Budget101 Discussion List Archives Tips-n-Tricks Ideas on packing lunches

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    • #269808

      Packing lunches for my husband and kids is not only cheaper but healthier than other options. Individual sized pre-packaged foods may be convenient but they are considerably more costly. When I have the time (and motivation) I save money by buying full sized items and breaking them down into individual servings.

      I’ve found that the best and most efficient way to do this is to do it all at once rather than getting the box or container out each time I pack a lunch.

      I purchase snack sized bags at the dollar store (unless I can find them cheaper elsewhere) If you want to save even more money (in the long run) and be more environmentally friendly you may want to consider purchasing reusable plastic containers.
      Some items easily broken down into individual servings: crackers, chips, cookies, trail mix, raisins or other dried fruit, baby carrots, celery sticks, and grapes.
      Some items not as easy to break down but great for those reusable plastic containers: Pudding, jello, yogurt, applesauce and cottage cheese.
      Other great items for lunches that don’t require breaking down at all: Bananas, apples, oranges (cut into wedges or rings for children) peaches, plums.
      Tired of the same ol sandwich everyday?

      Switch it up by using bagels or a tortilla, ranch dressing instead of mayo or different varieties of mustard such as Dijon, honey or spicy. Pack crackers with lunch meat and cheese instead of a sandwich. Try buying a different type of cheese each week.
      Pack lunches each night while you are making dinner or cleaning up afterwards.

      Remember, it only takes two weeks to create a habit.

      Do you have any lunch making tips?

      :039: :109:

    • #411678

      Some great ideas here! 🙂

      Like you said, wraps are a good alternative when you’re tired of the same old sandwiches.

      Here’s a recipe you might like:
      Robin Miller’s Pulled Cuban Chicken Wraps
      4 roasted chicken breast halves
      1 Tbs olive oil
      1 cup sliced red onion
      1 cup prepared salsa
      1/3 cup prepared ranch dressing
      4 (8 inch) spinach tortillas

      1.) Roast chicken 25 minutes at 400 degrees or until done.
      2.) Heat oil in large skillet over Medium heat. Add onion & saute 3 minutes, until soft. Add chicken & salsa & bring to a simmer.

      Remove from heat & stir in ranch dip.
      3.) Spoon into tortillas

      Note: I’m using sun-dried tomato wraps instead of spinach wraps

    • #411762

      Some great ideas here! 🙂

      Like you said, wraps are a good alternative when you’re tired of the same old sandwiches.

      Here’s a recipe you might like:
      Robin Miller’s Pulled Cuban Chicken Wraps
      4 roasted chicken breast halves
      1 Tbs olive oil
      1 cup sliced red onion
      1 cup prepared salsa
      1/3 cup prepared ranch dressing
      4 (8 inch) spinach tortillas

      1.) Roast chicken 25 minutes at 400 degrees or until done.
      2.) Heat oil in large skillet over Medium heat. Add onion & saute 3 minutes, until soft. Add chicken & salsa & bring to a simmer.

      Remove from heat & stir in ranch dip.
      3.) Spoon into tortillas

      Note: I’m using sun-dried tomato wraps instead of spinach wraps

    • #411680

      Oh Rebekah…that wrap sound delish!!!

    • #411764

      Oh Rebekah…that wrap sound delish!!!

    • #411681

      Hope you enjoy!!! 🙂

    • #411765

      Hope you enjoy!!! 🙂

    • #411683

      I am going to try to make that with etra onions too!!! Thanks!!!

    • #411767

      I am going to try to make that with etra onions too!!! Thanks!!!

    • #411686

      When I packed lunches I usually toasted the bread to the sandwich, added different meats every so often, and sometimes just experimented (Peanut butter and cucumber).

    • #411771

      When I packed lunches I usually toasted the bread to the sandwich, added different meats every so often, and sometimes just experimented (Peanut butter and cucumber).

    • #411688

      @faxonfive 103435 wrote:

      I am going to try to make that with etra onions too!!! Thanks!!!

      Oh I love extra onions! But be careful. If you’re gonna have these in the fridge for a few hours or a day or so, remember that red onions get stronger after they are cut, so you don’t want a spicy surprise when you bite into it later!

    • #411772

      @faxonfive 103435 wrote:

      I am going to try to make that with etra onions too!!! Thanks!!!

      Oh I love extra onions! But be careful. If you’re gonna have these in the fridge for a few hours or a day or so, remember that red onions get stronger after they are cut, so you don’t want a spicy surprise when you bite into it later!

