food

DIY bento boxes: How I pack my weekly work lunches for under $20.

I’ve always found food prep a little bit overwhelming.

There seems to be a lot of chopping and cooking and packing and… Instagramming involved. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Then I discovered bento boxes.

I’m not talking about the kind of bento boxes you see on Pinterest, with Giraffe-shaped sandwiches, tiny little sushi rolls, and minion-shaped cheese bites.

I’m talking about bento boxes filled with fresh, affordable food that only take a couple of minutes to assemble.

I shop at one of the major supermarkets once a week and take advantage of what’s on special. What’s in my box each week will depend what’s in season, what’s cheap and what I have leftover in the fridge.

Most weeks I can put together four lunches (on the fifth day I buy lunch or have leftovers) for less than $20.

Here’s a breakdown of how I put together my bento boxes and how much they cost:

bento box lunch ideas
Lunch one.

LUNCH 1:

50 grams of leg ham =$1.00

One third of a Lebanese cucumber = $0.50

A tablespoon of sweet potato dip = $1.00

Handful of Jatz = $0.20

Handful of grapes = $1.00

6 x Solanto tomatoes = $0.50

TOTAL = $4.20

bento box lunch ideas
Lunch two.
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LUNCH 2:

Leftover tandoori chicken = $1.50

Cous cous salad = $1.00

One third of a Lebanese cucumber = $0.50

3 x Solanto tomatoes = $0.20

5 x strawberries = $1.50

Scoop of hummus = $1.00

TOTAL = $5.70

bento box lunch ideas
Lunch three.
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LUNCH 3:

50 grams of salami = $1.00

One third of a Lebanese cucumber = $0.50

Handful of Jatz = $0.20

Handful of grapes = $1.00

A tablespoon of sweet potato dip = $1.00

5 x Solanto tomatoes = $0.40

TOTAL = $4.10

bento box lunch ideas
Lunch four.

LUNCH 4:

Leftover tandoori chicken = $1.00

Cous cous salad = $1.00

30 grams of leg ham =$0.60

Handful of Jatz = $0.20

Handful of grapes = $1.00

Scoop of hummus = $1.00

3 x Solanto tomatoes = $0.20

TOTAL = $5.50

WEEKLY TOTAL = $19.50.

My total shopping cost for the week came in under $20.

If you want to give it a go yourself, simply choose a few fresh fruit and vegetables that you'll actually eat, a dip or two, and some protein.

The trick is to make it so easy, you'll actually want to spend a few minutes in the kitchen putting together your bento.

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