Wednesday, July 31, 2013

School Lunch Ideas

I've been packing lunches for a long time and for two reasons.

1.  To provide a healthy meal from home for the kids to eat.  There's still some high fructose corn syrup and other real food no-nos, but I think we're still doing a good job.

2.  To save money.  Lunch at the elementary school costs us 1.75 each.  My son who eats like a man is usually still hungry and gets extra for lunch.  The items priced individually costs more than the entire lunch so we were easily paying nearly 6.50 a day for lunch for two kids.  That would equal to about $130 a month.  My husband who is away most weeks adds another $200 a month on food.  We were already looking at $330 a month on food and none of it was for the house.  I'm pretty sure lunch is going up just a bit for the middle schoolers, too.

At the end of the last school year, I ordered these Bento type containers from Amazon that I mentioned in my lunch box packing love post.  I also ordered the silicon muffin liners.  Prior to that, I used a billion containers and plastic baggies.  (I've added making reusable sandwich and snack bags to my to do list.)  And yes those are paper Halloween muffin liners that I flipped inside out and stuck in the containers.  Thank God, I was able to order the real thing and likely spare my children the shame.  LOL. 

So at the end of the school year when my package arrived I decided I would take pictures and share our lunch box meals with everyone.  Then, I thought, "It's the end of the school year.  Nobody cares about lunch.  We're just trying to make it out the door."  I was anyway.  I think I wrote a check for the last week of school.

So here are the few lunchboxes we packed near the end of the year with our new containers.

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This year I'm going to try and get creative with lunches and try to put more combinations together so the kids don't get bored.  Occasionally, they still get to eat lunches at school if it's something they really want.  I'll give them a small budget for the month and they have to circle the meals they want on the school lunch menu.  If they want anything extra, they have to pay for it with their money.  However, one perk of AJ going to the middle school is the microwave.  I am so excited about that!  It opens up more lunch possibilities.