We’ve all been there. Sitting at a desk at work, grinding the afternoon away.
You’re trying to focus but keep hearing the strange call. Down the hall, a brightly lit machine stands tall and proud. Through its glass display window, you can see shiny packages, lined up in a neat array of color.
Your stomach begins to grumble as tasty treat in E5 of the vending machine sings your name.
No one wants to give in to the temptation, but now and then it gets the best of all of us at work. We grab a candy bar or bag of chips to satiate the hunger from not eating enough at lunch or, even worse, we stress eat because our day has gone awry.
Rather than paying upward of three times the retail price of those not-so-good-for-you snacks, consider keeping these basic, long shelf-life items at work to battle overspending at the vending machine.
Cereal or oatmeal
Perhaps your alarm didn’t go off or maybe you were hurrying and scurrying to guarantee the kids ate their breakfast while you packed their lunches. Whatever the reason, it can be easy to miss the most important meal of the day.
Cereal and oatmeal are great office snacks, no matter the time of the day. You can buy prepackaged sizes or save even more money by parsing out your own in plastic bags or reusable containers. Eat the cereal dry or keep a small bit of milk at work and luckily all the oatmeal requires is hot water.
On a chilly day, a can of soup can fill your stomach and warm your soul during a quick break. There are many varieties that come in their own microwavable proof containers or again, you could make your own, freeze and hide in the back of the office kitchen’s freezer. Soup also can double well for a last-minute lunch if you forgot to pack your leftovers or don’t have the time or budget to get out of the office for a meal.
Cashews, peanuts, almonds, walnuts or pecans — choose your favorite variety, and buy a bag or can to keep in a desk drawer. Opt for those that are raw for your health and skip the salty or sweet coatings that could cause you to crave a drink out of the soda machine, too. Nuts have a higher price tag than some convenience food; however, the high fat content will appease your hunger and keep you fuller longer.
If you don’t have access to a refrigerator, keeping fresh fruit at the office could prove to be challenging. However, a pack of individual servings of applesauce can easily fit in your cubicle or office. You could even opt for the squeeze packs your kids love to down so you don’t have to worry about a spoon. Make sure you’re purchasing a variety with no added sugar to keep the calorie count lower.
Skip the chip aisle when shopping for snacks and instead choose unpopped popcorn. Whether you pick up a box of the microwave variety or stove pop your own at home and bag for the week ahead on Sundays, popcorn is another food that will fill your hunger without breaking the bank.
Thinking ahead and keeping a supply of filling foods at the office can literally fill the gaps to keep hungry appetites at bay. Your belly and your wallet can remain full while you ignore the tempting call of convenience snacks and junk food.