Last week, I attended HubSpot’s Inbound 2013 conference in Boston, where Arianna Huffington was a keynote speaker. Endlessly charming and eternally wise, she spoke about how unsustainable the idea of success has become -- it’s fueled by burnout. An important part of success, she argued, is well-being.
The takeaway was clear: If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of your professional or personal life.
It got me thinking about what we do to take care of ourselves. While sleep and rest are immensely important, what about what we select to eat? In this frozen dinner and fast food world, not only do daily turkey sausage breakfast sandwiches and weekly late-night runs for chicken nuggets wreck havoc on our bodies, they add up in the bank.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American family spent over $2,505 on food away from home in 2010. In that same year, the fast food industry spent $4.2 billion on marketing, hinting at the high profitability of this industry.
One way to save money? Pack your lunch. Here are the four essential packing items you need to pack a whole meal -- and a healthy one at that -- for the road:
This 3-set classic stainless steel lunch box includes an upper food container, a lower food container, and a small nesting snack container. It has everything you need to pack a healthy meal. There is no need to buy three separate containers or keep a supply of plastic sandwich bags.
For the types of snacks that aren’t easy to take with you, the BNTO adaptor turns mason jars into lunchboxes or great snack-carrying containers. Place chips or celery sticks in a canning jar and pour salsa or ranch sauce in the BNTO, then place in the jar, and twist the lid back on. Packing your own snacks will prevent you from being tempted to buy unhealthy snacks when out.
3. Vapur Flexible Water Bottle (2 Pack); $17.95
Buying drinks may not be a noticeable hole in your pocket, but one or two drinks a day at two dollars a pop can add up to over $50 a month in drinks alone. This flexible bottle is perfect for folks who are always on the go; it flattens when empty and fits in your pocket, purse, or backpack.
4. PackIt Freezable Personal Cooler; $19.95
Lastly, put all your packed food and drink into a stylish ECO-GEL-lined lunch pack. These innovative lunch packs may be placed in the freezer and will stay cold for up to 10 hours during the day. This way, you can take healthy food with you without having to worry about it perishing in transit, saving you from resorting to processed and packaged foods.
What are some of your true and tried frugal food tricks? Share in the comments.
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Caroline hails from a tiny tropical island originally, but calls Boston home. A curious bird, she spent a spring trekking all over Ireland, has been an Air Force Junior ROTC cadet, and worked at Disney World as a merchandising intern. With a love for all things interesting, she found herself at The Grommet, where she gets to eat, sleep, and breathe innovative undiscovered products. Say hello to her on Twitter.