    • #411695

      I love onions…used to pull them outta the garden and wipe them off on my shirt and eat them just like that!! Yummy!!!

    • #411779

      I love onions…used to pull them outta the garden and wipe them off on my shirt and eat them just like that!! Yummy!!!

    • #411697

      @faxonfive 103442 wrote:

      I love onions…used to pull them outta the garden and wipe them off on my shirt and eat them just like that!! Yummy!!!

      You sound like me! I’ll put onions in just about anything! 🙂

    • #411781

      @faxonfive 103442 wrote:

      I love onions…used to pull them outta the garden and wipe them off on my shirt and eat them just like that!! Yummy!!!

      You sound like me! I’ll put onions in just about anything! 🙂

    • #411699

      Yep I do ….. too!!! LOL

    • #411783

      Yep I do ….. too!!! LOL

    • #411745
      Quote:
      when i packed lunches i usually toasted the bread to the sandwich, added different meats every so often, and sometimes just experimented (peanut butter and cucumber).

      tarrien, bet your bread didn’t get soggy :). don’t know if i could do a peanut butter and cucumber, sounds interesting though bet my boys would try it.

    • #411831
      Quote:
      when i packed lunches i usually toasted the bread to the sandwich, added different meats every so often, and sometimes just experimented (peanut butter and cucumber).

      tarrien, bet your bread didn’t get soggy :). don’t know if i could do a peanut butter and cucumber, sounds interesting though bet my boys would try it.

    • #411729

      Actually the toast would soften but still hold its taste. Its kinda nice in a way since toast right out of the toaster tends to cut the roof of my mouth.

    • #411809

      Actually the toast would soften but still hold its taste. Its kinda nice in a way since toast right out of the toaster tends to cut the roof of my mouth.

    • #411798

      (Peanut butter and cucumber).

      I have never tasted peanut butter and cucumber, but I will. For those of you who don’t know about peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches…yuuuummmy. don’t judge until you at least try it.

      sounds unusual i know, but it really is quite delicious, in fact, truth be known, it is my all time favorite sandwich.

    • #411881

      (Peanut butter and cucumber).

      I have never tasted peanut butter and cucumber, but I will. For those of you who don’t know about peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches…yuuuummmy. don’t judge until you at least try it.

      sounds unusual i know, but it really is quite delicious, in fact, truth be known, it is my all time favorite sandwich.

    • #411803

      I’ve actually used Cream Cheese with fruit jelly (raspberry*) with peanutbutter before too. I actually really like it- but make sure you have a drink nearby its pretty prone to stick to the roof of your mouth.

    • #411886

      I’ve actually used Cream Cheese with fruit jelly (raspberry*) with peanutbutter before too. I actually really like it- but make sure you have a drink nearby its pretty prone to stick to the roof of your mouth.

    • #411806

      cream cheese and strawberry jelly….that sounds really good right about now!!!

    • #411890

      cream cheese and strawberry jelly….that sounds really good right about now!!!

    • #411935

      I also like pb&j since i can keep it in my bag all day and i dont have class until 5pm at night so I dont want anything spoiling!

      I love peanut butter with banana slices! yum and also I love peanut butter with dried apple slices (the same brand as raisins and next to the raisins in the store). So good!!

      Cream cheese sounds really good too!

      And i like toasting my bread in the morning too. I usually keep the bread in the freezer since its just 2 of us and a loaf sometimes lasts a looong time, so i toast it to defrost it and it keeps it crunchy. 🙂

      i also like hummus in a small container with pita chips. Or a baggie of almonds, or pistachios.

    • #412011

      I also like pb&j since i can keep it in my bag all day and i dont have class until 5pm at night so I dont want anything spoiling!

      I love peanut butter with banana slices! yum and also I love peanut butter with dried apple slices (the same brand as raisins and next to the raisins in the store). So good!!

      Cream cheese sounds really good too!

      And i like toasting my bread in the morning too. I usually keep the bread in the freezer since its just 2 of us and a loaf sometimes lasts a looong time, so i toast it to defrost it and it keeps it crunchy. 🙂

      i also like hummus in a small container with pita chips. Or a baggie of almonds, or pistachios.

    • #412212

      I just thought about this – how about cream cheese and cranberries on a bagel or sandwich???

    • #412285

      I just thought about this – how about cream cheese and cranberries on a bagel or sandwich???

