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Everything You Need To Own To Stop Wasting Money On Office Lunches


When I used to work at a large office, I took pride in my small desk-drawer arsenal of spices, snacks, teas, instant coffees, and ready-to-eat noodle bowls. While this can easily sound like the beginnings of a #humblebrag, I would rarely order takeout for lunch (with the exception of the occasional Sushi Friday). Believe it or not, I found it to be a more fun and creative challenge to make daily lunches that were flavorful, interesting, and varied. We all know there’s nothing more depressing than a sad desk lunch. (<– literally hilarious, please click).

That being said, I truly believe that the ability to pull together a delicious BYO-office lunch is attainable for everyone. You simply have to have the right tools to make the experience enjoyable. Whether it’s a functional reusable bag, or just a few bottles of spices, there are easy ways to provide instant upgrades.

Below, I’ve put together a simple little infographic that explores the 12 essentials everyone should possess in order to make homemade lunches a reality — not the exception. Of course, you don’t have to run out and purchase all these items at once. Build up your own small pantry, and before you know it, you will be the envy of your co-workers as you sashay by with food that smells heavenly. Ahhhh.

BYOLUNCH essentials-01

Bringing your lunch to work is an easy way to save money and stay healthy. When you have complete control over what you make and how you prepare it, the sky is truly the limit. Your homemade lunch game might even get so strong that you may find yourself actually preferring to pack it and go the DIY route.

Below are some of my favorite visual-heavy articles, which show how you can easily upgrade your lunch situation with relative ease. Check them out!

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  • #2 for the win! I am going through a serious Sriracha phase and I put it on everything. It really helps, especially for food you’ve made a little too much of and have to kill off (I’m looking at you, last week’s tuna salad.) Trader Joe’s green version is called Dragon Sauce and it’s pretty good too!

  • Winterlight

    I used to keep a Brita water pitcher at my desk. I’d drain it by the end of the workday and refill it before I left. You can also keep flavor packets and mix them into your drink.

  • Keisha

    Oh dude. When I put pretty mush all these in my locker at work my life changedddd! Yes!

  • Taylor

    Where can I get those adorable dressing containers in the picture? 😀

  • Sindhoo

    I love this! Another tip: I always crave caffeine after lunch but I hate our free coffee at work. I’ve started to stock up on fun caffeinated teas that I drink with a lemon wedge so I can feel ~fancy~ without slogging through stale or overpriced coffee.

  • Lexie

    100% totally agree with the real plates and silverware! I HATE eating with plastic and used to break forks all the time. It’s 100% worth it to me to take time out of my planning period to wash my lunch dishes!

  • George Town

    Useful tips. I never thought bringing my own utensils and plates could make a desk lunch more appetizing. 🙂