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    17 Brilliant Ideas That Will Inspire You To Actually Pack Your Lunch

    Make the second meal of the day as important as the first.

    Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

    1. Make your own bistro box aka adult Lunchable.

    Prep a container full of sliced cheese, a container full of apple slices, a bunch of hardboiled eggs, and whatever else you want. Then every evening before bed, use these building blocks to put together a bistro box for the next day. Here's the recipe for the one pictured here.

    2. Store all of those ingredients in the iconic green-lidded Pruta containers.

    I mean, you probably already have these if you graduated from college in the last four years. Reusable containers like these cut down on the cost of buying new plastic or paper bags every so often. Get a set of 17 for $4.99 here.

    3. Layer salad ingredients in jars with the dressing at the bottom so the greens stay fresh through the entire week.

    Learn more about the best mason jar salad packing strategy here, and get 17 delicious make-ahead salad recipes here.

    4. Make a plan for your weekday lunches at the beginning of the month, whether or not you stick to it.

    It's like setting an intention for the month at the beginning of it (or just on a weekend where you have enough energy to think through how many veggies you want to eat every week, etc.). Get this free printable version here.

    5. Include several things you can make in advance, like a huge batch of a freezer-friendly chili.

    This is a great way to avoid the blah-ness of eating the same thing at lunch every day for five days straight — just make Tuesdays and Thursdays chili day at work, and take a break from the other three meals you've prepped. Lean more about freezing techniques here, and find a bunch of freezer-friendly recipes here.

    6. You can also try making custom hot pockets out of pre-made dough (although maybe only make them a week or so in advance).

    Next time the pre-made dough is on sale, buy a little extra so you can make these. They're super customizable with whatever you happen to have in your fridge at the time. Then once you get them to work, you can easily reheat them in the microwave. Here's how to make 'em.

    7. Buy a rotisserie chicken at the beginning of the week and use it as your meal-prep shortcut.

    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

    If you're not a rotisserie chicken convert (and you actually eat meat), you're missing out. If you think they're boring, here are 24 different easy meals you can make with one.

    8. Keep your food safe with a cute set of ice packs or spend a few minutes making your own out of dish soap and a plastic bag.

    These penguins are only $7.99 for the pack of four, and are infinitely reusable. Or make your own pack by following these instructions.

    9. Or make yourself a bunch of cheap instant noodle cups that taste 1,000 times better than store-bought ones.

    Learn how here, and find a bunch of hot lunch ideas here.

    10. Afraid you'll break the glass on accident? Try a leakproof plastic soup mug.

    This one is only $6.99, and has a little window on top that you can flip open to release steam after you microwave it.

    11. If the idea of eating salads or sandwiches for lunch makes you roll your eyes, try making a large veggie frittata at the beginning of the week.

    Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

    If you can't stand the thought of eating a big bowl of kale, find more healthy lunch ideas here. Get the recipe for this kale and sweet potato frittata here.

    12. If you want to stretch your fresh veggies a little further, pad out your vegetables with whole wheat bowtie pasta.

    It will help fill you up faster than straight-up cucumbers and onions. Get the recipe for this Mediterranean pasta salad here.

    13. Or with the only things possibly cheaper than pasta: rice and beans.

    Learn how to make this three-bean salad here.

    14. Stick a set of these adjustable, reusable utensils in your bag.

    This set lets you have a fork, a spoon, and chopsticks if you'd like — all for $4.99, which is just about the cost of a big box of disposable utensils that won't last you nearly as long as these will. You could also just bring some flatware from home.

    15. Set a daily alarm on your phone calendar to remind you to pack or grab your lunch every morning.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    Or find SOMETHING to remind yourself to grab what you need out of the fridge. Letting the powerful computer that you carry around in your pocket remember things so you don't have to = basically what it was designed to do.

    16. Or pack all of your lunches on Sunday and bring them to work all at once to eat through the week.

    It might get kind of heavy to carry five jars of food, but then you always have your lunch ready at work when you need it. Get the recipe for these burrito bowl salads here.

    17. And finally, pack everything up in an insulated lunch box covered in galaxy cats.

    Or any insulated lunch bag that will keep your food cool in transit. Far out, man. Just $7.99 here.