Lunch Series - Tips to Keep it Fast and Frugal

According to Pinterest, there are real people, who actually cut their kids sandwiches into Disney characters, make everything from scratch and still have time to tuck a loving note into their kids perfect lunch everyday! 

Just this morning, one of my friends posted on Facebook about all the tears in their house trying to get 3 kids ready for school and out the door! 

I've been there!

Sometimes lunches don't get packed the night before and I am multi-tasking breakfast, lunches and bathroom battles.

I have learned to prepare for chaos- it's not a matter of IF craziness will happen, but when.

I want to give you a few tips to make lunch making something you can do without thinking.

1) Stock the house- I have one drawer that has foil, wrap, sandwich bags, plastic cutlery, napkins etc.  I also keep extra paper lunch bags for times when kids forget their lunchboxes at school.

Another cupboard in my house has crackers, granola bars, protein bars, puddings, fruit snacks and ingredients to make snack mixes and popcorn.

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2) You could make a pretty decent lunch with stuff that I stock in the freezer. 

- breads, bagels, tortillas and buns

- yogurt tubes, cheese strings, drinkable yogurts

- lunch meats, sausage, chopped and cooked chicken

- store bought and homemade frozen dinners

When we manage to have leftovers at dinner, I divide them into a couple containers.

I put the starch on the bottom, like rice or potatoes, then the protein and then cover it any leftover sauce and top with extra veggies. 

A few days ago I had leftover quinoa/wild rice, topped with sweet and sour chicken and a few brussel sprouts. 

My kids can pull it from the freezer & microwave it at school. 

Ready made veggie & dip packs can be very expensive, especially if your making 3 or 4 lunches a day.

I make my own. 

I found these containers at Dollorama and so far, the lid stays secure.

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Just in case, I put mixed veggies like peppers, carrots and sugar snap peas in a bag, add salad dressing to the containers and then put the container inside the veggie bag. This prevents a huge mess, in case the lids come off. 

A lot of times, my kids prefer water to juice boxes.

I buy cases of water either at Costco or wherever I can find them on sale (around 10 cents a bottle). 

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My daughter also has a Contigo cup that I fill half full with ice and then the rest with water. These cups never leak! 

 

Here is another lunch box idea: 

 

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Frozen cooked chicken on the bottom right (will be thawed by lunchtime), homemade chocolate chip muffin, 1/2 of a peach.

On the left is crackers and a container of BBQ sauce to pour over the chicken.  

This lunchbox I found at Save On Foods last year, but I've seen them at other stores.

I guess what I'm trying to show you, is that preparation goes a long way.

It's more important that your kids get lunch, not that it was Pinterest worthy.

Keep your perspective parents, if your kids get a healthy lunch everyday, they are blessed. 

Especially if you still have your wits about you and a smile on your face as they walk out the door!