One of the ways I have learned to live so cheaply, yet luxuriously is knowing when it’s worth it to put in the effort. I’d much rather do the extra few minutes of work to pack a lunch than to work for someone else the extra hours to pay for eating out. I’ve also found that if you eat quality food, you don’t need as much. Gourmet is truly achievable if you eat portion sizes. Have a few small luxuries and if there are certain people in your family or group who need extra calories, make that up with more staple fare- sweet potatoes, pastas, sandwich bread, eggs and other cheap but filling options.
Here are a few ideas for picnic luxury lunch boxes:
bread with brie and apple slices, plus chocolate of course
bread with cream cheese, nut butter and jam,
yogurt parfait- yogurt, granola, and fresh berries, or a quality trail mix(my favorite is hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, shredded coconut and chocolate chips)
cream cheese, roast beef and fresh greens sandwich
shrimp with curry powder, fresh fruit , crackers with herbed goat cheese
If you have a chance to cook: sliced ham, brie, caramelized red onions, and a very light drizzle of honey, toasted like a grilled cheese is one of the most memorable tastes imaginable.
And in my world, lunch is not complete without a few bites of dark chocolate at the end, never forget the chocolate!