A Trick to Save Money and Reduce Waste When Packing Lunches

I regularly pack lunches and snacks for my kiddos for when we’re out and about, on play dates or running errands, so that we’re not stuck running through a drive-through. I’m glad that I still have one more year before my daughter starts kindergarten and I’ll have to pack her lunch on a daily basis. But, I’m already starting to pick up tips and tricks from others to make lunch packing as quick and easy as possible.

My green sensibilities encourage me to try to reduce waste as much as possible when packing a lunch, so I like to use reuse things as much as I can. And my frugal sensibilities mean that I don’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive lunch packing gear. I recently learned a trick for packing lunches and snacks that helps me both save money and reduce waste at the same time.

There are lots of items that we pack for lunches and snacks that are the same time after time, like dried fruit, crackers, and nuts. My trick is that I label a Ziploc bag for each of these food items and then I reuse the same Ziploc bag for packing the same item over and over, without having to rinse or wash them out.

Now, I only do this for dry foods that don’t make a mess inside the baggie, and that I can shake any crumbs out if I need to. I wouldn’t reuse a bag that had a PB&J sandwich in it and got peanut butter or jelly on the inside of the bag.

Some people do wash and reuse their Ziploc bags, but this trick allows me to reuse bags without a lot of time or effort put into washing them, and reduces waste and saves me money at the same time.

I also used this trick for other foods that I store in baggies in the fridge, like blocks of cheese, and freezer, like muffins, pancakes and waffles. I simply reuse bags for the same food items, instead of getting a new baggie every time I have new food to store.

I love finding easy ways to save money, reduce waste, and make things easier at the same time, and this definitely helps me quickly pack snacks and lunches for my kids!

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Emily writes about green and natural living at Live Renewed.
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