Packed Lunch Ideas

A few weeks ago I was chatting to my friends at the pub, and the talk turned to a question often asked by many students – “what do you take to uni for lunch?”. The temptation to buy lunch on campus can be overwhelming sometimes, and it always seems easier to just grab something on the go than have to trawl our minds thinking of what to make each morning. But when it costs on average £5+ a day to do this, especially once you’ve added in drinks and snacks, it’s a very expensive habit which most students can’t afford to do!

I can honestly say that I’ve only ever bought lunch once on campus in my whole two years at UoB, and I really wasn’t impressed. I went for a ham cob, which had way too much dry bread and a pathetic attempt at a ‘filling’; at around £3-4, I was bitterly disappointed and swore at that moment that I’d never buy lunch on campus again!

It’s sooo much cheaper to make a lunch to take each day. But the reason few people do is it that we lack inspiration for what to make and it’s easy to become bored of the same filling day in day out. So I thought I’d do a piece on lots of lunch ideas and recipes that you can take on campus. I also asked my readers what their favourite thing to take for lunch on the go is and I’ve included some of those too!


A lot of students begrudge buying a loaf of bread as they’re sure they won’t get through it all before it goes out of date. But with a loaf of bread only costing around 75p – £1.40, it’s A LOT cheaper than buying a £2-3 sandwich from a shop everyday! I buy Warburtons Toastie White Bread and it always stays fresh for at least 6 days, and even when it’s over these 6 days it’s fine for in soup or toasted and topped with baked beans. Or you could even share a loaf of bread with a housemate, making it even cheaper!! Sandwiches are also a great option as they’re super quick to make in the morning, and stay fresh until lunchtime.

Sandwich Filling Ideas:

  • Tuna Mayo – with sandwiches including mayo, I always use extra light mayonnaise to keep it healthy but still delicious
  • Chicken Mayo
  • Chicken and Bacon Mayo
  • Egg Mayo –  cheap and easy to make
  • Prawn Mayo
  • Chicken, Salad and Salad Cream – chicken is a lean healthy option, and piled high with salad it’s an easy way to get one of 1 of you 5 a day!
  • Cheese and Tomato
  • Cheese and Onion
  • Sliced Beef, Mushroom and Caramelized Red Onion
  • Cold Sausage
  • Ham and Coleslaw
  • BLT
  • Chicken/Turkey, Stuffing and Cranberry
  • Pulled Pork and Coleslaw

As you can see, the options for sandwich fillings is endless and there’s no need to get stuck in a rut with them! What’s your favourite sandwich filling? Have I missed anything off the list?

Other Lunch Ideas:

  • Bagels make a great alternative to bread, and are super yummy when filled with Ham or Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese
  • Wraps are also a good option instead of bread, and can be filled with pretty much anything you fancy – you could make chicken fajitas for dinner and then use the leftovers for lunch the next day
  • Pitta Bread is great filled with any of the sandwich fillings above, or you could cut it into strips to have with a mini pot of hommous
  • Soup in a flask – perfect for the cold days we’ve had recently! And so many flavours to choose from – tomato, carrot and coriander, butternut squash, ham and pea, vegetable, lentil, chicken, mushroom, minestrone, leef and potato… – for an even cheaper option, make a big batch of homemade soup, portion it out and freeze it!
  • Tomato Veggie Pasta – healthy, filling and will see you through a full day of uni
  • Tuna Pasta Salad
  • Pesto Pasta Salad
  • Cous Cous Salad
  • Spiced bulghur wheat salad with roast veg
  • Potato Salad
  • Rice Salad – add any cold cooked meat and lots of salad
  • Spanish Omelette
  • Sushi

If you have any more ideas, please comment below or post it on my blog’s Facebook page.


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