We are serious lunch packers around here. Wasting our money on eating out or purchasing those less than desirable school lunches just isn't something we are inclined to do. My girls will be the first to tell you that school lunches aren't so great. Loaded with junk and preservatives it is hard to make a really good and healthy choice from what they have to offer. I would love to see a complete overhaul of our school lunch system someday, but I doubt that is much of a priority right now.
|These are really pretty cool - literally!|
We all have insulated lunch boxes. The girls have the Pack-It lunch bags that go in the freezer and I have a regular one and use the girl's old Sponge Bob ice packs they had in grade school. Fortunately for me most of the Sponge Bob characters have worn away with time and they're basically blank now.
|Soup in a canning jar is a good way to pack it and reheat it|
Hardboiled eggs are great for breakfast or a snack
We normally pack the previous night's leftovers for our lunches. The girls are lucky enough to have teachers with microwaves that are willing to let the students heat up their lunches. I really appreciate that and it has truly made a big difference in what they are able to take to school.
|I try to keep a lot of fresh fruit and veggie options on hand|
Along with leftovers I send along milk, water or fruit juice, a piece of fresh fruit or a fruit cup, snacks items like crackers and cheese, crackers and peanut butter, pretzels, trail mix or chips, Homemade cookies and jello or pudding cups are nice as well. I do allow the girls to have chips and some junk food in their school lunches. I figure that we eat so much good wholesome food at home that a little in their lunch won't hurt them.
|I find these at Dollar Tree|
I am constantly looking for items for lunches. Since most of what they pack comes from our grocery budget I gave myself a $10 a month allowance for "other stuff". Ten bucks is a whole lot cheaper than the cost of two kids buying school lunches, believe you me!
|These go on sale quite a bit at Fred Meyer|
I pick up stuff on sale at the grocery store and I do include those items in my grocery budget. Usually I buy the big package of assorted individual size bags of chips when they go on sale for $5.99. I'll get two or three of those a year. I've shopped Amazon too and one time purchased a big case of 100% fruit juice boxes for $9.98. That was pretty awesome.
|My girls love these|
I usually spend my $10 at the dollar store and I hardly ever spend it all, if you can believe that. They have a nice selection of packaged cracker snacks, individual packages of Teddy Grahams, Hanover pretzels, Little Debbie items, Dole fruit cups, Dole gelatin and fruit cups, Snack Pack pudding (although I don't usually get them there because they go on sale at the grocery stores for 89¢ a lot) applesauce cups, cookies, and even flavored oatmeal packets.
|We have water bottles like this that are really handy|
I don't really buy a lot of drink items for us because we are such big water drinkers. We all have water bottles and insulated water glasses. We fill those up and take them with us most of the time.
|I get 8ct packages of these at Dollar Tree|
I thought I'd give you an update on how we've been handling our packed lunches lately. And any ideas you guys want to share with me would be great! I am always looking for new ways to keep it interesting, more efficient and of course, thriftier!