One of the best and worst things about growing up is that we go from every meal being provided for us to a point where we eventually have to sort out our own munch.

But, mon frère, don’t despair – I have a life hack for you to sort that right out!

Picture this…

You are working a summer job, or you are at college or university, and its lunch time. Naturally this is a time to talk with friends, check thy holy social media and – most importantly – eat.

But what do you do? You could eat out at a nearby café, or head to the local shop to buy lunch, but *spoiler alert* ultimately the cost adds up.

If you spend just a mere £3 a day on lunch, Monday to Friday, that’s £15 a week – which becomes £60 or more a month!

Luckily, the 1.5 Life Hack gives you good food for much, much less, without too much hassle at all.

What you need for the 1.5 Life Hack

Now we all know one person’s meat is another person’s poison, so what you class as ‘good food’ is completely down to you!

Regardless of what you are making, there are a few things everyone needs to have in place for this hack to be useful:

  • A kitchen!
    Assuming you’re living at home or in university accommodation, I imagine you’ve got one stocked with stuff you can use to cook.
  • A container!
    Unless you are making the kind of lunch that can fit in your pocket then you’ll 100% need one of these.
  • A little bit of planning!
    Don’t worry – you don’t need much in place! Read on to learn more.

Let's begun!

It all needs to start the night before you need the lunch, at the point when you are cooking dinner.

So, if you already cook healthy dinners, that’s amazing. If not, let me give the principles of a balanced meal:

  1. Base your dinners on potatoes, bread, rice, or other starchy carbs. This hack works especially well if you love rice, cous cous, and pasta. Aim for a portion roughly the size of your clenched fist.
  2. Try and incorporate 80 grams of vegetables; this could be peas, beans, sweetcorn, whatever you like or whatever is in season!
  3. Aim to include some protein; this could be meat (a piece the size of your palm), pulses, lentils or fish (a piece the size of the base of your palm to the tips of your fingers).

Sugars can be part of a healthy diet, but remember it’s added to food for the benefit of taste rather than nutrition.

So, what are you going to make?

This is where the magic happens…

When you (or your parents/carer/housemate if you’re lucky!) are cooking dinner, step in with the 1.5 Life Hack to sort you out for lunch tomorrow.

Whatever the base carbohydrate of your evening meal is, you need to increase it by half!

So, for example, if you are having mashed potato made from 4 potatoes, just peel two more and cook them too. If you are having pasta (and you are the kind of person who weighs your pasta) just throw in half an extra portion like you are cooking for 1.5 people.

Here’s the mind-blowing bit…

It takes the same amount of time to boil 4 potatoes as it does 6! It’s the same for your rice or pasta etc.

And if you haven’t guessed it already, that extra 0.5 portion goes in your container for lunch tomorrow!

To complete your lunch, you could add tinned fish, cooked chicken, or beans, some chopped spring onions, tomatoes, or herbs, or even decorate with chopped spinach and sprinkle on grated cheese.

With practice, you will become the ultimate master in the art of saving time and money by cooking dinner and lunch simultaneously. Then you can get adventurous and start exploring different combinations.

Good luck and bon appétit!