School lunches, work lunches, what’s for lunch, all add up to a pretty penny when you buy on the run or drive thru. Plus your expense can be a whole lot more than the budget as many quick and on the run meals are so incredibly unhealthy.
Make it easy, make it at home, and make it cheap.
Food for kids
- pita, hummus, and cucumber – add a little bit of cream cheese – YUM!
- apple slices dipped in orange juice with a honey or strawberry yogurt dip
- Celery with nut butter – peanut, nut or sun-butter depending on school policy
- Frozen grapes, frozen water bottles, frozen yogurt cups – all great to keep lunch cool while serving double duty – ice pack and lunch
- carrot and celery sticks, cucumber slices, sweet pepper slices, thin slices of radish for that kid who strangely enough LOVES them
- make-your-own trail mix
- crackers and sun butter with raisins
- Homemade granola bars
- use big bags of chips or pretzels and re-package them smaller
- Buy chunk cheese and slice it for lunches instead of buying cheese sticks or pre-sliced.
- English muffin pizza
- Pop your own popcorn
- DIY Lunchables – I’m going to tell you a secret in case you didn’t know already. Lunchables are one of the unhealthiest lunches. Ever. Plus they are itty bitty. Make your own. It’s a bit healthier plus you can put exactly what they love in them.
- Salads – my son LOVES salad more than anything else.
- Make your own easy peasy applesauce and freeze it in single serve containers. PERFECT to help keep lunches cold.
- Meat and cheese roll ups – add cream cheese, hummus or dip
Food for you
- Make enough dinner for leftovers. Package them in a container before you sit to dinner so it doesn’t disappear.
- Go gourmet – pita slices, grapes, a fancy brie, a handful of nuts (if your not allergic like me) a coffee shop bistro box but not quite so pricey
- Prep muffins and freeze ahead of time – easy as doubling up your recipe. They thaw beautifully.
- Make a chicken, tuna or egg salad and keep in a separate container. Don’t forget to take crackers, bread, or lettuce to wrap it in.
- Salad – have a few small containers for your dressing and dress it when it’s time to eat. Add some tuna or chicken. Also put some cheese in a separate package. Easy assembly. Cranberry or figs and goat’s cheese, parmesan shavings, sunflower seeds, pepper jack, raisins ad pumpkin seeds are my favorite additions.
- Make a big batch of soup, package it into individual servings and freeze. Thaw, heat, serve.
Food packaging and easy prep
- Thermoses to keep soup warm
- Prep the night before – have it all ready and easy to go in the AM
- Re-usable containers to save on plastic bags and wrap.
- Invest in a good lunch box that will last
- Get a re-usable compartment lunch container such as this Lunch 2 Go Container
I would love to hear your great lunch ideas! Comment below with your favorite make it yourself tip.
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