My last blog was about bringing your food to work, and it has really changed the lives of those I know who have read it. They have gone from being unknowingly stupid to really fucking stupid. Whatever, my feelings are not hurt; I have shares in Tesco so let them eat cake (from Tesco).
Now. I want to talk about cheap lunches. We established that work is pain – you need to get through it, and that involves eating. If I didn't need to, I wouldn't, and I would wait to be somewhere I want to be before spending my hard earned sterling Euros. But since we are humans, we need something to feed on. So below are some ideas for cheap lunch ideas to make your work life more profitable. Also to make you aware, I do not eat any sugary sweets in the week – Mon to Fri – so my lunches are generally low fat.
CHICKEN EGG – The power of the chicken egg has long been known, it is now time to harness it. At times I have had an egg salad for lunch – you can hard boil all your eggs at once, as they last in the fridge for a long time, this makes it quick too. If you are allowed to buy caged eggs (ie, if you are not married to a chicken loving cow*) then eggs can cost as little as 5p an egg (Iceland). Add some salad leaves and tomatoes, a bit of salt and pepper – your lunch comes in at under 25p, even with a Banana topper. Free range is a bit more expensive, but shop around or go for 'cage-free' eggs to confuse your wife and you are still working around the same amount.
TUNA – this used to be my favourite, however the price has rocketed, probably thanks to some bastard somewhere. But Tesco Value (everyday) tuna chunks (not flakes, they are grim) are still about 50p and are filling and good for you, plus you can pretend you are a body builder or a fisherman. If you are the feminine persuasion** you can probably have half a can in a salad, or wrap, and they you are hitting the 30-40p mark for a super healthy lunch. Want to mix it up? Add a banana.
NOODLES – instant, cheap, tolerable. One of my top tips with these lunches, especially if you are doing them daily, is to make sure you are very hungry when you eat them, because then you are likely to enjoy them at least a little bit. Instant noodles do require this; they are very beige. When I was working at a low paying position I ate these daily for 2.5 years, 10p Tesco value chicken noodles. They are OK, that is literally it. They are hot though, so it's good for winter too. The thing was that every day for 2.5 years, the same people commented that I was eating noodles. We all have our routines – just pick one that is 10p a day.
KIDNEY BEANS – This is my newest lunch, a can costs 18p, a 1/3 is needed to make a filling and tasty salad. They are low fat, healthy and actually the cheapest of the bunch.
BANANAS – This fruit, much popularised by chimps, is the staple of a healthy and low cost snack. 1 Banana from Tesco is about 10p, for a good size. It has a good weight, is low fat and you can also open use the skin to set up booby traps near stairs or other drops. This is your snack for the day, take it and be happy with it.
NOTE ON SNACKING – I am lazy, and do not exercise as much as a should/could. This means I had to adopt a balanced diet when I hit 24 to ensure my weight was in check. I do this (as mentioned) by having no sugar or unhealthy snacks between Monday and Friday. This does mean learning to turn down office snacks – but a bit of will power doesn't harm anyone. This also has the benefit of making my repetitive lunches always seem wanted... However, in the days before this restriction I would make a lunch which would keep for a day or two, and then if it was Trish's birthday that day at work, I would fill up on the free food and cake and save the lunch for tomorrow. In a big office this can go on for days. Also, if the snacks are pre-wrapped (like a mini Twirl) make sure none are wasted, pop them in your bag for a later date, such as while entertaining friends.
I think that is plenty of valuable information for keeping your lunches to about 25p a day. This works out as a mere £60 a year deducted for your take home pay. Pretty good for you and your pocket (that is copyright BINBOY 2012).
* Note from the BINORACLE: like Mrs BINBOY, I am well against caged eggs, as you should be. Shame, BINBOY, shame. We should all be chicken-loving cows.
** Note from the BINORACLE: despite the previous lunch suggestion being a salad, BINBOY is now suggesting that salad-eating is womanly behaviour. Shame, BINBOY, shame. We should all eat salad.
BINBOY'S WHAT NOT TO BUY
I think cereal is a problem, so I am going to pick on Kelloggs 'Fruit n Fibre'. You pay over double the cost of the own brand 'Fruit and fibre' and you get twice as much fat and sugar and two fewer letters. Also Chris Brown fucking loves them, the sometimes punches the almonds if they are a little too large.
This applies liberally to all branded cereal (but not pop-tarts), be a man and buy the cheap stuff. I did see Tesco are now selling cereal topper – basically fruit in a 'cereal topper' packet. It is good to see the company are not underestimating how stupid the consuming public can be. Hopefully it will be as big a hit as the chopped apple packets, for the OAP with no teeth but a knack for opening awkward plastic packets.