Baon on a Budget: One Week of Recipes + a Shopping List

Some dishes cost under P13 per serving!
Barbecue Chicken Fried Rice in a plastic container

When it comes to baon, or packed lunches, many things come into play: the meal should be affordable, easy to pack, easy to eat, and should be able to last a few hours tucked away into a brown bag instead of, like a regular meal, eaten freshly cooked. Baon should also be nutritious and be appealing to eat (especially when it comes to kids!). 

We checked prices of ingredients across several groceries and broke down the costs of some of our favorite baon- and budget-friendly recipes. Some cost under 20 pesos per serving to prepare! We also prepared a shopping list for your next trip to the grocery store. 

1 Pinoy Bistek

Pinoy-style beef steak, or bistek, is a baon go-to because it keeps well for hours. This is because it’s cooked in soy sauce, an ingredient also known for its preservative qualities. Use thinly-sliced beef to make this dish!


Recipe cost breakdown:

Total cost P175 

Recipe yield 4

Cost per serving P44

2 Fusilli with Chicken and Broccoli

This pasta has a good mix of carbs, protein, and vegetables. It’s easy to prep, too! All you have to do is toss everything in a pan until it comes together.

Recipe cost breakdown:

Total cost P149

Recipe yield 4

Cost per serving P20


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3 Barbecue Chicken Fried Rice

Use leftover rice to prep your packed lunches! A barbecue sauce can put everything together—it’s an ingredient that also keeps well for hours.

Recipe cost breakdown:

Total cost P76

Recipe yield 4

Cost per serving P19

4 Roast Chicken Salad Sandwich

This sandwich is a baon classic. One hack we love to use? Instead of making roast chicken from scratch, buy already-cooked roast or rotisserie chicken from your nearest grocery. You can also save the leftovers from your last weekend roast!

Recipe cost breakdown:

Total cost P315

Recipe yield 4

Cost per serving P79 


5 Pinwheel Bites

Kids will love these for baon! It’s a creative way to serve the regular ham and cheese sandwich. Don’t forget to use whole wheat or whole grain bread!

Recipe cost breakdown:

Total cost P25.98

Recipe yield 2

Cost per serving P13

Shopping list:

Beef, thinly sliced

Roast chicken

Chicken breast


White onions

Bell pepper






Sliced ham

Sliced cheese

Fusilli pasta

Whole wheat bread

White bread

Pantry staples:


Ground black pepper

Oil, for frying

Olive oil, for sautéing


Soy sauce

Garlic powder

Fish sauce (patis)

Barbecue marinade


Additional research by Cess Yu  

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