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5 Useful tips and tricks for packing a lunch that you’ll look forward to eating

Packing lunch can be quite tricky, but with these tips you'll be acing it soon!

by: Chanté Felix | 07 Mar 2018
lunch, work, recipes, tips, food24

(image: iStock)

When you’re working full-time it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying takeaways every day but packing your own lunch will make your life so much healthier and you'll also save a few bucks!

I’m sure you’re all too familiar with the scenario of first struggling to decide what you’d like to buy and then having to wait in a queue for almost half your lunch break to get your meal. Packing your own lunch at home, could solve most of these problems and will end up being much more of a benefit than you originally anticipated. 

I know that this is much easier said than done, but with this list of useful tips, tricks and hacks, preparing lunch at home will be a breeze.

Making a start
This is probably the most difficult step but it will become easier. For the first week, plan what you would like to eat during the week and work according a schedule for some structure to start off with.

Also, mornings are already such a rush so don’t complicate them even more by leaving lunch packing for mornings. Prepare everything the night before or even at the beginning of the week where possible. Also buy ingredients that can be used in a variety of dishes - for example salad ingredients can turn into sandwich ingredients.

Your lunch box

Invest in lunch boxes with compartments. With these boxes you won’t have to trek around with five different containers, as a lunch box with separate compartments will preserve your food and prevent it from going soggy.

Store salads in mason jars for a more appealing look and convenience.


Incorporate your Sunday lunch or weeknight dinner leftovers into your lunch for the next day. Do this by making a bit extra in the evenings and then there's zero effort required for lunch prepping. 

ALSO READ: These 7 dishes make great leftovers for lunch the next day

Keep things interesting 

Sandwiches get boring after a while, switch things up by throwing in some pita bread, wraps or rice crackers. Pasta and rice dishes will be easy on your pocket and there are so many variations that you can try, this option will work if you have a microwave available. 

Also, keep some condiments at work or some vinegar and olive oil for salads. Lemon juice is also great on salads and you can keep some lemons in your draw or fridge at work.

Nuts and seeds are a great addition to salads or stir fries. They take things up a notch, adding some crunch and can be store easily in your draw as well.

ALSO READ: 10 sarmies to make weekday lunches more exciting

Food groups

Try to include as many food groups as possible. Fruit and vegetables should never be forgotten as these add those much needed nutritients and colours! 

Pack enough

Don't be unrealistic and just pack a quickly-thrown-together green salad, add some chewy bits and remember to pack snacks like fruit and nuts.

Next time you're at a loss for lunch ideas, try these lip-smacking options!

Butternut, mince and avo wraps

Left over lamb sandwich 

Summer chicken goujon salad

Pork meatball pitas with miso and tahini yoghurt

Cheesy mushroom and pork enchiladas

Creamy chicken and mushroom pot pies

Roast chicken pita breads

Bobotie filo parcels with apple ring chutney

Sweet potato, butternut and chevin tarts

Low carb fish tacos

Green chilli con carne tacos

Low carb salad jars

Steak sosaties

Lasagne cupcakes

Chicken salad wraps


Too lazy to cook today? Have one of these 14 SA food apps and sites at your fingertips

Order from the comfort of your home, or get ingredients delivered straight to your door! (Image, iStock) These are exciting times for the emerging world of food and technology. Never before has it been so easy to not leave your couch and heat up a frying pan.

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