I've let a lot slide since starting at this job. Its easy to justify all the little things that lead to all of the above problems.
easy to grab a plastic bowl and a plastic spoon for morning oatmeal that might be coming in single-serving packages. For lunch I might run out and grab a salad at whole foods, using a cardboard or plastic container and if I don't stop them they'd put it in a plastic bag and I'd grab a couple napkins and a plastic fork. If I bring lunch it might be in ziplock baggies or again, single use (though often not single serving -much as it may look it) packages. A snack might consist of a snack bar or nuts in their own packaging... and on it goes.
The quickest fix of course has been to bring in two mugs, I have a large one I keep filled with water and a little one I bring to get tea. Continuing on waste reduction, I just got myself what is perhaps one of the most blogged about items (who'd have thought it), which became famous through www.veganlunchbox.com a blog that I've read quite faithfully since its inception and has spawned a few knockoffs like www.veganlunchcast.com and many www.flickr.com posts (vegan and non). Yes, I did, I got a laptop lunchbox www.laptoplunchbox.com Previously I've used a lot of tupperware, particularly favoring ones with two sections but that can be incredibly bulky and with everything I carry slim is good, I also prefer to eat a lot of small meals so this lunchbox is right for me in that I can eat out of one container for a snack, one or two for a meal, the last for my last snack.. or however. As today is only my second day using it I will have to review it another time.
For breakfast I usually eat the same thing everyday, oatmeal, but that is because I love it. I buy oatmeal in bulk and keep a container of it at work with a bag of chocolate protein powder. With the right protein powder I can have a breakfast that has an equal amount of protein to carbs - though I find that more amusing than important, its easy to add a banana, raisins, cinnamon or whatever I feel like for variety so I'm content and while protein powder is pretty expensive, oatmeal in bulk is terribly cheap and the powder lasts me a very long time. I'm curious as to how much this costs me but it has to be cents a day. Much, much cheaper than a daily bagel. I still need to bring in a bowl to use for breakfast everyday but will start using the spoon from the lunchbox now.
Regardless of good intentions for lunch and breakfast it is preparation that is of course the biggest problem. There are many tricks for ensuring that there is healthy, cheap food ready to grab and go. My next several posts will focus on a few quick recipes, meal ideas and how to shop towards maximizing time, preparedness, fugality and health.