Sick of Ham and Cheese? Here are 8 Reddit-Approved Cheap Work Lunch Ideas

Healthy Packed Lunch


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Healthy Packed Lunch

Layup Lunches

If you’re brown bagging it to work every day, you might be starting to get sick of your standard rotation. Ham and cheese again. Bologna and cheese after that. Just cheese next, because you ran out of meat.

Need some ways to switch things up? Here are some of the best things we saw from a recent Reddit thread about easy and cheap office lunches.

Best Cheap Slow Cookers

Olive Garden Chicken

Love a crockpot meal. For this one, simply throw in some chicken and drench it in a bottle of Italian dressing (in this case, Aldi’s Olive Garden dupe). Toss in some frozen veggies for the last hour and when it’s done, shred the chicken and mix in some cooked pasta.

Tuna Salad

Ritz and Tuna

While I do approve of Ritz crackers and tuna salad as a tasty lunch, I do not approve of the user who, “kept a box of Ritz crackers, cans of tuna and a bowl” at their desk and made themselves little cracker snacks. You really don’t want to be known at the office as “the person with all the tuna in their desk”.

Lentil and Bulgur Salad with Feta and Fresh Spinach

Lentil or Bean Salad

According to user r/ignescentOne, lentil and bean salads can last at least a week in the fridge. Mix them with refreshing veggies like tomatoes and red peppers, and dress them with a little Italian dressing and cheese. Easy one.

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bean soup


If you’ve got a good thermos, don’t knock soup. Anything you made for dinner last night works well to supplement an old can of Campell’s, too.

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is super easy and can last you a really long time – all you really need to do is grab a rotisserie chicken and shred it up as much as you can. Then add mayo, a little bit of mustard, salt, and pepper. Bonus points if you’ve got some celery or pickles to mince up and toss in there. 

Healthy Homemade Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

Hordes of users declared their love of pasta salad. It’s a great call, too, since it doesn’t need to be heated up. No microwave, no problem.

Chicken and Rice

Chicken and Rice Bowls

If eating the same chicken and rice bowl every day gets a little boring, there are lots of ways to hit it with some ethnic flair. One user suggests changing up the toppings. Add salsa, peppers and cheese for Mexican flavors. Go with some curried lemon and cauliflower for Indian flavors. Try tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese for Italian.

cubes of tofu

Tofu Salad Sandwiches

This is a fun idea for vegan egg salad, and one I’ll definitely be trying. Just swap eggs for tofu and mix with mayo (vegan, if you want to go the whole way), mustard, pickles, salt, pepper, celery, or anything else you like in your egg salad.

And I say this as a huge egg salad lover, but it’s a major plus for your coworkers that they don’t have to smell you eating egg salad.