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Eating Lunch on a Budget: Plan Your Meals Accordingly


While eating out every once in a while is perfectly normal, turning it into a habit can take a toll on your health and your wallet. Even if you lack the necessary cooking skills, there are countless tutorial videos on YouTube or other video streaming platforms that can equip you with the basics.

Knowing the right ingredients and cooking recipes will prevent lunch from getting boring and keep the grocery bills from racking up. According to the Visa Canada Corporation, the majority of Canadian employees spend anywhere from $7.00 to $13.00 on lunch once or more each week.

In this blog, we’ll present a short guide on how to keep your lunch budget-friendly!

How to Get Started

Start off by making a menu and decide the recipes you’ll use for lunch. Alternate between different dishes to break the monotony and spend less money on junk food. Get inspiration from the internet for dishes that are simple and quick to make.

Once you have a plan in place, start searching for foods on sale. Check newspaper inserts, coupon sites, and store flyers to save money on groceries. Also, remember to purchase only what is required to prevent food wastage. It helps to check up on the expiry dates of different foods and ingredients you have stored in the fridge, freezer, or pantry. Don’t let these go to waste; create dishes that revolve around these items.

Another way of sticking to your budget is to go meatless at least one day of the week. Food items like beans, dried peas, lentils, peanut butter, eggs, canned fish, and tofu offer sufficient amounts of protein at low price. Grains like barley, couscous, and pasta offer great taste and nutrition and can be used to make a variety of salads, stews, and soups.

One of the best ways of staying within budget is to avoid recipes that require special ingredients. These ingredients are categorized as anything expensive, must be bought in large quantities, or go bad really fast. It might not be worth the time or effort to prepare dishes with such products.

Get creative with your leftovers. If you couldn’t finish the chicken roast prepared on Sunday, use the leftovers to create a chicken sandwich for Monday’s lunch. Leftover celery or carrots can be used to create a big pot of soup. Saving money on lunch has a lot to do with smart planning.


These were a few tips that should help you cut down on lunch costs while adding diversity to the menu. If you feel as though you still lack the skills needed to prepare budget-friendly meals, get help from the pros. ORIGIN is a workforce development agency that provide employment services for indigenous job seekers in Canada. It also offers a range of life skills workshops including meal planning and budgeting.

Get in touch with us today for more information.

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