We Tried 5 Popular Lunch Hacks & Here's What Was Actually Worth It

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Bringing your lunch to work every day is a surefire way to save money during the week, but, if you don't already have a foolproof plan for food prep, it can also seem like more trouble than it's worth. Not everyone wants to brave the crowded aisles of Trader Joe's on Sunday, let alone spend their last precious evening moments trapped in the kitchen under piles of Tupperware and dirty dishes, for the sake of a homemade lunch. And that's totally okay because not all money-saving, lunch-packing hacks are created equal!
Ahead, the Refinery29 food team tested out five different weekday lunch plans. Then we broke down our findings from shopping lists to total number of lunches made, budgeting out our spends, and broke down each price per lunch. See which methods we were fans of and which we'll be ignoring in the future. Maybe one of these approaches will inspire you to "pack lunch like a kid" or go the "no-cook" route next week.
Already have a no-fail food packing plan of your own? Let us know in the comments, below!