Brown Bag It by Erika Reardon

Brown bag lunch

“In these trying times…”  “Belt tightening days ahead…”  “America needs to learn to save…”   Among the many frugal habits people have begun to adopt, brown bagging it to save money tops the list. According to the Wall Street Journal, the brown bag stigma pretty much disappeared with the recession.  Now, it is cool to pack your lunch!

People are more health conscious than ever and many are dealing with food allergies, making eating out a challenge.  Nobody likes to see food go to waste.  Lunch is a perfect opportunity to re-purpose leftovers. These days people have less time to eat with no time to actually leave the office.   If you love to cook, this can be a great way to test out new recipes and enjoy a meal just the way you like it.

Traditionally, the power lunch has been used for networking and developing relationships.  In fact, some executive coaches frown on brown bagging and eating alone.  Just because you bring your lunch does not mean you should eat alone while hunched over your desk. Most offices have lunchrooms.  What a great impression an executive could make on his or her staff if they sat and had lunch with the masses.

I found these really cool bags that one can use in place of the traditional brown paper bag – more eco-friendly too since you can use them over and over.  Built NY has some chic looking lunch totes.If totes are not your style, here’s a new take on the classic lunchbox by Dutch design company OOTS. And finally if you like your food in separate containers, like a bento box, check out Laptop Lunches.


When you plan your dinner menus, make extra servings for lunch too.

Tonight’s left-overs, should be considered “planned-overs”!

Pack your lunch portion before serving dinner.

Then it’s done at dinner time and ready to go!

Brown Bagger “Planned-Over” Tips

So last night’s dinner was…

Roast Chicken Breast becomes Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

Chop up leftover chicken, toss with honey mustard salad dressing,

pack for lunch with green for a salad or roll for a sandwich.

Teriyaki Stir Fry becomes Lettuce Wraps

Pack the stir fry, loosely wrap some lettuce leaves in dry paper towels,

Wrap it up and Lunch!

Beef Tacos become Beef Rice Bowls

Pack leftover rice top with Taco Filling, pack salsa on the side.  Bring an avocado too!

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