Food, Fresh Ideas, Frugal Living

Get out of the lunch packing rut!

 

I go through spurts when lunch packing is a dreaded task. This usually happens when I haven’t prepped at the beginning of the week, or at the end of the school year when I’m just over it!

Today I want to share with you my favorite lunch packing supplies and some basic tips to make lunch packing healthier and easier.

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It’s probably borderline overkill how much I love these things!

Ziplock Divided Lunch Containers

Jumbo Silicone Muffin Tin Liners

I actually use these items (pictured & linked above) together. The divided containers are really inexpensive. You can purchase them via the link I included or you can pick them up for the same price at Target. They are completely leakproof even within each compartment.  You will save money on baggies, the containers are simple to rinse out at the end of the day, and they make packing multiple lunches incredible easy and fast.

The jumbo silicone liners are a new purchase.  These fit into the large compartment of the ziplock containers to add more division and also seal to the lid to become leak proof.

I’ve been using the smaller liners for a while and they literally last forever!

Thirdly, I really like this smaller divided container for my younger child’s lunch when she wants to take her smaller lunchbox.

These aren’t advertised as leakproof but I’ve never had snacks or fruits and vegetables cross/leak to the other side or leak out of the container. I liked these so much that I went back to the store to purchase more.

Some of my other money and time saving routines include:

  1. Cutting and washing (in a white vinegar & water solution) fruits and veggies at the beginning of the week so they are ready to go when it’s time to pack lunch.
  2. Packing 2-3 days worth of lunches at a time.
  3. Making a double batch of banana muffins, corn dog muffins (or your favorite muffin) and freezing them. I pull them out when packing lunches the night before.
  4. Making a large batch of chicken and pasta, beans and rice, chili, or soup that can be taken in a warm thermos all week for a hot lunch. (Sometimes they just eat straight from the fridge and it’s room temp by lunch.)
  5. Make your own “Lunchables” with nitrate free turkey or ham, cheese and crackers. I don’t cut anything out in circles or fun shapes – I just roll up turkey slices and secure with a tooth pick. I also use the silicone muffin liners to hold cheese cubes.
  6. I pop a large batch of popcorn kernels on the stove and put them in individual baggies (or just into the large silicone liners in the ziplock containers).  This is healthy and a simple snack everyone loves. Sometimes I’ll sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on it because my kids love it that way.
  7. While I don’t usually put any sweets in the girls lunches – because I feel like they get a lot at school already – and we have dessert nightly at home – I try to include some healthier snack options.  Our favorites are:
    • Homemade Lara Bars
    • Pretzels
    • Popcorn
    • Gluten Free Crackers from Aldi
    • Nuts/or Trail Mix
    • Babybel Cheese

My kids always have some kind of main course item with protein, fruit/veg, a snack and the rare treat included. Is this ALWAYS the case? Of course not. They have leftover pizza, PB&J and cookies in their lunches just like anyone else..but ideally, and mostly – this is what we do.

Share some of your best lunch packing hacks!

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