The Hungry Family

Feeding My Family Body and Soul

Home Lunches Made Easy

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Hey there.

Our first day of school is this week and we couldn’t be more excited. Well, some of us could be more excited, but that’s because some of us are teenagers and we don’t get excited about much. 🙂

One of the big changes around here this year is that we are going to pack a home lunch instead of taking school lunches. Let me start off by saying, I have no problem with school lunches. They have served my kids well for that last few years and I am grateful to the lunch workers that continually put together meals for my children.

The decision to go to home lunch was purely mathematical. I have 4 – count them 4 – kids who need lunch. At $40 each, that’s $120/month for lunches. Multiply that by 9 months and you get $1,080. Now, I figured we could pack them home lunches for about half that and, BOOM! $540 in my pocket! So we are brown bagging it this year.

My kids are all old enough that they can pack their own lunch, but we’ve packed home lunches before and the pantry looks like a 5-year-old had the best day of their life in there when it’s all said and done. I wanted to avoid that this year, so I set up a LUNCH STATION on a shelf they can all reach. Take a look.

lunch shelf

As you can see, I have a basket for something sweet, a fruit cup, lunch bags, crackers, and a small jar for milk money. If you look on the right, I’ve got a good stock of peanut butter for sandwiches (red lids.) There’s enough here to last us at least two weeks. They will need to grab a bag of peas or something out of the fridge to complete the lunch, but overall, this will make it much easier for us all and it only took about 15 minutes to put together.

I think this can be transferred to anyone’s home. You could use a cupboard or counter space if you have it. You could also dedicate a shelf in the fridge – crackers won’t go bad because they are cold. Do you use a lunch shelf? I’d love to hear how you organize to make making lunches easier for you or your kids. Just leave a comment below.

 

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Author: Christina Dymock

Award-winning author of The Hungry Family Slow-Cooker Cookbook, One Dirty Bowl, The Academic Bride, Undercover Engagement, Young Chefs, 101 Things to Do with Popcorn, and the Widow's Mite.

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