I Spent P300 on One Week of Work Lunches Using This Easy Meal Plan
A little bit of planning goes a long way.
I’m a huge fan of meal planning—not only does it save you a little more of those hard-earned pesos, but it puts you on track for cooking meals that nourish your body in the best way possible. This is because you know exactly what goes into your food. The amounts of salt, oil, and sugar are completely under your control, and you get to prep the exact amount of food that you want to eat for each specific meal.
The other perks? Shopping for your own groceries and learning new cooking techniques along the way! There is no shortcut to doing this whole #adulting thing. The one rule I like to stick with when it comes to meal planning and prep is that I have to choose ingredients and cook food that I would absolutely love to eat—otherwise, what’s the point? Pick recipes that have your favorite veggies and proteins, and make sure that the cooking methods in the recipes match up with the tools and appliances that you have in your kitchen.
For this specific meal plan, I chose 5 recipes and shopped for 1 serving per meal. All recipes are toaster-oven or stovetop-friendly—my two favorite cooking methods because they are easy peasy! My total grocery bill amounted to only P298.00, a far cry from the usual P600 I spend on lunches every week. I had most of the seasonings (salt, pepper, soy sauce, etc.) in my pantry already, so if you need to shop for these, your total expenses will go up by a few pesos too. Why not give it a go? Remember: bring your own reusable containers and utensils and avoid single-use plastic when bringing your own baon to work!
1 Gising-Gising with Kangkong
This recipe is as easy as it gets: throw in the ingredients one-by-one and then mix until the dish comes together. It's a delicious way to eat your greens, too! Pair it with a cup of brown rice and pour the sauce over it.
2 Baked Chicken a la Pobre and Sweet Potato Fries
Chicken has to be one of the easiest proteins to prepare. For this recipe, all you have to do it let your oven do the work. For a few days every week, I swap out my rice for orange kamote. You can bake, fry, or steam the kamote and season lightly. It goes with almost everything!
3 Beef with Broccoli
As much as possible, I like to stick to quick stir-fries that have a good serving of greens in them. Fast recipes are especially handy in the middle of week.
4 Baked Garlic Chicken
The best thing about this fuss-free chicken recipe? You can bake it in your toaster oven!
5 Spinach Omelet
On days when I feel like eating light, I opt out of packing rice, bread, or pasta for baon and go for eggs with a hefty serving of leafy greens. This spinach omelet is perfect!