The same sandwich can get boring. Being creative with packed lunches can help provide good nutrition and enjoyment. This guide is about packed lunch tips and tricks.
As hard as I looked, I couldn't find cold packs small enough to fit inside a lunch bag or lunch box. I finally picked up a few heart shaped baby teething rings and I keep them in the freezer. They're just small enough to keep in a lunch bag, but not so big that they take up all of the room.
When having a salad, put the dressing on only the portion served. The remaining salad can kept fresh by wrapping soda crackers in a paper towel and placing them in the bowl. Cling wrap the container to seal out the moisture. This trick will extend the life of the remaining salad.
By Dave from Oshawa, Ontario
Making lunch or dinner at home instead of "grabbing a quick bite" at work, can easily save you $20 or more each week. Take your lunch to work every day and you'll find your $1,000.00 richer at the end of the year.
If you do go out for lunch or dinner, always ask for a doggie bag/box and save leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. Any food left on the table is money wasted.
By Faylee from Kingsport, TN
To save paper and money, I take my lunch to work every day in a cloth tote bag that I bought at the Dollar Store. It is about 10x10 inch square and has a nice handle. When I come home, I just put my lunch bag in the fridge so I can find it fast in the morning. I never run out of paper bags, I save money, and it's a good way to reduce waste. By Laurie from Portland, OR
I am looking for lunch ideas for hubby working on forestry gang. I have a tight budget, and he is sick of sandwiches. Any thoughts? Thank you.
This is a variation of a sandwich, but my hubby likes it, toasted frozen waffles, spread with peanut butter. Dot one side with raisins, and put apple slices in the middle. He also likes homemade tuna or chicken salad, and I send big leaves of lettuce, then he makes a 'wrap' with the lettuce leaves.
Figure it up; if you spend $5 per day for 5 days, you are spending $25 per week for lunches. This amounts up to $100 a month! When you put your leftovers in the refrigerator, or you don't really have enough leftovers for a full meal, don't throw them out, use them for lunch.
For one dollar at the Dollar Store or Famly Dollar or Walmart, you can purchase a three piece plastic place setting that comes with a plastic glass that has a top on it. Carry this for lunch. You already bought the food at the grocery, use it.
REMEMBER: machine soft drinks add up too. If you buy sodas at the grocery store, grab one or two and put it in your lunch tote. Don't forget to grab the snack food you already bought also. Chips can fit in a baggie and an English muffin can too. Happy breakfast, snacks, and lunches!
By Jane from Paducah, KY
If you have a thermos, you have a very thrifty money-saver at your fingertips! Instead of spending money by eating at restaurants during trips, take your meals with you! A good quality, well-insulated thermos can keep food hot for hours.
Add salad dressing to the bottom of your jar. Then add layers of lettuce and whatever else you want in your salad. Put on the lid and take it in your lunch. The salad will not be wilted by lunch.
Recently, at my work, I have been on a committee that is looking at strategic planning for the next year, 5 years, and 10 years into the future. One of the issues we have been looking at is sustainability.
Tips on school lunches from a pre-K teacher: Invest in cold packs. You can get these at dollar stores. Paired with a thermal bag, the foods you send to school with your child will be protected.
If you take your lunch to work, put in a pocket-sized hand sanitizer. It's great if you can't wash up before lunch.
I make my lunch the night before I have classes each day. Usually I bring for lunch whatever I have leftover from my dinner. If it doesn't sound appealing, I use Pita bread pockets cut in four quarters and get inventive.
My husband puts my 6 or 8 oz. yogurt cup in a coolie cup which is normally used for cans or bottles. It fits right into the cup, and makes a handy way to keep it chilled until lunch.
I pack a lunchbox for my husband and have been having an issue with condensations. To solve this problem I am using kuzies. I have been saving kuzies from different promotions around town that are giving them away free.
I am always looking for ideas for my kids lunches since they don't like to eat at school. When I go to various restaurants to eat we usually have leftover "ranch" of any dipping containers.
