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Old 07-21-2013, 08:41 AM   #1
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School lunch ideas, on the CHEAP!

My kids are starting s new school. A great school in every way, except for their lunch menu. I just can't let it slide, so I somehow must squeeze their lunches into our budget. We already struggle with what little money we have for groceries, so I need very inexpensive lunch ideas.

No peanut butter
Neither kid is happy with sandwiches often.
I will be adding assorted fruit and veggies slices.


My limited thoughts are
cheese crisps/ quesadillas
cheese cubes w/ crackers
dinner left overs
yogurt


Any better ideas?
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:53 AM   #2
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Re: School lunch ideas, on the CHEAP!

Subbing. Ds is starting kindergarten in 2 weeks OMG!
lucklily this child begs for sandwiches, but I want variety
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:01 AM   #3
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Yeah, I wish my kids were cool with sandwiches. DS loves, loves, LOVES pb sandwiches, but that's a no go
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:08 AM   #4
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No sandwiches and no peanut butter . . . Can you do hard boiled eggs? Try making tea eggs or some version. They look really pretty and you could call them dinosaur eggs. Or carrot sticks and pita bread dipped in hummus (especially if you make your own hummus). Applesauce is fairly cheap too, especially if you dish it out in your own containers. I would make my own yogurt cups too: buy the large plain yogurt and mix with jam or honey and chopped up fruit (fresh/frozen/canned) and dish out in 2 or 4 oz containers.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: School lunch ideas, on the CHEAP!

Buy lots of very small plastic containers. That way you can do lots of options in small portions or separate things that would go soggy (salad and dressing, homemade lunchables, etc)

I collect sauce packets and salt and pepper packets from fast food places. I'll go in and get them even if I haven't eaten there
Wendy's has sea salt and pepper packets that are perfect for hb eggs. Quite a few sauces can make hb eggs more interesting and palateable (some kids hate the yolks, I've taught mine to put lots of salt on them and follow them with water).

I don't like mayo so I use soft cream cheese in almost any place I'd use mayo. I know even with a cold pack people are suspicious of mayo. Egg salad sandwich. Soft cream cheese blended with chopped hb eggs and salt and pepper.

Can you do other nut butters? Sunflower butter is very similar to peanut butter. Nutella? Almond or cashew, etc?

Hummus is a great sandwich spread or dip.

Blend herbs (or a ranch packet) into cream cheese, spread onto tortillas and fill with lunchmeat and veggies. Roll up.

Celery with cream cheese.

Cream cheese and jelly sandwich.

Leftover pancakes with butter. (I make pancakes [and biscuits, etc] from scratch, super easy, saves quite a bit compared to buying mixes)

Buy ham cut thickly at the deli. Cut into squares or fun shapes with a cookie cutter. Slice cheese. Serve with crackers. DIY lunchable. Just be sure the crackers are in thier own container so they don't get soggy.

Leftovers are always good in a rushed morning. Cold spaghetti. Cold rice with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar or honey. Leftover oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins.

Potato salads. I make sweet potato salad, loaded with veggies (bell peppers, cilantro, red onions) and covered in a homemade chipotle sauce. German potato salad has also has no mayo.

Pasta salads. Spiral noodles, cubes of cheese, half cherry tomatoes, other diced veggies and italian dressing.

Mozarella sticks wrapped in lunchmeat.

Pizza roll up: tortilla spread with cream cheese, a drizzle of marinara, mozarella cheese and any other toppings.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sublime.mommy
Buy lots of very small plastic containers. That way you can do lots of options in small portions or separate things that would go soggy (salad and dressing, homemade lunchables, etc)

I collect sauce packets and salt and pepper packets from fast food places. I'll go in and get them even if I haven't eaten there
Wendy's has sea salt and pepper packets that are perfect for hb eggs. Quite a few sauces can make hb eggs more interesting and palateable (some kids hate the yolks, I've taught mine to put lots of salt on them and follow them with water).

I don't like mayo so I use soft cream cheese in almost any place I'd use mayo. I know even with a cold pack people are suspicious of mayo. Egg salad sandwich. Soft cream cheese blended with chopped hb eggs and salt and pepper.

Can you do other nut butters? Sunflower butter is very similar to peanut butter. Nutella? Almond or cashew, etc?

Hummus is a great sandwich spread or dip.

Blend herbs (or a ranch packet) into cream cheese, spread onto tortillas and fill with lunchmeat and veggies. Roll up.

Celery with cream cheese.

Cream cheese and jelly sandwich.

Leftover pancakes with butter. (I make pancakes [and biscuits, etc] from scratch, super easy, saves quite a bit compared to buying mixes)

Buy ham cut thickly at the deli. Cut into squares or fun shapes with a cookie cutter. Slice cheese. Serve with crackers. DIY lunchable. Just be sure the crackers are in thier own container so they don't get soggy.

Leftovers are always good in a rushed morning. Cold spaghetti. Cold rice with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar or honey. Leftover oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins.

Potato salads. I make sweet potato salad, loaded with veggies (bell peppers, cilantro, red onions) and covered in a homemade chipotle sauce. German potato salad has also has no mayo.

Pasta salads. Spiral noodles, cubes of cheese, half cherry tomatoes, other diced veggies and italian dressing.

Mozarella sticks wrapped in lunchmeat.

Pizza roll up: tortilla spread with cream cheese, a drizzle of marinara, mozarella cheese and any other toppings.
That potato salad sounds delist, gonna try it!
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:25 AM   #7
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Re: School lunch ideas, on the CHEAP!

My kids would actually eat the same thing every day (and they often do)

When Kearnan went to school he ate

apple slices or grapes
yogurt in a tube (they sell reusable tubes on amazon that you can freeze so it keeps the lunch cold too)
cheese cubes
whole grain crackers or whole wheat tortilla
baby carrots

He now also eats almonds and hard boiled eggs so if I sent him to school I might send those but I would ask before sending almonds as some schools that are peanut free don't allow other nuts.

He is also a huge fan of rice, he will eat it plain but he also loves home made sushi which you can make with just veggies in it for school lunches (avocado is quite good) or make rice balls with fried egg and veggie inside. Actually he likes cold omelets too.
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:28 AM   #8
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Check out the 100 days of real food lunch ideas. They are awesome!

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/201...lunch-roundup/
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:35 PM   #9
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Re: School lunch ideas, on the CHEAP!

Tuna and crackers, and leftover waffles with a little butter and honey, as well as mini bagels are big hits in my house. Good luck!
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:13 PM   #10
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Hummus with crackers, pita or veggies.cream cheese and raisins on crackers celery or bread, pasta veggie salad.
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