5 Easy Lunches Under $5 to Pack for Work


I am the BIGGEST advocate for packing lunch and bringing it to work. As a typical millennial who must resist the temptation to buy overpriced avocado toast and Sweetgreen salads every day, I understand the desire to have a satisfying yet healthy lunch. 

I get it, it’s so much easier to rush out of the house without worrying about making a lunch beforehand. But there are so many recipes you can prep the night before or making the morning of that take literally less than 10 minutes. Spending less than 10 minutes to save over 10 dollars? Sign. Me. Up. 

Think about it, paying for these groceries would probably be around $25 or less at Trader Joes, plus you’d get some dinners out of them as well. But paying for lunches every day during the workweek would cost you anywhere from $40-60.

Here are some of my suggestions for easy lunches to pack for work. These are my favorites!



  • Egg Salad Sandwich 
  • Carrots + Hummus 

I LOVE Trader Joe’s egg salads. There are a few different types, including one made with egg whites to cut down on fat. Whichever one you choose, I love to pair it with their multigrain sourdough bread. This is just a suggestion since I love sourdough, but it’s great for any type of sandwich bread. Plus, it’s already prepared for you so all you have to do it spread it on that toast!

The sandwich usually isn’t enough for me, so I like to add an extra side like carrots and hummus or pita chips as well. 





  • Prepackaged salad 
  • Roast Chicken
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Feta cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Goddess Dressing

I’ve been obsessed with making salads recently. I used to hate putting in the effort, so all my salads ended up boring and tasteless. But once I started adding fun ingredients, I would spend my workday literally getting excited about eating my salad for lunch.

This does take a bit longer than the others, but I promise it’s worth it. First off, use a big Tupperware container. You want a BIG salad to keep you full! Don’t use a tiny sandwich container or you will be a ravenous beast in about 20 minutes after eating it. 

Scoop handfuls of a prepackaged salad into your container and tear up some of the premade roast-chicken to the mix. I think feta cheese is perfect for salads, so I always grab a container to sprinkle on top, as well as some cherry tomatoes. If you like hard-boiled eggs, prepare some of those early in the week or the night before to slice into your salad. Finally, you can add olive oil or my favorite salad dressing from Trader Joe’s called Goddess Dressing. I cannot get enough of it. Pack the dressing in a separate container or plastic bag though. You don’t want it making your salad soggy by the time you eat it in the afternoon. 

Bring some nuts or carrots and hummus as an extra snack if this won’t be enough for you!


lunches to pack for work


  • California Veggie Burger
  • Feta cheese
  • Rice blend frozen pack 

For my vegetarians out there, I love this healthy and easy lunch to pack. The California veggie burgers from Trader Joe’s taste amazing and are really easy to cook up. You can put them in the microwave or toaster (if you want it a bit more crispy). If you want some extra flavor, sprinkle feta cheese on top of the patty too!

Finally, you can add lettuce as a side or rice for a more filling carb. The mixed rice packs heat up in 3 minutes and actually have a nice natural flavor to them. Mix in soy sauce or even the goddess dressing again for something extra. 



  • Madras Lentils
  • Rice blend frozen pack
  • Feta cheese
  • Pre-made roast chicken slices

My sister recently introduced me to these lentil packs and now I’m obsessed. I usually don’t eat the whole thing all at once, but it may be easier just to bring the whole pack to work to keep in the fridge. 

You can also use some of the leftover rice from the pack you heated up yesterday (assuming you didn’t eat the whole thing) and add some chicken for extra protein. Again, I always love my feta cheese and I think it adds a great punchy flavor to the lentils. 

Mix this all together and heat it up right before you eat it. It tastes great when it’s warm and all the flavors mix together. 




  • Leftover lentils and rice
  • Roast chicken slices
  • Cheese
  • Tortilla
  • Cherry tomatoes 


Congrats! You’ve made it through one week of packing lunches! Finish it off with something simple yet delicious. Why not whip up a cheese quesadilla? Use some of your leftover lentils (and rice, if you have any), add some sliced cherry tomatoes, cheese, and slices of chicken on a tortilla. I personally love to make my quesadillas on my George Foreman grill, but you can microwave it or heat it on a pan. You could even put it all together and just heat it up later at work! It’s a fun lunch to end the workweek. Plus add some sour cream, guacamole, or just avocados if you happen to have those in your kitchen. 

 Ready to get started? How about you check out my $30 Trader Joe’s grocery list to make healthy lunches to pack for work on a budget this week!