the lunch box

Yum
There isn't a mother out there that sends their child to school with a lunch box that doesn't dread the "what to make today?" and "here we go again!", especially as the school year wears on.  Below are some ideas to make life easier and money saving tips.


  •  Prep, prep, prep- on Sunday slice all your veggies, so that during the week you can just pull them from the bags and away you go.  

    • Waffles are a fun lunch item that can be made on Sunday, frozen, and then pulled from the freezer and sliced for the lunch box.
    • Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by lightly putting peanut butter on both sides of the sandwich and then jelly in between (to avoid the goopy bread) and freeze enough for the week.

  • Don't buy prepackage snacks (cracker, chips, cheese, etc.) and produce.  You will save a lot of money over the course of a school year by slicing your own veggies, making your own homemade granola bars, etc. and dividing out the snacks into their separate zip lock bags, either individual servings or gallon sized bags to later put into a divided lunch container.

  • Freeze individual yogurts and they will be thawed, but still cold by lunch time, plus help to keep the rest of the lunch cold:) 

  •  Buy silicone popsicles and you can fill them with applesauce, smoothies, yogurt, etc. and freeze them to go into the lunch box.  They will be the perfect consistency by lunch time!


  • If you are a stay at home mommy you can assemble lunch for the following day while you are fixing lunch for you and smaller children the day before.  This avoids the night time or morning rush to get it done and the ingredients are already out anyway!


  • Wraps- 
    • they are quick and super easy to make
    • veggies won't fall out 
    • pretty much anything goes... there isn't a veggie out there that you can't add to a wrap
    • there are many variations to make- start with a sauce (mayo, salad dressing, hummus, sour cream, etc.), add a seasoning (dill, cilantro, italian seasoning, etc.), and the veggies.

  

    •  how to fold a wrap so that your veggies won't fall out... then just slice it down the middle (another variation would be to only fold one side in on step 2 and then you don't have to slice it down the middle)

  • Make enough for dinner that you can send the kids with leftovers... lunch = done!


  •  Get a divided container and fill it with pre-chopped veggies, fruit, cheese, etc....


  • Buy two large clear storage bins.  One that will fit on a shelf in your fridge and another that will fit in a cabinet.  In it you will put "everything lunch", including your zip locks full of prepped veggies, your condiments, individual yogurts, etc.  When you begin to assemble lunches you will simply pull this box from your fridge instead of grabbing the many different ingredients you will need.  If your kids are old enough you can pull out these two containers and have them make their own lunches!  Plus you will feel so organized and it just looks pretty:) 
    • Cold Ideas
      • yogurt
      • fruit (berries, apples, melon, grapes, etc.)
      • applesauce 
      • veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
      • cheese
    • Dry Ideas 
      • crackers
      • chips
      • granola
      • pretzels
      • bars (Kind, granola, fig, etc.)
      • nuts
      • trail mix