The annual (or more often) packed lunch thread

The annual (or more often) packed lunch thread

Joined: May 21st, 2006, 4:46 am

August 10th, 2011, 2:27 pm #1

Let's hear your ideas for packed lunches.

Just a reminder that peanut butter and cold cereal will be available at the lowest SALE prices of the year for the next couple of weeks. Stock up if you can. Don't buy more peanut butter than you can eat before the "best before" date, because it has a tendency to go rancid.
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Joined: October 28th, 2005, 10:05 am

August 10th, 2011, 5:05 pm #2

I'm not stocking up too much on peanut butter because it's already cheap at Aldi but more than that I want to see if it is even allowed... I hear more and more schools are banning it due to allergies, so I want to see if that is the case here. I kind of hope not- DS only likes two kinds of sandwich- peanut butter (no jelly-ewww....) or ham.

DD is going into kindergarten- they only do half day here in this district so I will be sending her in with a snack and drink daily. My kids love granola bars but I usually preffer to send them with fruits and veggies- cheaper and I feel better about it. DD will eat yogurt, cut up cheese cubes with saltines, baby carrots with a small container of dip, pretzels, trail mix....
Last edited by SheilaPCT on August 11th, 2011, 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 25th, 2006, 12:07 am

August 10th, 2011, 10:19 pm #3

Let's hear your ideas for packed lunches.

Just a reminder that peanut butter and cold cereal will be available at the lowest SALE prices of the year for the next couple of weeks. Stock up if you can. Don't buy more peanut butter than you can eat before the "best before" date, because it has a tendency to go rancid.
DS #1 decided that he does like PB if there is bread and jam to go with it. Luckily (I guess!) there is.

For lunches I've been doing fruit,nuts, boiled eggs, canned salmon. Sometimes yogurt but it is a little precarious getting it to work.

DD often mixes nut butters, nuts, seeds and dried fruit into a bowl of fatty goodness and eats that in an emergency. She's only about 112 lbs, though, so an extra 500 calories isn't going to hurt her any.

We use a lot of leftovers for lunches, but that is tricky for me to get things to work without them going bad.
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Joined: June 25th, 2005, 4:29 pm

August 10th, 2011, 11:33 pm #4

Let's hear your ideas for packed lunches.

Just a reminder that peanut butter and cold cereal will be available at the lowest SALE prices of the year for the next couple of weeks. Stock up if you can. Don't buy more peanut butter than you can eat before the "best before" date, because it has a tendency to go rancid.
I am always looking for lunch ideas. DS is a picky eater who doesn't eat sandwiches, or cheese and crackers. He does like boiled eggs. I bought each of the kids a thermos this year. I am thinking ravioli, ramen noodles, soup. Does anyone have thermos ideas for kids?

DD likes sandwiches but she also enjoys just tuna salad or egg salad without bread. I also send her pepperoni and cheese or summer sausage and cheese.
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Joined: October 29th, 2005, 6:29 pm

August 11th, 2011, 12:10 am #5

Let's hear your ideas for packed lunches.

Just a reminder that peanut butter and cold cereal will be available at the lowest SALE prices of the year for the next couple of weeks. Stock up if you can. Don't buy more peanut butter than you can eat before the "best before" date, because it has a tendency to go rancid.
I will take leftovers if I happened to cook something the night before, make a tuna sandwich, simply take a can of tuna and some bread, etc. Or if I'm really lazy stop by the grocery store on the way in or the way home and pick up some individual sized lasagna or vegetable meals.
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Joined: August 3rd, 2010, 6:06 pm

August 11th, 2011, 2:01 am #6

Here's a C/P of a recent blog post of mine, in response to Len Penzo's annual blog post on the 10 most economical sandwiches for BTS:

http://lenpenzo.com/blog/id4220-my-3rd- ... wiches.htm




This makes for an interesting read, and clearly demonstrates that there have been some major price increases at the grocery store. While Fairfield county is an expensive area to live in and I can easily pay $8-$10/lb for Boars Head cold cuts at the local IGA, there ARE easy ways to significantly reduce the ingredient costs when packing sandwiches for lunches. Looking at the costs he listed, I am assuming he just tallied the normal prices that particular day at his store and that this is the same store he frequented the past 2 years, to keep the data relative.








-Peanut butter is cheapest NOW. 16.3-18 oz jars (read labels folks!) are $0.99-$2 everywhere (stock up accordingly)




-Jam/jelly is cheapest NOW. I just got 2, 2 lb jars of Smuckers grape jam for $0.49 each. Sale price is 99 cents this week, I had a $1 off on 2 cpn. My homemade jams are also very affordable, compared to commercially prepared products and there's no HFCS




-tuna: albarore is often on sale $1/can (again shrinking product), and chunk lite can be found for 50 cents. BTS promotions are on-take advantage




-Ham-past 2 weeks, hams have been on sale 99 cents-$1.49. Roast one, slice for sandwiches, grind some for deviled ham salad




-Swiss cheese: my price book limit on all cheese is $4/lb. I can get Deli ends for $2.79. Buy block cheese and hand plane for savings also. Eat whatever brand/type of cheese is on sale. use cpns. Want Swiss but Provolone is on sale? Switch.




