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PB & J Again?

Submitted by: kellyb on October 20, 2011
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5
PB & J Again?

School has been in session for several weeks now and you’ve already made 50 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Is there anything new that the kids will eat that isn’t the expensive pre-packaged lunch kits? Here are some lunch bag tips that help guarantee your kids will eat their lunch …




School has been in session for several weeks now and you’ve already made 50 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Is there anything new that the kids will eat that isn’t the expensive pre-packaged lunch kits? Here are some lunch bag tips that help guarantee your kids will eat their lunch and save you a wallet full of money.

Those snack bags of munchies cost a lot and aren’t very healthy! As a single mom, with three kids in school, I quickly learned to make my own by:

  • Pre-packaging chips, pretzels, animal crackers etc. into sandwich bags at the beginning of the week. Have the kids help on the weekends. Keep them in a big container or basket and just throw them in the lunch box in the morning. At our house these are called “snacks in baggies”.
  • snacks in baggies

    snacks in baggies

    They let you control the portions and make great snacks as well.

  • Make up yogurt and pudding and put in small plastic containers for the week. Make a large batch of granola bars, cookies, pumpkin bread, banana bread, muffins and then divide and put them in sandwich bags. Freeze in freezer bags and then pull them out and use as needed.
  • IMG_3448

    homemade pumpkin muffins

  • Brownie bites are simple to make. Bake brownies in mini-muffin pans and put these “brownie bites” in a sandwich bag for each child’s lunch. They freeze well too!
  • Make your own juice boxes. Fill a plastic water bottle half full of juice the night before and freeze. Then remove from freezer and fill the rest of the way. The juice will be cold when they are ready to drink it and it keeps their food cold too.
  • Clean vegetables, slice into pieces then bag. Have them ready for lunches and snacks a week at a time; saves money and time.
  • lunch

  • Purchase cheese in blocks and cut up into pieces and put in sandwich bags.
  • Think outside the bread bag! Use bagels, tortillas and wraps for sandwiches.
  • Don’t forget the most important lunch box item, “I love you” notes and words of encouragement.

It’s possible to pack interesting, nutritious lunches that won’t have you slaving in the kitchen the night before and don’t require a second mortgage.

I wrote the above article for our company newsletter 8 years ago. Time sure flies but the principles stay the same. Control what you include in your child’s or spouse’s lunch box to save money and provide delicious and nutritious lunches.

My husband takes last night’s leftovers for lunch. He avoids grabbing something unhealthy at one of the fast food restaurants knowing he has a delicious lunch waiting at the office.


DH’s lunch

I was just talking with one of my daughter’s friends a few weeks ago. She asked if I still make snacks in baggies. I had to laugh, I haven’t packed a school lunch in over 5 years but that question certainly brought back a lot of memories. My oldest daughter is starting her second year of teaching, so she’ll be packing her lunch. The friend who inquired about snacks in baggies is beginning her second year in medical school and wanted some tips on packing lunches. I gave her all of the above suggestions and more. This is the perfect opportunity to pack a few lunches and a great reminder for me to pack my lunch to eat healthier and save a bunch of money.

What are your favorite lunch bag foods? How do you make lunch time special? As a fellow CiTRer, what do you include in your child’s lunch that’s homemade and good for them?

You can also find kellyb blogs at Yahoo’s Canning2.

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9 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 10-20

    I used to do this, too. My little one always wanted me to buy “Lunchables” and asked why do they sell them? I told them because people were too lazy to make them. I, too, had the kids help make them up. We used tortilla chips and jarred cheeze sauce or salsa and packed in condiment cups and apples and peanut butter. I also packaged cereal to go for b-fast at daycare.

  2. 10-20

    PB&J I wish! Here in Kanawha County, all peanuts and peanut products have been outlawed due to the fact that out of 26,000 kids, about 8 have peanut allergies. This is Big Brother going much too far, and the vast majority of the kids suffering for it.

  3. 10-20

    These are good ideas to share with my daughter for the kids lunches. I like the juice bottle/ice pack idea!I’m gonna get her some of those mini muffin pans. Only idea comes to mind is kids like Apple slices and you need to store those in a little lemon juice so they don’t turn brown.

  4. 10-20

    My mom did a lot of these things for me when I was growing up. There was always a napkin with a nice note written on it, but rather than have to waste paper napkins, she used permanent marker on cloth napkins. The words of encouragement meant just as much, and there were a variety of phrasings that she used.

  5. 10-20

    I don’t have any children yet, but as my husband is in construction and needs to carry cold lunches since he doesn’t have a microwave, I pack them the same way my mother did for me as a child. We always buy his snacks in bulk and pre-package as suggested above. For sandwiches, instead of using plastic bags, we found a fabric wrap mat that folds around the sandwich and fastens with Velcro (can be found here: It doubles as a place mat as well, which is great!
    Now that it’s getting cold though, I’m hoping to come up with some meal ideas I can send in a thermos to warm him up at lunch…

  6. 10-20

    I knew everyone would have great ideas. I love the idea of the cloth napkin and permanent marker. What a memory that would be.

    Soups, stews, pastas, etc would be great in a thermos for your hubby.

    The girls at work asked me to teach them a class on packing a lunch. If you would see what they manage to survive on! Not one of the 7 ladies I work with cooks. I’ll be looking forward to even more of your ideas.

  7. 10-20

    I also love to use the fabric wrap mat that folds up over sandwiches. Great way to reduce waste.

    And to “Jerry” who thinks “the vast majority of kids are suffering” from not being allowed to bring peanut butter or peanut products to school…how would you feel if it was your child who could DIE from ingesting a peanut product?!? Would you want the kid sitting next to yours to be eating something that your chid was allergic to? Cross contamination is a scary thing for a child with food allergies. People need to take this matter more serious. There are plently alternatives for school lunches.

  8. 10-22

    Great post, kellyb. No kids in our house, but I bring my lunch to work every day and my honey often does as well. I’ve found, to my surprise, that green salads keep surprisingly well in the fridge for several days, so I’ll make one up on the weekends, then bring salad for lunch during the week. I just put some in a container, add some protein (meat, cheese, or beans), maybe some pasta, and put some dressing in the smallest size of canning jar. The jar never leaks, even when I bring oil and vinegar dressing.

    It always mystifies me that most people I work with don’t bring a homemade lunch. Either they go out and buy it or bring some sort of frozen premade thing–either way they’re eating overprocessed, overpriced junk. And it’s so easy to put together a nice homemade lunch of leftovers the night before, then grab it in the morning.

  9. 10-22


    I was just sitting here thinking of what I wanted to make for the weekend. I have a huge salad on my list thanks to your comment. I appreciate the help!

    Our office is the same way. I’m the only one who brings lunch. I swear the one girl lives on Mt. Dew and Doritos. The little boxes of frozen things they bring are really expensive and smell terrible. The one girl seems serious in wanting to learn to cook though so I’m coming up with some simple ideas for crockpot meals and easy type dinners. Hope it helps!

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