Brown bagging trends up

As would be expected, when the economy tightens up, frugality becomes a big trend. Not only has the canned meat product Spam seen a huge sales spike since the mortgage crash in the US, but carrying your lunch has become more popular, too as the economies on both sides of the border have suffered. Even Ivanka Trump is joining the brown bag brigade.

Recent research shows that 93% of people who take their lunch do so to save money while 68% make the choice for health and nutrition reasons. I fall into that second category; however, an added incentive for me is that the food I make myself is usually much more delicious than the stuff I can buy easily.

This brown bag survey (conducted by market research group NPD) also found that the top three items in lunch boxes were reported to be sandwiches, frozen entrées and yogurt. Although I keep Green Giant Essentials in the freezer at work for emergency afternoon snacks, I would never even think of packing a frozen entrée for my lunch. But, then again, I don’t buy frozen entrées generally. My own lunch is most often veggies (cooked or a salad), often with tuna salad or hummus on top. Some days it’s a simpler salad with a yogurt and an apple (like yesterday’s lunch pictured above).

How often do you pack a lunch and what makes it into your lunch bag? Is your menu typical or do you pack a lunch bag full of fresh ideas?

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11 Responses to Brown bagging trends up

  1. I am lucky to work from home and simply reheat leftovers (and with only two of us, there are almost always leftovers). Even when I worked at an office, lunch was usually the previous night’s dinner. I am not a sandwich fan and can’t imagine eating the same lunch day in day out. I also like to eat my main meal mid-day.

    I also have a fairly high metabolism, so the lunch pictured above would leave me starving by mid=afternoon.

  2. Rosa says:

    When I go to work I always make sure to take my lunch with me. I do that in order to save money and to control what I’m eating. I take leftovers, Müesli, an apple (always), raisins…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Cheryl says:

    What Charmian said. (Again.)

    In fact, I’m starting to choose dinner entrees for my family based more on whether they’ll make an appealing next day lunch for me than whether my family will actually want them. Last night’s dinner? Vegetarian burritos with brown rice, tofu, black beans, salsa, and cheese. The family actually loved them (shockingly) but I’m already thinking about wrapping up the leftover filling in a warm tortilla for lunch. And it’s only 9:23 am here.

  4. Hélène says:

    I have been out of work for 4 yrs now but I have to say that I did pack my lunch every day of the week, except for rare occasions where the staff would go out for lunch. Even if I had a big salary I don’t see the necessity to spend money at the resto every lunch. Also you have a healthier lunch when you brown bag it.

  5. Beth says:

    I wonder what Ivanka’s lunch will be like? I bet she’ll use one of those solid gold cutting boards that Corey likes to prepare whatever it turns out to be.

  6. I take a lunch probably 60% of the time. I haven’t done so lately because I’ve not been to the grocery like I should. But yea…I brown bag more often than not!

  7. Denise says:

    Very rarely do I go out to lunch. I take lunch every day. Mostly left overs from the previous nights meal. I also include a low fat yogart, applesauce and V-8. I have 1/2 hour and no place close that I can go to for lunch. Forced frugality or choice. Really choice……. I recently lost 70 lbs of weight and it taught me a lot about what I was eating or rather what I was not eating. Fast food is not good for the body! I am determined to not gain the weight back so therefore lunches will go with me to work.

  8. Denise – 70 lbs! Congrats! That’s a wonderful accomplishment. I’m a big V8 fan as well but I don’t know that it has helped me to be thin – just satisfied. Good for you. I wish you the best of luck in your dieting goals!

  9. Kitt says:

    I take a meal to work probably 95 percent of the time. Since I work swing shift, I often prep something right before I go and then eat it at my desk while it’s still hot. Rice or pasta with sauce or sauteed vegetables, or lasagna, or quiche or soup. I like to have some snacky stuff, too, so I keep a jumbo bag of pretzels or tortilla chips at home and put a handful in a small bag to take with me. Much cheaper than buying from a vending machine.

  10. Heather says:

    Though I’m a stay at home mom, and don’t need to worry about packing my lunch, I do have one child and a husband who need lunchs. My son being a typical picky grade one student usually has a sandwich with some sort of cheese in it (it would be peanut butter some days if allowed), I always put in a variety of other foods to go with the sandwich and make for a fairly balanced day.
    A year ago I started making meals in bulk for my husband to take for lunch. He loves it! About once every two months, I get out both slow cookers, and MANY pots and pans, and spend the day cooking, I try to make as many different meals as time allows, usually 5 or 6. They get portioned out and fill half of our freezer. The biggest bonus of doing this myself is that my husband is not a huge veggie fan, but I am able to load these meals up with a variety of veggies, and I know that he is getting a much more nutritious meal, plus it saves $!
    BTW we are huge V-8 fans too, we also love the fruit and veggies juices that are out there.

  11. danamccauley says:

    Great idea to bulk cook. My mom does that, too Heather and she not only saves a lot on lunches but she gets to eat really good hot lunches that she likes.

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