Being both determinedly thrifty and a vegan, I try to be organised and take a packed lunch or dinner to work. If I forget, I'm forced to resort to those very unfrugal instant noodle bowls or chips from the canteen, topped up with Rich Tea biscuits. Unhealthy, boring and spendthrift to boot.
The past few weeks I have been bringing my lunch A-game. Here is yesterday's menu:
A few smushed falafel, salad, vegan mayo and chili sauce stuffed into half a baton makes for a very filling lunch main for less than a pound. I packed a small jar of nuts and and some cherries on the side for a nicely balanced lunch and resisted the urge to buy a pack of biscuits too. It was good.
My preferred option is to take in last night's leftovers. This was a lentil bake served over the biggest jacket potato I have ever eaten (that's a regular dinner plate, for scale):
Instant noodles or rice, bulked out with chopped veg and some cashew nuts or seeds are also a good frugal option. Noodles can be made with just a kettle if need be:
I work a 3 day week, around 45 weeks of the year, which is 135-270 meals eaten at work depending on my shift pattern. In my case, packing a lunch is around half to two thirds cheaper than buying it at work which means I save hundreds of pounds over the course of a year. I'd much prefer those hundreds or meals to be delicious, healthy and cheap; packaged in reused glass jars or simple baking parchment; rather than over packaged, over processed and over priced.