Thursday, July 9, 2009

Packing Lunch

Every weekday morning, I pack two lunches, one for me and one for Master for our workday lunch breaks. I'm sure I'm not alone in my lunch packing duties, and while it can be an incredibly frugal and healthy option, it can also be time-consuming on hectic mornings and can have the tendency to get a bit boring and repetitive.

Several years ago, it occurred to me that I needed to simplify the lunch routine and make it easier on weekday mornings. After thinking on it for a while, I came up with a plan. The first part of the plan involved buying more plastic containers, Master gave me permission to do so and we found a great set of the locking lid type at Costco. The extra containers give me enough of various sizes to pack 10 lunches at once (a week's worth).

Here's my plan:

  • On Sundays, I do as much prep work as possible. If we're having soup for lunch, I make the soup and divide it among the containers. If we're having salads, I pick from the garden, wash, chop and assemble the salads before packing them in the containers. I chop up snack items too, right now we have a ton of radishes in the garden, I quarter them and put them in containers for workday snacking.
  • We have a habit of eating some fruit every day with lunch too. If the fruit requires some prep work, I get that ready on Sunday and pack it up (draining of home canned fruit for instance). If the fruit can be packed whole (apples, pears, bananas), I just make sure its washed and ready for weekday morning packing.
  • I try to make snacks now and then for lunches as well. I do that on Sunday and divvy it up if necessary. Cookies, roasted seeds, nuts, etc. get split up into plastic bags and stored in a cabinet for quick packing.
  • Master likes to have sandwiches in His lunches often and those I do make each morning. On Sundays, I just make sure I have everything ready for quick assembly: lettuce is washed and ready to go, plenty of mayo on hand, meats and onions sliced, etc.

Having all that prep work done, doesn't generally take too long, and means that each workday morning, I can just grab our lunch bags; throw in a few containers, some silverware, and maybe a quick love note for Master and we're out the door with no muss, no fuss.

Since, I'm sharing my favorite lunch packing ideas, I figured I'd share one of Master's favorite lunch box treats: Peanut Butter Crispy Treats

  • 1 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 6 Cups Rice Crispy Type Cereal

Combine the sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until thin and bubbly. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until it melts. Pour this peanut butter mixture over the cereal, mixing well. Pour the entire mixture into a 9X13 pan and allow to cool. Cut into bars and enjoy!


  1. I do a lot of the next-day lunch prep right after dinner the night before. Mostly, that's because he likes to take the leftovers in his lunch so it's fairly easy-peasy. But I agree that pre-prepping makes the mornings a LOT less hectic.

    Do you have any tips on keeping fruit fresh?

  2. Awesome idea for crispy treats, one of those "Duh!" things where you wonder why you never thought of it. My partner tends to like his lunches very similar so we got five containers for sandwiches, and five small containers for the veggies. The rest is ready to rock. Great post!




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