What’s In The Bag?

Yesterday morning as I was packing all my food for the day into my lunch bag, I was struck by how much I was able to fit in there.

I have one of those mini reusable shopping bags that I bring my breakfast/lunch to work in each day, and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s seen better days.

Lunch Bag

I’ve been using this current bag for about 5-6 months, and while it’s definitely a bit crinkled and getting worn out, it still does the trick. I got it at Pier One Imports for 99 cents… the best dollar I’ve ever spent!

I’ve experimented with several other types of lunch bags, but none of them are big enough to hold everything that this one holds!

Inside the Bag

Check out what I was able to squeeze in:


So what’s in there?

Starting from the back bottom left…

    • 3/4 cup cooked steel cut oats with pumpkin, cottage cheese, and vanilla stevia (4 pts+)
    • 2 cups Tempeh Chili Verde (5 pts+)
    • 2/3 oz. Lite Shredded Cheese (1 pt+)
    • 2 cups Hazelnut Creme Coffee w/Coconut Creamer (1 pt+)
    • 1 bell pepper
    • 1 banana
    • 1 cup grape tomatoes
    • 1 small honeycrisp apple
    • 2 small tangerines
    • 1 babybel light (1 pt+)

I had the banana with the oatmeal for breakfast around 9am at my desk along with the coffee.

Around 12:30, I had the tempeh chili verde with cheese, plus the grape tomatoes and tangerines.

Around 2pm, I ran out and got a tall americano with skim milk from Starbucks (1 pt+).

Around 3:30 I had the Babybel Light and Apple for a snack.

And then, at 5:20ish, I ate the bell pepper because I felt like it before heading out the door.

Do you bring food to work with you, are you able to go home for lunch, or do you mostly buy it out?

I bring my breakfast/lunch to work pretty much every day except maybe 1-2 times a month. It took a while to get used to, but now it’s second nature and I almost always pack it the night before so I’m ready to go in the am.

30 Comments on What’s In The Bag?

  1. Jes @ Becoming Less of Jes
    December 13, 2011 at 8:45 am (9 years ago)

    I bring my breakfast/lunch/snacks to work every day. It’s the only way I can stay on track. =)

  2. Kerry
    December 13, 2011 at 8:47 am (9 years ago)

    I pack breakfast and lunch most days, and dinner too when I have a night class. I love my Built NY lunch bag – I can usually squeeze everything in, and it zips up which helps for commuting. Plus, it’s washable in case there are any spills.

  3. Victoria (District Chocoholic)
    December 13, 2011 at 8:52 am (9 years ago)

    I almost never, ever eat out for lunch. I simply can’t stand the lunch hour lines in downtown DC.

  4. Lauren
    December 13, 2011 at 9:13 am (9 years ago)

    i always pack breakfast, lunch and snacks! It is so much cheaper than trying to buy every day – and healthier! I think I buy breakfast or lunch out once a month – if that!

  5. Jennifer
    December 13, 2011 at 9:21 am (9 years ago)

    I bring my breakfast and lunch to work, unless I have a planned lunch with friends. I prefer my own food as it’s better and cheaper than our cafeteria, and definitely cheaper than the restaurants nearby (although most have amazing food).

    Today I have oatmeal with almond butter and ground flax. Lunch is a serving of non-dairy stuffed shells and a salad.

  6. Liz
    December 13, 2011 at 9:40 am (9 years ago)

    I LOVE packing my own lunch. I am making it a point to pack breakfast and lunch almost everyday (I’m a 2 week streak!) to help keep my portions and calories in check. The days I don’t pack I try to order healthy, usually a soup or a healthy sandwich.

  7. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas
    December 13, 2011 at 9:55 am (9 years ago)

    I always bring my breakfast to work. I’m pretty bad about bringing my lunch but I’m trying much harder with it. Eating lunch out is expensive but I do try to be healthy with it (which is how I can quasi-mentally justify it). I agree with the commenter above – the Built NY lunch bags are great 🙂

  8. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    December 13, 2011 at 9:56 am (9 years ago)

    That’s quite a haul you’re able to put in that bad boy and for a buck? Awesome!

    I work from home but when I worked outside the home, I always worked close enough to be able to come home for lunch and the Mr worked at the bldg behind me so for 5 years we were able to lunch together which was nice. No going out for lunch allowed for us during the week unless it’s mandated by work. A waste of calories and money in our view.

    • Beth
      December 13, 2011 at 10:00 am (9 years ago)

      That is so cute you were able to have lunch together every day!!

      And you know, whenever I do work from home (very, very rarely) I have so much trouble being right by the kitchen with access to food all day. I feel like its easier for me to stay on track with all my food packed into the bag because when it’s gone, it’s gone, whereas the kitchen is always stocked!

  9. Amanda @ Running On Waffles
    December 13, 2011 at 10:06 am (9 years ago)

    I eat breakfast at home every morning…I’m way too hungry when I get up to wait until I get to work, especially since I almost always bike in. But I bring a salad for lunch every day, unless we’re celebrating someone’s birthday at work. It saves so much money to bring your own food, and it’s A LOT easier to control what you’re eating that way, too!
    I love those reusable shopping bags…I have one I got at a Nordstrom event like 7 or 8 years ago that holds so much when I go to the grocery store, and it’s still in great condition!

  10. Cait @ Beyond Bananas
    December 13, 2011 at 10:21 am (9 years ago)

    I always pack lunch.. and on days when I go to the gym before work, I also pack breakfast! I eat my packed breakfast at around 7:15; my lunch at 12:00 and my snack at around 1:30.. then I am home for the day after 3:45!

