The fruit and a handful of almonds is enough for me during the day.

MrsPete

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2014, 06:54:58 PM »
I have access to a full-sized refrigerator at work, so I like to make 4 lunches on Sunday afternoon (no need to freeze -- they'll still be fine on Friday).  Often I end up with some mid-week leftovers that're so yummy that I opt for them instead of my pre-made stuff; so, if I make 5 lunches, one typically doesn't get eaten.

Like an above poster, I like to make mason jar salads.  You can find loads of examples on the internet.

Vegetable soup is another favorite, and I like to make a BIG pot and freeze it in individual baggies.  I need a sandwich to go with that, and I only like sandwiches if they've been fresh-made that day.  Sometimes I bring in 1/2 a container of pimento cheese and 1/2 a loaf of bread and make a sandwich to go along with my soup.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to start bringing an after-school snack on Monday too.  If I were to bring in 5 apples or pears, I'd eat them instead of something like the cookies that always seem to be in the break room. 


davef

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Re: What food do you prepare for work?
« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2014, 07:29:19 PM »
Leftovers. its just the two of us, but we cook enough for 4 most nights. If leftovers start piling up I cut it back but usually, It works out and we eat leftovers for lunch. Some foods aren't good as leftovers, so I plan to make those (just enough) after a few nights with plenty of leftovers.