Nov 02 2007

Let’s talk about lunch!

Rose Mary had a question for me:
I ran across your blog a couple weeks ago. Very impressive and informative. I was wondering since you began your $35 weekly menu budget, what kind of foods do you send with your husband to work. I have plenty ideas for the basic lunch part since we usually bring it to him so my son can spend time with him.(Our schedules are different.) But I can’t seem to think of snacks. He has three breaks and usually needs something to pull him though since he has a very physical-labor job. I would appreciate any ideas. I am sorry if I gave you to much informtion. Thank you very much.
Rose Mary
It might sound crazy, but I love packing lunch for my husband. He really enjoys it, and he says he feels really loved. If you don’t already pack your husband’s lunch or your own, consider doing it a few times per week, and then build up to doing it all of the time. You’ll save so much money from avoiding restaurant food (or vending machine food…yeesh). Plus, you’ll eat healthier.

I typically pack his lunch as I’m putting away the dinner leftovers. This week, as I packed up leftover taco soup, I put some in a single-serving size microwave-safe container. I put the rest of the soup in a large container to freeze, and then another few small containers to eat this week. I threw in a yogurt, fruit snack, and some corn chips to eat with the soup, a spoon and put the lunch box in the fridge. In the morning, he grabs that and puts two little frozen packs in there to keep it cold.

Packing a lunch right after dinner seems to save time, and I’m less likely to forget about it.

For the most part, I usually pack dinner leftovers as his main course for lunch. He has a microwave at work, so this makes it easy to reheat things.

I asked him what sorts of other things he might like to eat. This is important, because he’s the one eating it. Naturally, he will know what he wants to eat!

Some smaller items I include that could be eaten with the meal or as a snack throughout the day include:

  • Yogurt
  • Jell-o
  • Applesauce
  • A hard-boiled egg (I cook several of these at a time in my food steamer)
  • Easy fruit, such as an apple or banana
  • Fruit salad
  • Fruit snacks (not healthy at all, but he requested them)
  • Granola bars
  • Cookies
  • Crackers (with cheese, peanut butter, or cream cheese)
  • Pretzels
  • Tortilla chips and salsa or bean dip
  • Raw vegetables, such as carrots, celery, broccoli, with a ranch dip
  • Even a peanut butter & jelly (or banana, marshmallow creme or nutella) sandwich cut in half could be a quick snack

These are just a few ideas. What else can you suggest?

Posted under Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Let’s talk about lunch!”

  1. I pack my and my husband’s lunch every morning-a lunch meat sandwich with a slice of cheese in each, and tortilla chips for a side. If we have treats in the house- cookies or brownies- one of those gets thrown in too. A drink goes in my husband’s lunch, and a water bottle. At my work, we have free drinks. If there are leftovers to pack, I pack them instead of a sandwich, but I cook in such a way that we rarely have leftovers.

    I try not to buy pre-packaged snacks (like pudding or applesauce) that 1)are more expensive than if I put a bit of applesauce in a small container, 2)create more waste with the packaging, 3)require me to pack an utensil which could get lost, and 4)probably contain unneeded (and unwanted) chemicals & preservatives.

    I pack the lunch in the morning because I don’t like the way the bread dries out in the fridge overnight. I’m a morning person, so I don’t mind getting up a little early- especially if it means neither of us are eating out, which means we’re saving at least $10+ a day, total AND we’re getting home earlier to each other, because we’re not taking time on our lunch breaks to go out & fight traffic or order food. It works well all around!

  2. I pack my son’s (20) lunch. He was working night shift this week which meant he ate supper at about 6:00 and left to be at work from 7 to 7. So as I was cleaning up supper I put in his lunch bag what we had for supper. One night he got one hotdog with the fixins, 2 slices of pizza, and chips. Another night he got pork chops, and salad. It is hard to come up with different foods each day though!

  3. Great post! Thank you for all the tips. My husband has lunch included with his job, but I need to pack my own lunch. Usually I just end up throwing in leftovers from earlier in the week, with whatever piece of fruit/vegetable/sweet item I can find in the house!

  4. Since dear hubby and I are so busy, sometimes I “make leftovers” so we have quick items for lunches/dinners at work or school (I work full time and go to school full time). I will cook up a batch of something on Sunday, like turkey chili or enchiladas or some sort of meat and rice and veggies or meat and noodles or something, and pack in small gladware containers. Then I add a piece of fruit and something like a string cheese or granola bar and we’re set. DH also likes to take sandwiches a lot.

  5. Kacie,
    Thanks so much for answering my question. You gave a few extra ideas. My husband is not picky so when I ask him what to send with him, he says ‘I like anything you fix.’ So it is hard to think of things when he so vague,but I do know he does get bored with the same old things. So thanks very much.
    Rose Mary

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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