School Lunches Made Cheap and Easy

I hate making school lunches, not because making lunches is hard, but because making them while simultaneously checking spelling words and preparing dinner is dreadful.

Sure, I could always rely on the convenience of the school cafeteria with its delicious array of fish sticks and mystery meatloaf, but I’d rather know what’s inside my child’s lunch. Plus, buying lunch every day for two kids can add up fast! Lunches from home it is.

In an effort to simply the lunch-making process, I considered buying ready-bagged chips, cookies, sliced apples, and anything and everything else available to create a “grab and toss” situation. The problem with all the ready-bagged foods is that they are very expensive and often, filled with preservatives. Why would I spend $8 on a box of ready-bagged chips when I can get 10 bags’ worth for $2.99?

I discovered that with a little preplanning I can bag up a week’s worth of lunches at one time and create my very own “grab and toss” approach to school lunch preparation.

I’ll tell you how I do it; I have two kids so I set aside Ziploc bags for each lunch item for every school day of the upcoming week:

10 sandwich bags for chips or crackers (5 bags for each kid, Monday-Friday)

10 sandwich bags for bagged fruit

10 snack bags for cookies

5 snack bags for 1/2 sandwiches for BooBoo

5 sandwich bags for whole sandwiches for Boy Wonder

Then I bag like a fool with the help of my kids. Counting bags and cookies with BooBoo is a great way to reinforce counting too!

The kids are proud to help me in the kitchen while I’m secretly teaching them how to be self-sufficient school lunch makers. They’re getting so good at making their own lunches; soon they won’t need me anymore! (Score one for mom!)

How do you simplify making school lunches?

A big thanks to Ziploc for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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