Friday, September 30, 2011

An Update on My New Lunch Experiment

When I posted my menu plan this week I was going to try something new.  I decided to experiment by making all of my kid's lunches for the week on Sunday night.  My inspiration was from Life as a Mom.  I posted a picture of it to Facebook and several of my friends wanted to hear how the sandwiches were towards the end of the week, you know after they had been in the fridge for a while.

First let me tell you what I did.  I bought 12 containers.  They were 6 for $4.59 at Meijer.  I decided on two lunches.  One lunch consisted of half of a peanut butter sandwich (some of my kids like jelly and some don't so I made it easy on myself), grapes and carrot sticks.  The other lunch was a homemade lunchable with Aldi "Ritz" crackers, lunch meat, grapes and carrots.  The crackers were in the separate compartment so they would not get wet and soggy.

The verdict:
I made them on Sunday night.  As of Thursday the sandwiches were still good.  By Friday they were slightly dry but my kids did not notice and ate them anyway.  The grapes and carrots of course stayed fresh.  The crackers will still crispy and the lunchmeat was still good.

Now, first off I have small children so they don't eat a lot.  If you have bigger kids you would want a whole sandwich and maybe you might fill a plastic bag with extras like chips or something, but you could still do that on Sunday night and keep those in the cabinet.  And have your kids help you.  My daughter did the grapes for me.

I will tell you this is by far my best experiment.  Lunches were way too easy.  I only fixed drinks and had the children grab their lunches from the fridge.  Now, I do have an extra fridge in my garage so it was convenient for me.  If you only have one fridge and lots of kids this might not work as well for you but it is honestly worth clearing out a little space in your fridge for it!

I just always dreaded lunches.   Now I don't!  Another benefit that my husband pointed out is that if they don't eat all of their food we just put the lid back on and when they are hungry again we just tell them to eat the rest of their lunch.  Another bonus - when it came time to pack a lunch for my son's school day (he only goes 2 days a week), I just threw it in his lunchbox.  Yet another bonus, when we had to go somewhere I just grabbed the containers and we either ate on the go or at whatever place we were planning to be - saving money by not eating out!  I had no excuses because the lunches were already done.

Now I do think if you made your kids lunchmeat sandwiches they would get soggy pretty quickly but they  might hold out (anyone try that?).  I may try to think up other things I could put in these containers but for now, this works pretty well and I haven't had any complaints yet.

If you have any ideas as to what other easy lunches would work for me I would love to hear them!


  1. Love this idea! I read somewhere that ice packs don't really keep lunches cold enough and recommeded putting sandwiches in the freezer and they'd thaw by lunchtime. Maybe this would work best for lunchmeat sandwiches (might help pb and j from drying out too)? I'm not sure how that works with lettuce/mayo etc? My kids aren't needing packed lunches yet, but i might need to try this out for my husband's work lunch!

  2. @Jessica
    I might try the frozen sandwich thing. I have tried it before with pb&j. Funny thing is we do stay home most days but I just didn't like fixing lunch everyday.

  3. This is a good idea and the kids probably enjoy their little lunches in special containers.

    I make my husband's 4 sandwiches for the week all on Monday morning, and he never has complained. I make them with ham or turkey lunch meat, a slice of cheese, mayo and mustard, and pack them in individual Tupperware sandwich keepers. I often wrap cookies, portion chips or pretzels, and put fruit in containers for the whole week, too.

    He used to take a can of pop every day, but then I decided to send tea or lemonade in a good leakproof bottle. He always gets ice in a glass at work anyway.

    His lunch consists of:
    Fruit or veggie - such as banana, apple, pear, peach, cut melon, strawberries, grapes, carrot sticks, celery with peanut butter, or a small salad; sometimes when I run out of fresh fruit, I send applesauce or canned fruit in a small container.
    Chips or pretzels
    Dessert - such as 2 cookies, a small piece of cake or cupcake, a packaged pudding cup.

    I discovered that making the sandwiches at once saves time in getting out the items, opening and closing packages, etc.

  4. Those seem like a great idea. I don't have kids, but on a busy work week or something it would be great to have all my lunches ready on Sunday and just have to grab it in the morning. All too often I get busy in the mornings and forget to make myself something to bring for lunch at work.


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