-Roast beef: Buy a slightly larger roast (been averaging $1.89-$2.49 lately) and slice some for sandwiches. No need to pay $10 for BH




-Cheddar-see Swiss




-Eggs: this seems to be the month for egg promotions (see other recent posts). Maybe it's a BTS push. Regardless, I can get eggs for $1-$2/dozen. Fried egg sandwich, sliced hard boiled, egg salad with mayo




-Salami-we rarely buy. I suggest one of the alternatives suggested




-American cheese: the wrapped in plastic variety often is a loss leader at chain markets such as Shoprite. I stocked up on 4 ea yellow and white 16 slice/12 oz cheese in the late Spring. We still have some left. While the kids prefer this in melted sandwiches such as burgers, grilled cheese, tuna melts, they will tolerate it on sandwiches, although much prefering Deli counter, sliced Amer. I can get Deli ends @ $2.79/lb or a sale @ $3.99/lb. It freezes well. Agaiin, if Amer Deli cheese is $5.49/lb (avg price around here) but Munster is on sale for $3.49/lb-no question which to choose




-Turkey breast: I stock up on hotel turkey breasts @ 99/lb. roast and freeze 1/2 the breast for later, use 1/2 this week in sandwiches. BH turkey is easily $6.99 on SALE. Thanksgiving/Xmas turkey promotions are another option. Roast an extra turkey and freeze in 2 cup amounts, presliced for sandwiches. great for families who prefer dark meat, too. Best whole turkey price last year was 49/lb at Stop and Shop, limit one but they had this promotion serveral weeks in a row




-bacon-really has soared in price. Stock up when you have a deal. Shoprite just had their brand on sale this past week @ $1.99/lb pkg. , limit 4 per variety. I won't pay more than $3.50/lb pkg




-lettuce from the garden/CSA or if $2 or less for a dark leaf variety, for nutritional reasons




-tomatoes from garden/CSA or if $2.49 or less for vine ripened. In the Winter when the quality tanks and prices rise, we skip tomatoes




-bread-make your own (I use ABM's) or frequent the marked down rack/bakery thrift. I make 2 lb loaves of honey wheat for $1.33/loaf. I've also taught myself how to make rolls.




-mayo: I stock up when $2.50 or less/jar. I won't pay the $4.99 that they are asking




-mustard: 16 oz jar is 50 cents-$1 (go to the dollar store), stock up in may--July with BBQ promotions.




-I also suggest stocking up on BSCB-common sale price is $1.49-$2/lb. Broil/bake/grill some extra, slice on the bias for a sandwich filling. Use home roasted chicken (3rd week in a row Stop and Shop has had their label large roasters on sale for 99/lb) You can also use split chicken breasts (with the bone)on sale often @ 99/lb which equates $1.99 for BSCB (I have a BH & G cookbook that does a comparison chart on meats, this is where that info comes from). You can also chop cooked poultry for a ck/turk salad sandwich.








My main point is that you can easily make sandwiches for less than Penzo is promoting, through careful shopping, home preparation of meats/cheeses/eggs (who REALLY buys preboiled eggs??!?)/salads (IGA gets $6.99/lb for tuna mixed with some mayo-really?) I have made 6 lunches every school morning for years and I leave the house at 6:30 in the morning. The way to do this is to assemble what you can the night before, and work assembly line fashion.








Lady behind me at IGA yesterday had everything in individual packages: small water bottles, individual chip bags, individual snacks. You pay for that. A HS lunch is now $3.75 here. If I were to pack all these individual items and call that "lunch" or buy one of those lunchable products (not that there is even enough food in there for my teens), I'd be paying more than what the cafeteria charges.




Additionally, think outside of the brown paper sack: what about a tossed salad topped with some protein? A warmed up, leftover hotdog in a bun that is wrapped in foil (my kids love these)? A leftover burger done the same way?yogurt and fruit topped with granola?



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Joined: October 29th, 2005, 6:29 pm

August 11th, 2011, 2:19 am #7

I do stock shopping for work. EVERY time I checkout I get comments or questions about the contents of my cart, like where's the party going to be?
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Joined: August 3rd, 2010, 6:06 pm

August 11th, 2011, 2:37 am #8

this lady was with 2 kids and asking them, "do we need X, do we have Y?" She clearly was doing a mid week stock up.
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Joined: May 25th, 2006, 12:07 am

August 11th, 2011, 3:25 pm #9

I do stock shopping for work. EVERY time I checkout I get comments or questions about the contents of my cart, like where's the party going to be?
I've been asked if I run a B&B because I was buying so many eggs and cereal... :-| No... Just breakfast for the family...

The nice Hutterrite lady at the Farmer's market only smiles approvingly when we get 5 dozen eggs/ week.
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Joined: May 30th, 2006, 2:01 pm

August 11th, 2011, 3:55 pm #10

Let's hear your ideas for packed lunches.

Just a reminder that peanut butter and cold cereal will be available at the lowest SALE prices of the year for the next couple of weeks. Stock up if you can. Don't buy more peanut butter than you can eat before the "best before" date, because it has a tendency to go rancid.
http://shop.tastybite.com/Entres/c/TastyBite@Entrees

They sell these at Costco for much cheaper than the above link and they don't need to be refrigerated. I cook up about 10 pounds of B/S chicken breasts and freeze in 3oz packages to add to the Madras Lentils. Attn Kim: they are gluten free!

Now, I said that they don't have to be refrigerated.....but technically there are two servings in a pouch, so I do have to refrigerate the leftovers.

I will batch cook a lot of turkey chili and freeze in individual servings.

I will sometimes buy Lean Cuisine entrees when they are on sale. They are the only frozen meal I can stand...and some are REALLY good.

Obviously, I have a fridge and microwave at work.

Dh has started taking his lunch and he is often on the road at lunch time. I'm thinking about experimenting with a wide-mouth thermos to send soup and other hot meals with him. He eats waaaaaay too much fast food.
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