    • #412240

      @faxonfive 103836 wrote:

      I just thought about this – how about cream cheese and cranberries on a bagel or sandwich???

      This sounds delicious

    • #412322

      @faxonfive 103836 wrote:

      I just thought about this – how about cream cheese and cranberries on a bagel or sandwich???

      This sounds delicious

    • #412251

      I thought so too!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • #412337

      I thought so too!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • #412275

      I have a breakfast tip. My husband & I bring bothour breakfast & lunch to work. I go to Costco and buy the 3lb containers of cottage cheese, and one of those large cans of fruit cocktail.

      Divide each container of cottage cheese into three parts, add some fruit cocktail to it and it makes a great breakfast. My hubby dropped 2 pant sizes! He loves it.

      Another thing you might try for lunch for a change is hummus with crackers or a pita. It’s really good and full of protein to keep you going all afternoon. It’s an easy thing to make from scratch too, if you have the time.

      Yummy! Also, if you like chicken salad, try making it with a little ranch salad dressing mixed in and then cut grapes in half and add them to the chicken salad. It’s delicious, and a nice change from the same old thing.

      Enjoy!

    • #412361

      I have a breakfast tip. My husband & I bring bothour breakfast & lunch to work. I go to Costco and buy the 3lb containers of cottage cheese, and one of those large cans of fruit cocktail.

      Divide each container of cottage cheese into three parts, add some fruit cocktail to it and it makes a great breakfast. My hubby dropped 2 pant sizes! He loves it.

      Another thing you might try for lunch for a change is hummus with crackers or a pita. It’s really good and full of protein to keep you going all afternoon. It’s an easy thing to make from scratch too, if you have the time.

      Yummy! Also, if you like chicken salad, try making it with a little ranch salad dressing mixed in and then cut grapes in half and add them to the chicken salad. It’s delicious, and a nice change from the same old thing.

      Enjoy!

    • #412320

      At my store we have a fridge and microwave in the back. One of the first things that I did was to stock it with mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, creamer and tea. Most of those I got for free or near free with coupons.

      I let everyone know that they were for everyone to use.

      Now I just take my sandwich and put it together there. That way there is no soggy bread.

      Shannon

    • #412400

      At my store we have a fridge and microwave in the back. One of the first things that I did was to stock it with mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, creamer and tea. Most of those I got for free or near free with coupons.

      I let everyone know that they were for everyone to use.

      Now I just take my sandwich and put it together there. That way there is no soggy bread.

      Shannon

    • #412384

      I make chicken salad, egg salad, and tuna salads as alternates to lunchmeat. 🙂

    • #412472

      I make chicken salad, egg salad, and tuna salads as alternates to lunchmeat. 🙂

    • #412593

      Those types of salad are a little hard to keep cold when the kids dont have a place to put them in the fridge. But they sound excellent to me 🙂

    • #441114

      We really like some black forest ham and provolone or swiss cheese with Hellman’s or Best Food’s mayonnaise, fresh sliced tomatoes, romaine lettuce on a Hawaiian roll. We always love a piece of fruit (orange, banana, apple, etc.) but that is not always available.

      So…another favorite is pb&honey, pb& banana, pb&marshmallow fluff, pb on celery, veggie sticks and a small container of ranch dressing, cottage cheese with pears, tuna salad w/minced green onion and grated cheese on toast, egg salad w/ bacon bits made with mayo (best foods or hellman’s) on a bun, a blt, soup or chili in a container when the weather is cold with some sides of cheese and sour cream–if there is going to be a microwave available.

      we love to take a container of dinner left overs, either, if a microwave is available! not often, but occasionally we make cookies for dessert, cupcakes or little squares of snack cake (homemade versions of hostess treats). there are of course lots of other variations of these things that we all make.

      i think my favorite new idea that i came across, is making your own coolers to put in your lunch box to keep everything cold. get some dollar-store sponges and fill them about 2/3 with water. Put them in Zip-Lock bags, and seal them up tigoht.

      Then, put them in the freezer. They will keep your lunch cool, and as the water melts, the sponge soaks it back up and you don’t have a leaky bag! Another great idea: if you buy those little Capri Suns, ever, then keep the packets, wash them and glue velcro on them to make them re-sealable for re-usable snack packs for pretzels, etc.

      There are tutorials on line to make your own lunch bags that are insulated and have the capability of wiping off as opposed to having to wash it everytime, like most homemade lunch bags. Lots of great ideas out there!!!

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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Tips-n-Tricks Ideas on packing lunches