  11. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    December 13, 2011 at 10:35 am (9 years ago)

    I bring my breakfast and lunch with me every single day at work. The only other option for me is school cafeteria food, which I have not had once in my seven years of teaching! 🙂
    I bring oatmeal for breakfast and usually a salad, a flat out wrap and hummus, and an apple for lunch. And I make coffee mid-morning in my little french-press to get me through! It is a huge pain to pack food each night for the next day, but it’s really the only option for me- and when I worked at a desk job I went out to buy lunch every day, which drained my wallet and expanded my waistline!
    I used to use a bag just like that to bring my food in, too!

  12. Hilary
    December 13, 2011 at 11:04 am (9 years ago)

    I wish I could eat at home, but I, like you, am a lunch packer….all about the night before! And I use a similar bag for my lunches…totally get the need for a bigger bag! Mine is a little discoloured due to a frozen mixed berry leak!!

  13. Alli @ alli learns life
    December 13, 2011 at 11:16 am (9 years ago)

    I’m definitely a packer – breakfast & lunch most days. I need to get in the habit of prepping the night before though. I’m almost always running late in the AM.

    I could go home for lunch, but never do. Not sure why.

  14. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    December 13, 2011 at 11:29 am (9 years ago)

    I have to remind myself to wash the canvas bag I use. Because yeah… I put food in that thing. And it gets ugly…

  15. Heather
    December 13, 2011 at 11:36 am (9 years ago)

    I usually bring my food 4 days a week and go out to lunch the other day. I bought an insulated lunch bag at Costco that looks like a purse!

  16. Liz
    December 13, 2011 at 11:37 am (9 years ago)

    I carry a big bag like that! I pack lunch 99% of the time and breakfast probably 25% of the time. I usually eat breakfast at home though. I feel like such a bag lady when I bring my food and gym stuff to work though!

  17. Kim
    December 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm (9 years ago)

    Wow, you fit a lot of things in there! I bring my breakfast/lunch to work every day as well. I need to find a bag like yours as I usually use an ugly Wal-Mart/Publix bag. 🙂

  18. Lili
    December 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm (9 years ago)

    I religiously pack my lunches. Fo breakfast and snacks, I leave most of what I need for the week in the office so I don’t have to pack it daily.

    I also use a big bag to bring my food, kind of shopping bag as well. I find the ‘traditional’ lunch bags too small to fit all the tapawares! But I did see a good sized one at Target the other day – something like this one and it was pretty roomy: http://www.target.com/p/Embark-Lunch-Tote-Cooler-Black/-/A-12113135?reco=Rec%7Cpdp%7C12113135%7CClickCP%7Citem_page.adjacency&lnk=Rec%7Cpdp%7C12113135%7CClickCP%7Citem_page.adjacency

  19. Dani
    December 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm (9 years ago)

    Lunch is my downfall… I usually eat out since I want to get away from the office (my boss will page me and interrupt lunch if I don’t). I go at a later hour than most, so there aren’t lines… I’ll hit sweetgreen, subway, chipotle, qdoba, la madeline, etc. The coming winter will be good for my diet/wallet, since I won’t want to go out in the cold!

  20. Jenny
    December 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm (9 years ago)

    I go to the store at lunch and stock up for the week. I have a drawer in the fridge in the kitchen and keep all non refrigerated foods at my desk. Obviously I try to keep it simple, but I’m not good at packing food every day. I just don’t do it, and then I end up getting fast food, and well, that’s how I gained all my weight back. But I’m back in the routine of going to the grocery store and getting good foods for lunch for the week, along with some fruit and oatmeal for breakfast.

    BTW, do you eat the bell pepper by itself or do you dip it in something?

    • Beth
      December 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm (9 years ago)

      Yesterday I ate the bell pepper by itself… I actually love them just plain, but today I have some hummus and salsa to dip it in!

  21. Lisa
    December 13, 2011 at 6:07 pm (9 years ago)

    Looking at your food, I think I don’t eat enough. Which is weird. Hmm.

    I always take my lunch. I eat breakfast at home and then drink 1 cup of coffee at work, and a snack (usually fruit) around 10:30–lunch at 1. It works for me.

  22. Melissa @TryingtoHeal
    December 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm (9 years ago)

    I always have to bring my lunch and sometimes breakfast with me to work. There is no fast food, even a gas station near where I work most of the time!! Must always be prepared!

  23. jacqui
    December 14, 2011 at 12:18 pm (9 years ago)

    I love the bag! I would like to pack my lunch at least three days a week but my husband has not been on board. To make it worse, we could go home for lunch (only 5 min away) but he never wants to do that unless we are broke! 🙂 I’m trying to convince him tha we can SAVE $ by eating at home or the office.

  24. robin
    December 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm (9 years ago)

    I bring 90% of the time because its cheaper and I happen to like my food. Sometimes Im cooking my lunch at 5:30 in the morning. People always think thats crazy but I take pride in the fact you can make somthin killer good in 20 minutes with whatever happens to be in your fridge. And I love showing my 15 year old son this every chance I get, depend on yourself when it comes to feeding ones self.

  25. Heather
    December 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm (9 years ago)

    How do you cook your oats? Ahead of time and heat them up??

  26. insulated lunch bag kids
    April 30, 2013 at 8:28 pm (7 years ago)

    I used to have an insulated lunch bag which using an ice pack could actually keep
    things cold throughout the day. Once It got a bit
    worn out I decided to buy a new one from Walmart but
    I will be blessed if it will keep things nicely cooled right up until lunch time.


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