Ahh, the humble meal deal – is your working week even complete if you don’t head to the aisles of your chosen supermarket at least once in the Monday-Friday grind and peruse the shelves of ready-made deliciousness to get you through to 5pm? The answer is a hard no.
Whilst the jury’s still out on which supermarket has the best meal deal offerings, what’s perhaps more controversial are the three sacred choices you have to make in selecting your chosen meal- main, snack and drink. It’s stressful stuff.
The Team Zoella office may have seen some *things* in its time, but nothing compares to the meal deal combos of those who work there. It’s time to find out what our meal deal choices really say about us, and who needs to take a long hard look in the mirror before polluting the place with tuna again – an al desko crime if ever we’ve smelt one.
Egg and Cress Sandwich | Sensations Sweet Chilli Crisps | Lipton Peach Iced Tea
Egg and cress is an interesting choice for the under-60s bracket and, as such, should be reconsidered at the closest opportunity, even more so if it’s going to be eaten in a communal space, in which case, open a window you villain. The snack selection is the best part of this meal deal, with Sensations Sweet Chilli arguably appearing in the top 5 category of crisp options available- slight redemption. Finished off with a Peach Iced Tea though? It’s giving bland. To conclude, this meal deal is an eclectic mix and not in a good way. Its confusing combination of flavours are less than inspiring and the combination of egg and cress plus iced tea is conjuring up images of afternoon tea at grandmas. Not likely to inspire a great afternoon following your lunch break, let’s put it that way.
Tuna Mayo Sandwich | Salt and Vinegar Crisps | Sparkling water
Let’s take a pause at the tuna mayo and reassess our options. Unless consumed alone and far, far away from desk territory, you may as well expect an email from HR waiting for you in your inbox because this is an office no-no. In its last moments of revenge, this tuna has been sat on a shelf simply waiting to Hulk out of its odour containing cardboard wrap, and you have let it. Shame on you.
On a lighter note? Salt and vinegar crisps. A pretty standard choice but one with which there’s little to fault, and possibly even +1 point here to bring you out of the minus range- well done. The combination of fish, salt and vinegar is suggesting you’re craving some time by the sea, and quite frankly it would be a blessing if a seagull nabbed the whole lot from you on your walk down- still not over the tuna.
Just as it seemed like things were on the up, we finish on sparkling water- is any commentary even required? TV static in a bottle, consider this your final warning from the Tesco meal deal Gods.
Chicken & Bacon Sandwich (Brown Bread) | Innocent ‘Energise’ Smoothie | Proper Lentil Chips
A strong combination here, with the emphasis on brown bread and lentil chips suggesting health, is a priority, of which we cannot criticise. Sandwich first and the classic chicken, bacon and mayo is on the menu- someone understood the assignment and that person is you. A sensible, filling option that’s guaranteed to satisfy your 2pm slump making it equal parts delicious and satisfying. Things go slightly rogue when it comes to the snack choice- do lentils even count as crisps? The barbeque flavour is a slight redemption, complementing your sandwich beautifully, but next time go for some classic Walkers and call it a day.
Finishing on a high here- the elite Innocent smoothie. You must consider yourself somewhat of a bargain hunter because turning down a £2 smoothie within a £3 meal deal would be simply blasphemous. Watch out for your white shirt whilst drinking this bad boy, but you can sit back, relax and enjoy the sweet taste of fruit and success knowing you’ve finessed the system to the max, you Meal Deal mogul you.
BLT Sandwich | Skips | Water
Did the dictionary definition of boring just turn up? Sorry, that was a little harsh, but BLT aside this combination is hardly giving us any reason to look forward to lunchtime- you can get water from the tap for crying out loud. Bacon, lettuce and tomato is a solid combination and one we won’t argue with. Dependable and, quite frankly, a meal deal classic, the crunchy lettuce, soft bread and juicy tomato make for a delicious choice, so much so that you probably won’t even notice the rather lacklustre serving of bacon considering the first letter of this acronym suggests it would be a key feature.
Here’s where things get a little less interesting. Skips, whilst somewhat tasty, are certainly not in the top tier of crisp options within a meal deal, let’s put it that way- they’re basically flavoured air! What about BBQ Hula Hoops!? Doritos? Sensations? Even Walkers Cheese and Onion? Skips dissolve on the tongue quicker than you can say ‘Tesco Clubcard’ and as a result are a total waste of your £.
The final straw, however- a bottle of water. The Skips look like a Michelin star meal in comparison to a plain bottle of still water. If we thought sparkling was bad, at least it has a little somethin’, somethin’ about it, but plain water? It’s a sackable offence.
Cheese and Pickle sandwich | Hula Hoops | Diet Coke (must be a can!)
Fix up look sharp, Little Miss Diet Coke Addict has arrived, Aspartame coursing through her veins.
A meal deal combo classic- a triple threat if you will. All bases are covered here with these top-tier lunchtime picks celebrating the true potential of a meal deal. Cheese and pickle may sound somewhat safe, but sometimes dependability is what you need on a Wednesday at 1.30pm, and you always know a cheese and pickle can deliver- never overlook the power of the underdog.
Next up and amongst other classics including Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights we have a bag of ready-salted Hula Hoops. Their satisfying crunch and finger-lickin’ saltiness have saved many a hangry moment over the years, and for this, we will always be grateful. Wash it all down with a cold can of Diet Coke and feel that sweet hit of sugar makes everything instantly better. A midday Coke slaps HARD.
Tomato pasta pot | Pickled Onion Monster Munch | Ribena
Did we accidentally pick up a childrens’ lunch box by mistake? Objectively, this isn’t a bad selection, but the combination of tomato, pickled onion and blackcurrant is somewhat of a bold one, whilst simultaneously being the most childlike of all. Pasta is a respectable meal deal choice and somewhat of an original one, so for that we say +2 points for being adventurous, however, the Monster Munch is where we draw the line with compliments. Get yourself into the tuna quarantine room and consume your stinking snack there. Finally, the Ribena is giving 10-year-old energy, and if you can live with that then so be it…
Chicken Caesar Wrap | Salt and Vinegar Discos | Sugar-Free Redbull
A wrap- someone likes to be a bit different. Chicken caesar is a strong choice, there’s no doubt about it, with its crispy lettuce, creamy mayo, tiny tastes of bacon, and soft tortilla, it’s pretty close to *chefs kiss* in the meal deal world. It’s yet to be confirmed whether or not salt and vinegar complement these flavours, but either way, the choice is a pretty bold one and for that we respect it.
Washing it all down with a Red Bull feels a little like psychopath behaviour, but this meal deal selection is nothing if not confident, and for that reason, it’s a thumbs up from us.