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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Elizabeth Street

SAVE A FORTUNE ON TAKEOUT WITH THESE GROWN-UP LUNCH BOX IDEAS

Mar 14, 2014

Save A Fortune On Takeout With These Grown-Up Lunch Box Ideas

Devise a healthy lunch that the kids'll actually eat? As you well know, this is a feat much easier said than done. In fact, it’s such a task that an entire blog genre has spawned out of necessity, with moms like Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food and Catherine McCord of Weelicious helping other tapped-out parents make it through the school week with recipe lists and tons of lunch box porn. 

Unfortunately, we often spend so much time seeing to the kids’ nutrition and satisfaction that thoughts of our own lunch fall to the wayside. With the million and one things on our minds and the convenient existence of Seamless and GrubHub, who’s got the time or will to pack their own carefully thought-out meal?

Of course, this is how we fall into those common traps that bring us further and further from our health, weight loss and even savings goals. All it takes is one coworker splurging on donuts for the office and, without your own healthy munchies to assuage you, you’ll inevitably wind up dunkin’ a sugary mass of calories into your morning coffee. Plus, the price tag on healthy choices at local restaurants is staggering enough to have you opting for five-dollar foot longs for the sake of frugality. (If you thought the organic items at the local grocery store were expensive, try buying a green smoothie in downtown Manhattan.) 

Just as your kids deserve lean, tasty, preservative-free meals, so too do you. Any lunch you bring from home is bound to be cheaper, and probably higher quality, than most of what’s available in your workplace’s neighborhood. You’ll be amazed how quickly these savings add up. (Don’t believe us? Try it for a week and let your Mint.com app do the eye-opening math for you.)

It’s surprising, given the benefits to our waistlines and wallets, that so few of us opt to bring our lunch to work. According to Mark Bittman of The New York Times, it’s not even the busy factor that lines Delivery.com’s pockets—its embarrassment. “Somehow one of our oldest and sanest traditions has become a laughingstock: it’s not hip to bring lunch.” Nobody is going to risk salad dressing seeping out of its Tupperware and marring your cherished leather tote.

We understand this anxiety all too well, which is why we’ve rounded up our favorite chic, adult-friendly lunch boxes. With these stylish takes on your elementary schooler’s eternal accessory, there'll always be a spot for you at the cool kids’ table—though, let’s be real, you’ll be dining at your desk most days anyway.

By Cordelia Tai

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