How to Make Your Weekday Lunches Suck Less

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The Monday to Friday work week grind can become pretty boring after a while, and bland weekday lunches are a big part of that. Leftovers from last night can only sustain you for so long, and purchasing lunch everyday can take a toll on your bank account and your body. It would be great to have a personal chef deliver delicious lunches every day, but in place of that you can try some of these tips to refresh your lunch bag and brighten your work days just a little bit.

Whether you’re on a budget, a health kick, or are just bored of basic leftovers, these tips will help you find out how to make your weekday lunches suck less.

Mix-and-MatchSvetlana Foote / Shutterstock

Mix and Match

Instead of a classic sandwich, a simple salad, or plain old soup, make yourself a combo platter. Mix up a few of your favorites and create a custom lunch you’ll enjoy. Take individual parts and pieces from the classic lunch bag items and mix them together to get a personalized lunch you’ll love from start to finish.

Try this:
Cut up a grilled cheese sandwich into small pieces and use them as croutons in your favorite seasonal soup. You can even add some steamed broccoli or carrots for extra veggies.

Or this:
Pick your favorite sandwich toppings and turn them into a salad. Instead of peanut butter and jelly, add shelled peanuts and raspberries or blueberries to your salad for a similar flavor in a whole new way.

Break-It-DownAfrica Studio / Shutterstock
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Break It Down

If you’re too busy for a full sit-down meal, or you prefer to graze throughout the day, switch your simple lunch for some snacks instead. Replace a full salad with the individual items and you’ll feel like you have more food to keep your taste buds busy throughout the day.

Try this:
Pack carrots, celery, and hummus to replace the lettuce. Snack on a cheese string or bring cubes of your favorite old cheddar for extra flavor. Add some turkey slices, a hard-boiled egg, quinoa, or a handful of nuts for protein. Eat your snacks spread throughout the day or make a platter at lunch and enjoy your broken down salad.

Wrap-It-UpOlga Miltsova / Shutterstock
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Wrap It Up

Somehow a sandwich can taste totally different if you replace the bread with a wrap. You can choose a flavored one like cheddar or spinach, or pick a whole grain wrap for extra fiber. Add classic sandwich or salad ingredients to your wrap or mix it up with a variety of spreads. Hummus adds protein while tzatziki adds some garlic and spice. You can pick a specific flavor like Greek or Mexican, or combine a few to create your own combo.

Try this:
Spread hummus on a wrap and add salsa, shredded cheese, and assorted veggies of your choice. Grilled veggies including peppers and onions make a great hot wrap but cool ones like cucumber and carrot add crunch. Use turkey slices or beans for protein and create your own custom wrap that will pack way more flavor than a classic turkey sandwich.

Try-the-Toast-Trendistetiana / Shutterstock
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Try the Toast Trend

A big trend right now is to add toppings on your morning toast. While you may not have the time to try it on the way to work, a fancy toast meal would be a great way to spice up your lunch hour. You can try all kinds of breads such as rye, olive bread, focaccia, or raisin bread. Toppings range from savory to sweet, so you’ll be able to find something for every day of the week. Use avocado, eggs, or cheese for protein, and add whatever ingredients you like to dress up your toast.

Try these:

  • Rye bread with mashed avocado, pepper, lime juice, and shrimp.
  • French bread with soft goat cheese, sliced figs or fig jam, and honey drizzled on top.
  • Whole grain bread with pesto, sundried tomatoes, crumbled bacon, and feta cheese.
  • Olive bread with cottage cheese, avocado slices, and honey drizzled on top.

They say variety is the spice of life, so mix up your weekday lunches to add some excitement to your work week. Try something new once a week, or be daring and make a different meal from Monday to Friday. You can always add or substitute any ingredient to match your personal flavor preferences or dietary needs, so take these lunch tips and personalize your own meals to make weekday lunches that don’t suck!

Jun 4, 2015