Yesterday got a bit out of hand between a early morning dentist apt, helping at school, Girl Scouts, and life in general. So here is Thrifty Thursday on a Friday.
Last week I talked about what to pack lunches in, this week some ideas on what to pack in the lunches.
The main idea is think big and pack small.
The average lunch in our home has one sandwich ( 2 for active teen boys), a fruit /veggie, a snack, and sweet.
Sandwiches- I asked the kids what the like to eat in there lunches as far as sandwich fillings, and as much as giving them the same sandwich each day makes me cringe, that is what they want. So for bread we use the white whole wheat, and filling options are PB and Jelly, Bonogla, Ham, Turkey, and on some days tuna fish or egg salad. Right now the lunches are Dad- Ham, Conner- Bologna, Sarah- Turkey, Nolan - PB and Jelly, Kat- likes to change it up between tuna, ham, and peanut butter. In order to keep lunch meat fresh, when I buy the big pack of turkey or ham I only place what will be eaten in one week in the fridge the rest of the package heads to the freezer.
Fruits and Veggies - this includes carrots, celery, salad, apples, bananas, grapes, pears, applesauce, oranges and so on. For fruits like apples and bananas I buy the smallest ones I can find, for things like applesauce buy the big jar and then package small for lunch. Oranges cut into slices and then use a 1/2 a orange for each lunch. We also eat the fruit that is season or cheapest. So in the spring when strawberries are out the children will find strawberries in there lunches, and in the winter when citrus is cheaper more oranges.
Snacks- once again buy the big bag and give the kids a serving size, so for example the average bag of pretzels is bought for 1.29, and has 11 servings in the bag. We use pretzels, tortilla chips ( with salsa in a small cup), sometimes chips, popcorn, graham crackers, and so on in this category.
Sweets- this is yogurt , pudding, a cookie, jello,quick bread once again bought big and repacked small. Yogurt is bought in the quart size, pudding I buy in the large #10 can from Sam's for about 4.00, and that makes about 22 smaller servings. Jello buy the big boxes and make your own in smaller cups.
If school lunches are 1.70 a day for grade school, and 1.80 a day for the older children and a husbands lunch out is 4.00 ( if he sticks to the dollar menu ), and on average it costs me 1.00 or less to pack there lunches. The weekly savings alone is over 30 dollars a week, over the course of a year that is a tidy bit, and worth the time for me to plan and get up a little bit before them to help in the lunch making.