Figuring out how to make my lunches and snacks healthy has been one of the easiest transitions I’ve made in my diet. I’ve been super busy with work lately and just started grabbing whatever was in front of me when hungry. Not gonna lie, it was mostly chips and sweets…not good. It took me seeing a post from 5 years ago, where I was packing snacks and lunches for my husband and I, to snap back to reality. I got out of the habit of meal planning for lunch and snacks because I was only focusing on dinners. Since I had done this before, getting back into that habit wasn’t hard at all. I knew exactly what I needed to purchase and how I wanted to section it out.
The first thing that I always loved buying was the ‘Sargento Balanced Breaks,’ but those aren’t cheap. They are literally $3.99 for just 3 pre-portioned snacks. As I had the box in my hand, I realized that I could probably get more for my money if I bought the individual items inside of the snack myself and created it on my own. I spent a total of $10.35 for 10 servings, which is enough snack packs for the workweek for Hubs and I. The breakdown of cost is below.
Almonds - $3.09
Cheese - $3.27
Cranberries - $3.99
Once I had that snack taken care of, I knew that I needed another one. I typically like a snack after breakfast to keep me satisfied until lunch, and then another after lunch to hold me off until dinner. I absolutely love having fresh fruit and vegetables on hand for snacks. If I’m craving something sweet, I can grab a fruit, which is way better than getting a handful of sour patch kids (my guilty pleasure, don’t judge.) I like to pair my veggies with a low fat ranch. I’m a person who loves a dip, so while most of them can be pretty fattening, I just opt for the healthier versions of the condiments that I like. The list of fruits and veggies that I bought this week are below.
Fresh Fruit & Veggies
I’m one of those people where if I don’t have a lunch prepared, that 9 times out of 10 I won’t eat lunch at all. I’ll skip the meal and that’s definitely not good for your mind or body. I also don’t like eating the same thing every day, so while a sandwich may work on Monday, I will need a different option for Tuesday. Figuring out how to switch it up took me a little while. As I was scrolling through Pinterest (another guilty pleasure, hush) I saw recipes for grain bowls. Very hearty and super easy to make…who knew? For this week, I decided to go with a farro and vegetable bowl with a lemon vinaigrette dressing. The best part about the bowl is that I already had most of the ingredients needed for it, so I wasn’t spending additional money. I tried to make a lunch that incorporated ingredients being used in the dinners I was making. Not only did that save money, it also saved time.
Lemon Juice (Fresh)
I’ve found that the best way to avoid unhealthy snacking is to be prepared and map out your day. The same way I meal planned for dinners, I also did for lunch and snacks. I would list out what I wanted to eat and then add the ingredients to my grocery list. The app that I use to organize my grocery lists is ‘AnyList.’ I promise y’all, it’s the greatest app for meal planning. Not only does the app work on all devices, I can even add items to my list through Amazon Alexa. I’m able to import recipes from anywhere on the web, and once imported you can add whatever ingredient from the recipe to your grocery list. If you’re still skeptical, guess what else you can do? It can be shared amongst every member in your household so that they can also add items. It’s not just for groceries either. If you need lightbulbs or trash bags, you can add whatever you want. If you’re someone who sends their significant other out to do the shopping, you can also add pictures to the item so that they purchase the right one. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Ha!
Snacking healthy doesn’t have to be hard. You can incorporate any fruit or vegetable of your choosing and make it enjoyable by mixing it up daily. My suggestion would be to start small. You don’t have to buy up the entire fruit and vegetable section at your local grocer. Write down 2 fruits and 2 vegetables that you wouldn’t mind eating that week and then build from it. If I know I want carrots and celery, find a way to also incorporate those items into what you choose to make for lunch.
If you’re struggling to figure out how to make your grocery lists and need help organizing, I can definitely help with that! Schedule a call with me on ‘How to Make Your Grocery List’ and we’ll spend an hour going over how to tailor your grocery list based off of the meals you want to cook for the week. I have a fool proof system that keeps me on budget every week. I never spend more than $85/week for my family of 4, and I’m ready to teach you how you can do the same! Sign up —> CLICK THIS <—