Posted by: unlikelygrad | May 15, 2011

food reserves

As my life has gotten busier and busier, I have been getting more and more absentminded about bringing my lunch.

For some people this might not be an issue–I know people who eat like birds, who can eat breakfast and then nothing until dinner, or who can skip breakfast altogether but still not get hungry until 2 or 3 pm.

I am not one of those people. I need my food. (I like my food, too, but that’s a whole different post.) If I don’t eat regularly, I get light-headed and dizzy and I have trouble concentrating. Needless to say, skipping lunch is not an option for me.

When I first started forgetting my lunch I’d meander over to the vending machine around the corner from my office. But this was woefully unsatisfying; I might buy myself an extra hour or two of work time, but no way could I make it through until dinner.

Next I turned to buying myself lunch. There’s a health food store down the street that offers reasonably priced sandwiches. But despite the reasonable price, I couldn’t really justify paying $20/week for lunch.

Finally I determined that I should just keep enough non-perishable food in my office so that I could make myself a reasonable lunch at any time. So that’s what I’ve done for the last month or so. This food is definitely more expensive than what I would pay if I bring my lunch. (I usually bring dinner left-overs along with some frozen veggies.) But it’s a lot cheaper than what I would pay if I went out to lunch every day.

The core of my meal is Milton’s Multi-Grain crackers.

Crackers alone are never enough to satisfy me, so I have toppings as well: peanut butter, almond butter, and tuna (in the foil packages). I think the tuna is my favorite, but I have to eat the whole pack at one sitting (unlike the peanut butter, which stays good for a long time).

Anyone else have suggestions on what I could keep around? I like having veggies for lunch but am not sure it is practical.



  1. If you’ve got a fridge with a freezer, I keep SmartOnes microwaveables. They aren’t best but its decent food. I tend to stash a can of tuna and a pack of crackers for emergencies. Last but not least is my hidden stash of cans of tomato soup. Campbell’s has saved my life and my sanity many times over thanks to those cans.

  2. I just suck it up and pack a bento box the night before or morning of. However…on days I forget, there’s always miso soup and pistachio nuts.

  3. I pretty much live on oatmeal. They lock our grad lounge between 5:00 pm and 8:30/9:00 am, and they don’t give us keys, despite the fact that we have keys to just about every other room. So, anything that needs to stay cold or that requires a microwave doesn’t work for me outside of business hours. But, I have an electric tea kettle. So, I make oatmeal. Probably not so good for summer, but during the winter, it’s great. Pretty cheap and filling and somewhat healthy.

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