In an effort to find ways to save money I have been following this tip:

Bring Lunch To Work

This tip has worked for me in the past but I just realized that I can make it work even better. In the past I would randomly decide on what I would eat for the day….in the morning when I got up.

I have to work early in the morning (ah the joys of teaching!) so I usually decided on a sandwich and some fruit. My typical lunch usually went like this



bottled juice

The sandwiches would vary slightly based on my mood but would usually be cheese (since like Wallace I just LOVE cheese), tuna or peanut butter. One time  I ate so much tuna that I called it my tuna diet because that was all I ate for a few weeks. Frugal….but BORING!

Every so often I would mix it up a little bit and get creative (only on Mondays) and make a ham sandwich, decked out with lettuce, tomatoes, onions…the works!

Then the lazy streak would set in and I would not want to do all of that again. So I would go back to the boring cheese…..rinse and repeat.

Some Mondays I would have food that was cooked on the Sunday before but most times I would not bring ‘real’ food to work because I am lazy. This was not really working out for me because I realized that my weight was fluctuating wildly, with an upward trend.

I would end up being hungry one day and since I had nothing prepared I would grab the easy fix (cheese) to fill me up. I took a look at myself and realized that I was eating cheese 6 days a week in some form.

cheese sandwiches (breakfast or lunch) 

macaroni and cheese (home made… not the box stuff)

crackers and cheese (breakfast or dinner)

mashed potatoes (home made and slathered in cheese)

This is very unhealthy for me since the cheese was usually paired with butter. Think high cholesterol and lots of fat. Ewwwwww!

I decided that part of my life strategy for 2009 includes eating better and this would also help my budget. I decided that I needed to develop a meal plan for the week and I could better track what I ate and avoid eating badly.

By planning my meals in advance I would know what I needed and if I needed to cook or slice stuff in advance. This would (hopefully) lead to a better diet for me.

I whipped out the trusty old Google docs spreadsheet and got to work. I decided I could create a meal plan for one week and then repeat that plan the next week with a few tweaks.

I started this on January 10th and decided to tweak it and have four options so that I could rotate for four weeks if needed. For now I am just starting with one plan and then if I get bored I will switch to another one.

If I had soy joy bars as my first snack on Monday one week, then I would have bananas as my first snack the second week. I will be starting this meal plan next month as a Valentine’s day gift to myself and to my better health and better budget.

Let’s see how this meal plan works out for me. Do you plan your meals in advance?