Most work places have refrigerators and microwaves so you can take cold leftovers to work and heat it up or just take a cold lunch. This saves you the time of driving somewhere and the expense of gas along with the cost of a meal.
Now, if you don’t have access to a refrigerator or microwave, you can do the same thing that you do when you make school lunches.
The first thing you will need is an insulated lunch bag. You can pick them up just about anywhere.
The next thing you need to get is a food thermos. They are just a shorter version of a drinking thermos. I would strongly advise you to buy the stainless steel thermos as opposed to the plastic ones. The plastic ones are cheaper but they do not keep the food very hot at all.
Make sure you also get a freezer pack to keep the cold food cold. You can get those in all shapes, colors, and sizes.
Anything else would be the usual napkins, silverware, and bags or containers to put the food in.
The easiest way, I have found, is to just make a little extra food at supper and put that aside to put in lunches.
Instead of buying pudding or jello packs, make your own. Either from scratch or a box and put it in little tupperware containers. A box should make enough for 4 servings.
For drinks you can make something or buy it. For gatorade, many stores sell the big gallon jugs, which is cheaper than buying single serve. You just need to have a drinking container. Some even come with the lunch bag, depending on the style you choose.
Get as much ready as you can the night before.
In the morning all you need to do is heat up the food. While you heat that, you need to put boiling water in the food thermos for just 5-10 minutes. Dump that out and add the hot food.
Other ideas to add are a banana or an apple. Maybe an orange or grapes.
There have been times I have even used leftover taco filling and toppings to make a dip and send some chips and a drink. That is very nutritious too.
Most times, the cost of making these lunches is absorbed into the food budget so you don’t notice having to spend any more. But you do notice that you are saving. And probably eating much better.
It beats spending $2-$3 per child per school lunch and at least $5 per work lunch.