I found this idea on another blog and thought it a great idea starter for Thursday's blog entries, thrifty ideas that our family uses to make the budget stretch.
Today's thrifty ideas are all about weekday lunches, right now I am making 5 packed lunches and 2 of us eat at home on weekdays. Lunches for the two of us at home Aidan and myself are easy and can be summed up in one word " Leftovers".
The other lunches are packed and require a bit more thought, I used to pack mostly leftovers for my husband for lunches but that wasn't working out well as it never failed the day he had leftovers that needed to be heated he would be on the road. Which meant that instead of his packed lunch he ended up eating out, so now I might send leftovers but mostly he gets the same packed lunch as the kids.
Packing lunches does require some up-front costs, but they are mostly one time purchases that can be done with in budget limits. We also live in a area were allot of kids pack lunches, so it is not un-cool for a middle school or high school child to pack a lunch.
1- Lunches boxes, bags - Every time I go to the thrift store I check out the area were they have the lunch boxes looking for ones in good shape, size that I need, and colors that will work ( the boys really don't like pink lunch boxes). Over time we have enough lunch boxes for everyone and a couple extra for those times lunch boxes get left in school or at work. We used to use brown paper bags but have found that paper bags are best left in the craft closet for puppet making.
2- Food containers- I bought the sandwich sized containers during back to school sales for 50 cents each, two per lunch that is usually packed. I also have a supply of the small round 1/2 cup size containers, and some larger square containers. I also want to get some hot food containers so I just keep on looking at the thrift store and clearance racks to see if there are any there.
3- Drinks- I used to do the whole juice box thing and if I bought the cheap ones they were mostly sugar, and the all juice ones were costly, so this year I bought them all small metal water bottles. They can choose what to put in them usually water and sometimes juice.
4- Utensils- I buy plastic forks and spoons and the kids know to put them back into the their lunch bags and we wash them and re-use. But if for some reason they get tossed or broken not a big deal.
Next week on Thrifty Thursday what to pack in those lunch boxes.