Filling up your brown bag

Heading out for a fast food lunch… yet again? Or gathering your change to buy a vending machine meal? If you’re trying to save some money and eat a little bit healthier, here are some tips to help you go from greasy and prepackaged to brown bag brilliance.

Stock up on grab-and-go items
This doesn’t have to be bags of chips — think fruit and veggies like apples and carrots. Low-fat string cheese is another quick and healthier option to have on hand. Nuts and dried fruit can be a great, easy-to-pack addition to a meal or as a midafternoon snack.

Love your leftovers
Pack up the rest of your dinner in single-serve containers so you can grab them and go in the morning. Plan on cooking more than you need at night, or spend an hour on the weekend making enough for a week’s worth of lunches.

Manage without a microwave
Insulated bags and thermoses can help you have a warm meal when you don’t have access to a microwave. You can also find cold options that satisfy: Sandwiches are an old standby, but hearty salads with added protein can make for a filling meal. Yogurt or cold sides like pasta salads can also be meal-ready with the help of insulation and an ice pack.

Click here for more tips to help you get into the brown bag habit.

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