Friday, January 16, 2009

Frugal Friday - Brown Baggin' it

When I was working full time, I was amazed at many of my co-workers who would go out to lunch EVERY day! Even if you can get a cheap $5.00 meal, that adds up to $100.00 in a month! Yikes!

I will admit I like to go out from time to time, but it is so much more frugal to brown bag it! Now I work two days per week and I live close enough to run home for lunch, which is great. My hubby on the other hand works much further, so I pack his lunch every day.

So, what do you put in a brown bag?

Kids lunches:

-sandwiches (pb&j, meat, etc.)

-carrot sticks

-cookies

-muffins

-cheese and crackers

-popcorn

Work lunches:

-same as kids lunches

-leftovers (this is what my husband takes most of the time because they have a microwave at his office)

-cans of soup, chili, ravioli, etc.

Do I ever get sick of packing lunches? You bet! I have come up with some ways to make things easier:

-make cookies, put into individual baggies, and freeze. I just throw these in his lunch and they are thawed by lunchtime.

-peel and cut a whole bag of carrots, put into individual baggies with a bit of water. I put them into his lunch all week.

-buy a huge bag of pretzels, then put individual serving sizes into baggies. Just grab the bag and throw it into his lunch.

Most of the time there will not be convenience foods in his lunch, unless I can get them for super cheap for free. That includes fruit snacks, pudding, yogurt, individual bags of chips, granola bars, etc. Although I don't have kids in school who are packing lunches, I don't recommend using these types of foods in kids lunches because 1. they can expensive and 2. they come to expect "fun" foods instead of healthy home made ones.

Check out some of these links for ideas:

Web MD - 15 Fresh Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

My Money Blog - Frugal Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

Dollar Stretcher - Lunches to Love

How about you?

What are your favorite things to pack in a brown bag lunch?

2 comments:

Brooke said...

i do soups (kroger had them on sale $1.25, and i have a $0.25 coupon - since they double, i had a $0.75 lunch).

and to avoid burn out i meet my mother once a week to eat fast food.

Olivia said...

I make a lunch for my guy every day; I cook an extra serving for him when I make dinner. I also try to throw in a sweet treat; either a cookie or candy left over from his daughter. When I make muffins, I send enough for him to share on the first day, then one every day.

As for me, I'm lucky enough to be taken out to lunch at least 3 days a week from my advisors; on the other days, I keep soup or turkey hotdogs or a Smartones frozen dinner. When I get low, I just remember to bring in more of whatever. It has came in handy more than once for someone in the office too.

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