Sunday, November 13, 2011

How I Save Time And Stress Packing Lunches

I've tried sending pre-frozen and thawed sandwiches to school in my daughter's lunchbox, but they always come home half eaten.  She says they don't taste very good to her.  So for the past few weeks, I've been making up a few sandwiches at a time instead of just making one (I truly despise making sandwiches, so if I can do it just once a week and have it out of the way, then I'm thrilled!)

Today, I decided that instead of the usual two or three days worth, I was going to go ahead and knock out the whole week.  I didn't want her to have to eat the same thing every day, though, so I tried to give her a little bit of variety.  The only type of lunch meat I had on hand today was smoked ham, so I made her three ham and cheese sandwiches, and two peanut butter sandwiches (she then requested one have grape jelly and the other strawberry).

I tossed all five of these into the lunchmeat drawer in the fridge.  Then after dinner, I let her pick which sandwich she wanted to bring tomorrow, as well as a fruit (that way there's no 'but I didn't want an orange, I wanted an apple' conversation later.)  I realize as a 5 year old she is very likely to change her mind by lunch the next day, but like her teacher tells her, she needs to make good choices. ;)

Then I let her pick a juice (I try to keep two types on hand), and a snack.  Today we only have cheese crackers, so she didn't have a choice in that.  I've also been letting her bring *one* Halloween candy each day, so by the end of this week we should be done with those.  She didn't have a ton to begin with, but spreading them out this way prevented her gorging on them.

I also like having them pre-made because in the event that we forget to pack it up in her lunchbox the night before, its very easy to grab it all and toss it in there in the morning instead of having to break out the bread and mayonnaise.

Do you have any time/sanity saving tips to share for getting school lunches packed?  Do you have any kid approved freezer lunch ideas?  I'd love to hear them!


Dolores Brister November 13, 2011 at 10:40 PM  

I think this is an AWESOME idea! When my daughter was taking her lunch everyday, I was shopping at Sam's so that she had lots of choices in prepackaged stuff that she could have available. I have an old dresser in my garage and we kept chips in one drawer and sweet stuff in another. Even though she was in the sixth grade, she asked for me to buy the smaller sized items so that she had time to finish them at lunch time.

Keep up the good work, MOM!

Amanda November 13, 2011 at 10:55 PM  

Thanks Dolores! I've let my Sam's membership lapse, but I'm going to try to keep an eye on those subscribe and save deals on Amazon! Or just coupon more. I've gotten into a whole new category of items I need to buy. =)

cricketscts November 14, 2011 at 4:02 PM  

I used to do this too when we had school age kids at home. Don't forget to make yourself a sandwich and 1 for your 2 old too. Have you trained her yet to bring those Ziploc bags home and put them in the fridge to use again next week? LOL

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