PB & J Again?

Post by community member:

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.

IMG_3472

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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