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Making Frugal Lunches
Save Money - Pack Your Own Lunches
So many people these days are trying to save money. I find that by packing lunches rather than eating out in restaurants or cafeterias can be very cost saving. Brown bag lunches do not have to be boring, and can be a healthier choice. After many years of making lunches I've learned how to pack a frugal lunch and will offer some suggestions that perhaps you've not thought about before.
Children's Frugal Lunches
When my three children were in school they all loved the Schneiders Lunch Mate Stackers. I didn't mind buying these when they were on sale for a dollar apiece, but when they were full price I found it difficult. After agonizing over the cost and what not, I started to make my own Lunch Mate Stackers. For those of you that are not familiar with these, they're similar to LUNCHABLES by Kraft.
There are various types of Lunchmate Stackers that you can purchase. They have ham, kielbasa, or turkey for the meat, along with cheese, crackers and a small Kit Kat chocolate bar. There is a Nacho cheese one that is made up of tortilla chips, cheese dip, and a chocolate bar.
Make Your Own Stackers or Lunchables
It was quite easy to make up my own by taking a zip lock or Tupperware divided container, and making up the Stakers myself. I would add the meat that my children liked along with cheese, crackers, and either some home made cookies or a small chocolate bar. For the Nacho Cheese one, I would buy a large bag or tortilla chips, a jar of cheese dip and make the individual Stacker lunches.
The thing I liked the most about making my own up was I could add carrot or celery sticks as well as fruit and omit the chocolate bar or cookies. My kids seemed to like my version of this stacker more so than the Schneiders one.
Easily take soup, stews, hot dogs, lasagna, and more to school or work in this thermos.
Cost Saving Lunch Ideas For Both Adults and Children
A food Thermos is one of the best investments you can make when it comes to packing a frugal lunch.
- Home made soups and stews are easy to make, and if you have room in the freezer, individual servings can be frozen in freezer bags or freezer containers. The same applies to spaghetti or lasagna.
- Hot dogs can be heated and inserted into a Thermos along with the water that you cooked them in to enjoy for lunch.
Save by what you purchase at the grocery store.
- Lunch and deli meats can be costly. The next time you buy a roast, chicken or turkey purchase these larger than what you would normally buy. Leftover meats make wonderful sandwiches or can be added to a salad.
- Rather than buying a small box of granola bars, purchase a large box and you'll find that this will save you money, or make you own granola bars. This would apply to cookies and other baked treats as well.
- Make up a fresh fruit salad instead of buying pre-packaged fruit cups.
- Everyone is going to need something to drink for lunch. Making up your own juice at home using a frozen concentrate, and using drink containers is definitely a frugal way to go. If coffee or tea is your drink of choice, both of these can be made at home and poured into a Thermos to keep them hot. Packing a soda or pop in your lunch is by far cheaper than buying one at a store or out of a vending machine.
Think About The Cost
Write down on a piece of paper what you currently spend on lunches in one column. Now cost out what lunches will cost if you pack a frugal lunch. You may be amazed at what you will save at the end of the week or month.