The prices of school lunches, like most other things, are rising. Yet, parents need to question whether these lunches are providing their children with healthy lunch options and whether or not the lunches are worth the money. Some schools pack the trays with healthy a la carte items that are financially friendly as well as healthy. Meanwhile, others are charging $2.25 or more for peanut butter sandwiches, milk, and a celery stick.
A solution is to pack healthy and fun alternatives that will have kids anxiously opening their lunch packs. It will save money and allow you to better keep track of your child's eating habits. The only cost is a little bit of your time, but by inviting your children to help pack the lunches the night before it will become a family affair. Don't forget to pack the same for Mom and Dad, and save all around.
Tortillas are also helpful when leftover chicken, turkey, or beef is in the fridge.
Add slices of cold roast beef or poultry to a tortilla, add shredded cheese, some red peppers, spinach, and a dollop of ranch dressing and you have a sandwich with zest.
Of course, the traditional chicken or beef with some salsa, sour creme, and shredded cheese is a welcome option, too.
I get bored with lunch, I need thrifty ideas and variety.
Lucy from West Covina
Here you go:
Many people already enjoy this food tip, I hope you will too! Some foods you can heat up and insulate in a Thermos (besides soup). I added more ideas to the magazine I found this in.
Why spend money on ice keepers for your lunchbox when you have a plastic lemon squeeze bottle that does the trick. Fill your lemon squeeze bottle 3/4ths with water and freeze.
Save Naked or Odwalla juice bottles and fill with water and freeze. These are just the right size for a child's lunch box. When they thaw, you can have cold water to drink. These are also useful for placing in a larger cooler.
Freeze a week's worth of lunchmeat sandwiches for your children on Sunday night. Place in ziplock bags or plastic sandwich containers. Freeze and take out the next day right before your children leave for school. Pack in lunches.
To better organize our mornings, we decided that it would be best to have the kids pre-plan their lunches for the week. I bought a dry erase board that had the days of the week on it.
My daughter has an old-fashioned type lunch box with a thermos. Putting in one of those hard ice substitutes took up too much room, so instead I use frozen bread to make her sandwich. The bread thaws in time for lunch while keeping the lunch meat cold enough to prevent bacteria from forming.
put plastic cutlery in my husband's lunches for work. After him losing a couple of my "good" forks on the job site, he's gotten plastic ever since. Those I don't care if he loses.
To save time in the mornings, make sandwiches and freeze them on the weekend. The sandwich turns out best if you start with frozen bread. Make the sandwich on the frozen bread, then pop it back into the freezer again.
When I pack lunch for my school age children, I pack one for my younger child as well that way he gets a kick out of using his lunch box and we have lunch prepared if we are on the go at lunchtime.
Slip "I love you" notes into lunches, pockets, or between pages of school books for your children or spouse. Costs nothing but means everything! But be careful!
This is a tip that will help anyone who packs lunches! These days, we all need to tighten our belts and packing lunches is an excellent way to not only save money, but also to eat healthier!
Making Lunch a Little Different. My DH brown bags his lunch. To make his sandwiches more interesting and to save time, I took three large frozen chicken tenders, greased them top and bottom with extra virgin olive oil. . .
Avoid Juice Box mix-ups by placing a different sticker on each child's juice box or juice bag. Everyone can pick their favorite sticker and no leftover juices!
Put tomatoes and lettuce in a separate container and place in your sandwich later to avoid mushy bread. Also, keep your mustard, etc. in the lounge kitchen (also to avoid mushy bread). By Crystal Podvin
I buy canned fruit & spoon into small bowls with lids (allow room for the food expanding when freezing) for my husband's lunches. Frozen cups of canned fruits and frozen sandwiches will be thawed in time for my husband's lunches. He works construction.
I live too far away from work to go home to eat and I can't afford $3-$4 per day that it takes to go to fast food restaurants. Since I live alone, I only cook 1 day a week, usually on Sunday afternoons.