A wise woman once said, “Come for the party, stay for the food.”

That woman was my friend Rachael, who made a point of attending everyone’s sweet sixteenths purely for the epic spreads on offer.

Not much has changed in the years since, and for many of us, food is an hourly vacation from life. If you’re a 9-to-5er, lunchtime is particularly sacred.

Maybe you’re done with dropping a lazy $15 at the cafe around the corner every day.

Up Your Workday Lunchbox Game With These Five Mega Cheap Options

Maybe you want to make some healthy changes.

Up Your Workday Lunchbox Game With These Five Mega Cheap Options

Or perhaps you want to save precious work-day time by packing your lunch. 

Whatever your story, we’ve smanged together a few tasty, wholesome lunches that’ll keep you sated through the day. They all come in within a buck of a crisp five dollar note, meaning you aren’t gonna break bank.

NUMERO UNO

Up Your Workday Lunchbox Game With These Five Mega Cheap Options

For the carnivores among us, a piping hot roast chickie from the supermarket is a choice idea on a Sunday or Monday – it smells and tastes delicious, and there are so many different ways to use it through the week.

18c worth of carrot, 20c worth of rye bread, $1 worth of unsalted cashews, 68c worth of low-fat Greek yogurt, half an apple at 30c, $1.30 worth of roast chicken, 30c worth of Woolies green salad, a lashing of that hummus as spread on the toast (30c) and a hot green tea for 25c = $4.51.


NUMERO DOS

Up Your Workday Lunchbox Game With These Five Mega Cheap Options


We don’t have a stovetop here at the Melbourne office of PEDESTRIAN.TV… So we scrambled an egg in the microwave. You just crack it into a bowl, give it a whisk and heat it for 1 minute. Take it out, break it apart with a fork and heat for another 20 – 30 seconds. Eggcellent.

1 egg at 60c, $1 worth of roast chicken, 85 worth of avocado, 90c worth of roma tomatoes, muesli bar for 80c, 55c worth of grapes, 40c worth of green salad, 12c of celery, 30c worth of peanut butter & 20c worth of cranberries = $5.72.


NUMERO TRES

Up Your Workday Lunchbox Game With These Five Mega Cheap Options


“Legs for daaaaays” you say. Yep, that roast chicken is really pulling its weight here, yet again. Nicely offset by crunch of the celery sticks.

2 sticks of celery at 24c, 2 roast chicken drummettes at $1, $1.20 worth of unsalted cashews, 5 roma tomatoes for $1, tin of salmon in lemon & cracked pepper for $1.15, 2 rice and corn cakes for 10c, 25c of cranberry & pomegranate tea = $4.95.

NUMERO CUATRO

Up Your Workday Lunchbox Game With These Five Mega Cheap Options

We didn’t include the cost of the cinnamon sprinkle on the banana, as this spice can easily be stolen out of your more established relatives pantries.

$1.20 worth of cashews, half a carrot for 19c, muesli bar for 80c, half a banana for 19c, a spread of peanut butter for 18c, 1 rice & corn cake for 5c, a quarter tub of hummus for 93c, a piece of macro rye toast for 20c, can of onion & tomato tuna for $1.15, and a bunch of green salad leaves for 15c = $5.04

NUMERO CINCO

Up Your Workday Lunchbox Game With These Five Mega Cheap Options

Mightn’t look like it, but that’s two serves worth of soup in that bowl. A good little winter option, and particularly filling with the toasted rye.

30c worth of grapes, a piece of macro rye toast for 20c, a can of sweet potato & pumpkin soup for $1.74, half a box of roma tomatoes $2.25, 80c worth of unsalted cashews, 60c worth of dried cranberries = $5.89.


Happy munching.

Photo: Mean Girls.