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Packed Lunch Tips and Tricks

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.

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February 15, 2011 Flag
9 found this helpful

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

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October 20, 2015 Flag
2 found this helpful

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.

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    May 5, 2011 Flag
    5 found this helpful

    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.

    Source: www.HassiesKitchenTable.com

    By Faylee from Kingsport, TN

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    March 4, 2009 Flag
    9 found this helpful

    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

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    April 4, 2011 Flag
    1 found this helpful

    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.

    By Elaina

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    May 10, 20110 found this helpful

    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.

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    May 12, 2010 Flag
    2 found this helpful

    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!

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    March 27, 2012 Flag
    4 found this helpful

    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.

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    October 12, 2012 Flag
    12 found this helpful

    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.

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    February 4, 2011 Flag

    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.

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    September 2, 2008 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    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.

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    August 15, 2015 Flag

    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.

    lunch box with small bottle of hand sanitizer next to it

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    April 22, 2009 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    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.

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    February 11, 2015 Flag
    1 found this helpful

    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.

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    June 26, 2009 Flag
    1 found this helpful

    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.

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    April 28, 2009 Flag
    Kelly Ann Butterbaugh3 found this helpful

    Pita sandwich with lettuce and tomato in it.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.

    Pitas to the Rescue!

    Pita pockets are fun no matter how you fill them. Try these healthy frugal options:
    • Salad in an Envelope:Create an interesting salad mixture and pack it in a healthy pita pocket. Add lettuce (or spinach for more vitamins!), shredded carrots, shredded or feta cheese, red beets, cherry tomatoes (if in season), and any other yummy veggies that tempt the tummy. Then, drizzle some dressing inside and pack.
    • Rice and Veggies: Turn last night's leftover veggies into tomorrow's lunches. Prepare some brown rice (or use some from a previous meal) and mix in cooked vegetables like broccoli, green beans, peas, corn, beans, or carrots. Mix in some shredded mozzarella cheese and let it melt with the warm rice. Pack the pita full and add some dressing of choice.
    • Tried and True Tuna: Always a great lunch option, a can of tuna goes far. Mix it with some low fat mayonnaise and then add a bit of relish or chopped pickles plus some chopped boiled egg for a delicious tuna salad that everyone can enjoy. Tuck in some lettuce or cheese for an extra hearty pocket.

    Creative Sandwiches

    Who said a sandwich had to come between two pieces of bread? (Okay, that may be the technical definition, but who's checking.) A pack of tortillas kept in the refrigerator lasts much longer than a loaf of bread. If you don't pack sandwiches often, these are a better choice. They also come in a variety of flavors to match your lunchmeat creations. Try these options:
    • Make a sliced chicken or turkey sandwich even more special by adding some cranberry sauce to the mayonnaise.
    • Add relish to mayonnaise or French dressing for a special sauce flavor.
    • Don't just make a turkey or ham sandwich. Layer meats and cheeses to create a hoagie. If there's a leftover dinner roll or French bread, make a real hoagie treat for lunch.

    Love Those Leftovers

    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.

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    November 21, 2004 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    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.

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    September 26, 2005 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    I get bored with lunch, I need thrifty ideas and variety.

    Lucy from West Covina

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    September 29, 20050 found this helpful

    Here you go:

    http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf50232660.tip.html

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    February 18, 2010 Flag
    4 found this helpful

    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.

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    August 12, 2012 Flag
    1 found this helpful

    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.

    Lunch box with lemon squeeze bottle as ice pack.

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    November 14, 2011 Flag
    2 found this helpful

    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.

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    September 11, 2008 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    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.

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    January 11, 2005 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    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.

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    March 1, 2013 Flag

    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.

    lunch chart

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    March 19, 2005 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    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.

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    January 9, 2005 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    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.

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    December 16, 2004 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    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.

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    December 9, 2004 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    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!

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    September 9, 2010 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    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!

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