I, like millions of others, work in an office in a city centre. Every lunchtime is easily when i make the most exasperating decision of my day.
The pressure to succumb to the homemade lunch is clearly not enough to make me actually do it that often, and it frequently comes in a run - maybe one week in six i'll get up slightly earlier and manage to pack a sandwich/salad and take a piece of fruit. This you understand is also preceeded by hours at home planning said homemade lunch: can't cut up veg or salad too far in advance as all the vitamins will eek out, can't have the dressing on for too long beforehand or else sogginess will triumph, can't be too tricky to prepare or i won't bloody well do it! Once I began by having greek salad with a light olive oil and lemon dressing and by the end of the run it began a tub of olive oil which I dunked freshly bought ciabatta in. I think I put on a stone.
Then there are the various sandwich places nearby - your boots meal deal being simple and popular, the local sandwich shop being friendly and flexible as ever, if a bit too mayo-happy. Of course with the sandwhich comes the obligatory crisps and drink, which seem to signify the completeness of the meal. I've tried not buying the C&D but have felt hard done by later in the afternoon and struggle to digest emails as a result.
On super-rich days I venture outside of this ritual and open myself up to the possibilities that are Marks and Spencer lunches. I decide that sushi plus a lemon mousse is exactly what i need, or alternatively plump for a rare ingredient (highly likely to also be a superfood, and therefore massively overpriced) secreted amoungst an obscurely dressed salad. Once I even walked an extra ten minutes to a pret-a-manger!
Of late, in these dark times of singledom I have plumped for the two guilty pleasures of lunch. The cheaper and often more satisfying of the two is a greggs sausage roll (and when i say sausage roll I do of course mean two sausage rolls and occasionally a chicken bake) always accompanied with orange juice (cuts through the grease expertly). Rarely do I stoop as low as to have a Maccie D's but low I do stoop, opting for the large meal out of some crazy notion that I will miss out to a great extent should I not have the 3 additional fries I feel I am owed. Always a quarter pounder meal. Always hurried to my desk in shame, with anyone who dares to stare being rebuffed by a lecture on how thoroughly awful my day has been. Always followed by a week of homemade lunches.
Is there a fridge at work that you could keep supplies in? I bring my tins of tuna or sliced chicken and salad ingredients and cut it up fresh each day. Once I've eaten it, even though it may be a tad boring, I feel smug - saved money and no longer hungry.
Of course there are the days when the lunch shop across the road is calling me for a hot roast beef roll
ooooooh i couldn't risk leaving too much food in our work fridge - the kitchen floor is covered in mouse traps and we have to get the pest control people in once a month to fumigate the place!