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how to make lunch (with coffee) every day for £10 a week

By contrast, a 227g bag of Tesco Italian-inspired “Dark and Rich” blend ground coffee is £2.30 and gives you 30 servings, working out at just 7.6pa coffee – which will make a far more palatable dent in a £2 daily budget .

Meanwhile, a 200g jar of Tesco Gold Instant Coffee 200g is £3, and makes 111 servings – that’s 2.7pa serving. You do the maths.


weekly menu

monday

Salted cashew cous cous salad

According to Lesley Negus, this dish can be prepared for less than £1. A simple salad of couscous, a dash of oil, juice of lemon, frozen peas, grated carrot, a scattering of salted cashews and a quarter of a sliced ​​onion (chop and freeze the remainder to use another time). Add herbs like mint, basil and coriander if you have them.

tuesday

beef chilli

Meat is expensive, so to keep the cost of lunch down to £2, vegetarian and vegan options are more purse-friendly. But big batch cooks like chilli, served with rice or a jacket potato, can go a long way towards keeping costs down. “Bulk up dishes with lots of vegetables, grains and pulses,” suggests Rhiannon Lambert, author of A Simple Way to Build a Lunchbox. Pulses are inexpensive and will ensure precious mince goes further over several portions.

wednesday

pesto pasta salad

Fridge pasta is another go-to for Suzanne Mulholland. “The oil means that pasta will last without being dried out. Then you can add feta or sundried tomatoes out of a jar to jazz it up. “Buying ingredients for salads that can be kept in jars is a great idea because they keep for so long without going off and add so much flavour,” she says. “Aldi has great jarred antipasti. Even seemingly luxurious items, like artichokes, are cheaper from budget supermarkets like Aldi, last a long time in your fridge and make a lunchtime salad much more exciting.”

thursday

soup

Soup is easy, cheap, simple and quick to make in bulk, says Suzanne Mulholland. “The flavors don’t have to be boring if you experiment with ingredients like miso, coconut milk and beetroot. If you make three portions each time and freeze two portions, you don’t have to ever eat the same one twice in a week.” For a meatier lunch, save chicken stock and morsels to add from a whole roast chicken. Beef broth vegetable soup is always a winner. Tip in a tin of lentils (60p from Sainsbury’s) into your soup for extra satiety; if you don’t have time to make your own soup from scratch, a Sainsbury’s Cream of Tomato 400g is just 50p. Served with a slice of bread and that works out at barely over £1.10 for a filling meal.

friday

A sandwich… which you can buy

By Friday, you might be running out of packed-lunch energy. If you usually pop to M&S Food for your daily sustenance, sticking to £2 a day for lunch at the desk is still possible – but not necessarily particularly nutritious or interesting, and doesn’t leave any budget leftover for coffee. At £2.60, the free range egg and watercress sandwich on soft malted brown is out of reach – instead, you’re looking at plain cheddar cheese in oatmeal bread (£2) or no mayo British ham on soft white (£2). Of course, neither are particularly exciting, or satisfying (and easy to make at home for more than half the price with a slab of cheddar and a loaf of sliced). If you prefer to lunch on meat and fish, you could try one of Negus’s homemade frozen chicken, beef or salmon sandwich pastes for your Friday sarnie.


A nutritionist’s guide to the perfect packed lunch on a budget

Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert is the author of a new e-Book, A Simple Way to Build A Lunchbox. she says:

Make a plan before your weekly shop to avoid unnecessary purchases.

When you create your lunchbox, center it around a balanced plate of carbs, protein, veggies and healthy fats.

Stay healthy by noting the sugar, salt and fat content of your packed meals.

rhitrition.com

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