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RedKnight's avatar

Do you prefer to make your own lunch/meals or eat out?

Asked by RedKnight (177 points ) August 5th, 2014

I think there are a lot of pros and cons to eating out versus packing a lunch or making your own meal and I am wondering what most prefer. Specifically, I am referring to packing a lunch when going to school or work versus eating at a cafeteria or a nearby restaurant. I definitely think packing a lunch is cheaper and healthier. Which do you prefer and why?

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19 Answers

janbb's avatar

I usually pack a sandwich because I only get a half hour break and mainly because it is cheaper and less fattening than eating out.

zenvelo's avatar

For a long time, I made my lunch and took it to work. Now I buy a lunch at a local salad place, made with organic greens and vegetables. Hard to get healthier than what I eat now.

It would be cheaper to take a lunch, I know that.

The biggest factor for me is I like freshly prepared foods, so I buy a freshly made salad. If I made it at home in the morning (at 5 a.m.) it would be a bit old and soggy 6 hours later, even if the dressing were added when I ate. Avocado turns brown after a short while, lettuce loses ts crispness, tomatoes juice over everything, cucumbers wilt.

flutherother's avatar

I take sandwiches with me:
It is cheaper,
It is healthier,
And it is quicker.

RedKnight's avatar

Thanks for the input. I was wondering what people prefer.
Do you guys pack sandwiches the most? I am also looking for a variety of things to pack. What holds up well in a bag or a lunchbox?
Also @zenvelo I understand wanting something freshly prepared. A lot of times things can get soggy. I also think having a microwave at work can be handy for heating up leftovers.

flutherother's avatar

A colleague of mine brought in home made soup in a lockable plastic container which he then microwaved at lunchtime.

janbb's avatar

@zenvelo Your last sentence is a metaphor for the aging process!

JLeslie's avatar

At work I really prefer eating out because I think eating at my desk is awful and most companies have disgusting or depressing lunch rooms, but not all of course. However, I prefer to eat my own food, because restaurant food is so caloric and full of fat and cholesterol. I also dont like to have to cook all the time when I am working, and especially hate cleaning up The kitchen. I am not a sandwich person, So that makes it more work. It’s a quandary.

I don’t have a job now and I make my husband lunch to bring to work every day. His motivation is calories, health, and saving money. It’s like a small dinner, almost never a sandwich.

Mastema's avatar

You could say I make my own meal. I watch it at first and then I go in for the kill.

RedKnight's avatar

@JLeslie What kinds of things do you normally make? I’m trying to avoid the sandwiches all the time. I definitely understand not wanting to eat in the office or in a lunch room. Sometimes I leave the building to eat the lunch brought from home. Thanks for the input.

Do you all mostly bring things that are kept cold? Or things that need to be reheated/microwaved?

janbb's avatar

I really want a lunch wallah to deliver a tiffin to me every say.

JLeslie's avatar

@RedKnight Sometimes it is a typical meal with meat, a starch, and a veggie. Roast pork with rice and roasted asparagus. Today I sent him with turkey breast, stuffing made with mushrooms and onions, and French cut green beans. Fried rice with veggies and sometimes meat in it. Other times it’s just a salad, sometimes the salad has meat in it, sometimes not. We try to limit how much meat we consume. I also make a black bean soup that goes well with salad for protein without animal fat like pork. Usually I also pack fruit that he eats as a snack.

I do a lot of semi home-made stuff. Like I used boxed stuffing, but then I sautéed mushrooms and onions and put it altogether. I make the stuffing with a third of the butter that is recommended. The turkey was Boars Head from the deli, but I had them cut one slice an inch thick and then I cubed it for his lunch. No butter on the vegetables, no gravy. Veggies I use both frozen and fresh, it depends on the vegetable. Pork roast I make from scratch, but I often use frozen sticky rice as a side dish, sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on it and make veggies like zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, and bok choy in a pan with soy sauce and lime (no oils). Pasta with shrimp (that comes cooked and frozen) peas a little olive oil and a little lemon. Like I said, they are like dinners. They aren’t super healthy, but similar dishes in a restaurant would easily have double if not triple the fat and calories.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It depends on where I wind up at lunchtime. Come to think of it, that’s true for all of my meals.

Cupcake's avatar

I bring leftover dinner or salad. It’s cheaper, quicker and healthier.

Today I had my choice of lasagna or grilled chicken with coconut rice.

talljasperman's avatar

I buy Ensure and eat meals on wheels , and order out once or twice a week.

marinelife's avatar

Packing a lunch. I also love picnics.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I eat breakfast, lunch, and my afternoon snack in my office and I bring all of it from home. Cheaper and healthier, like you said. I can’t eat out every day and meet my macros, that’s for sure. My lunches are more creative than sandwiches, though. I’d get sick of that in no time.

RedKnight's avatar

Thanks for all the input!
@Cupcake That sounds good!
@JLeslie Those all sound delicious! That definitely helped me get some ideas and alternatives to sandwiches for lunch. Thank you! It sounds like you are a great cook :-)

tobycrabtree's avatar

I bring all of it from home, fruits and lunch.

hearkat's avatar

I buy frozen meals and bring them for lunch. I get ones that are low calorie and organic. They cost $4–5.00, and then I have a fat-free organic yogurt for ‘dessert’ and/or a fresh fruit. Sometimes we bring in leftovers from dinners the night before. This is cheaper and healthier than most take-out options near me.

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