How To Make Packed Lunches Easier (& cheaper!)

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Are you one of the many thousands who is guilty of rushing around in a morning desperately trying to figure out something you can put in your children’s lunch box last minute? If you end up all flustered and opt for buying school dinner because packed lunches just seems like too much of a hassle, take a look at the tips below to help make packed lunches easier (and cheaper!)

Getting Organised For School

It will ease the pressure, may get us to school on time and get you into the habit of getting organised so preparing pack up becomes quick and easy instead of feeling like a chore!

Start With A List And Go Shopping 

Just like I talk about in my beginners guide to meal planning, sit down with your kids and create a list of all the lunches they like. Ours are very basic and are mainly corned beef, cheese, jam or cooked chicken sandwiches in bread, wraps or breadcakes but it doesn’t have to stop there. Although it may be difficult to put together reheated leftovers and hope that they just keep warm in an insulated bag; you could always create a mixed salad, couscous or something similar. The key is to find lunch foods and snacks that your kids will eat that are also easy to pack. 

Once you have several different lunch ideas your kids like and will actually eat, you can simply rotate through them and make the ingredients part of your weekly shopping trips. 

Don’t forget to freeze anything you can too and avoid any fresh foods going to waste. We pop in the packed lunches frozen savouries for example. By the time lunch time comes around they are defrosted and ready to eat!

Pack Lunches The Night Before 

Another tip that I should really take a leaf out of my own book on is preparing pack lunches the night before. Mornings are busy and not always the perfect time to have to worry about what you put in yesterday or what it should be today. We should really try to pack them after dinner at night because when the kids go to bed I do not want to move!

You can even get the kids involved and have them help with lunch prep )and clean-up afterwards!). Don’t forget you can store cold items in the fridge and have everything else sitting in the lunch box ready to go. It wouldn’t actually take us long to get into a rhythm of preparing lunches whilst we are cleaning up after dinner. I know I will appreciate this new habit in the morning when all we need to do is grab a couple of things from the fridge and chuck themin the kids bags.

Prep What You Can As Soon As You Get Home 

When you get home from the food shop, keep lunch foods out and see what you can do to prep things ahead of time.

child in blue striped t-shirt holding a plastic box of raspberries

Instead of putting that bag of grapes away, go ahead and wash and store them in little bags you can grab and toss in the lunch box. The same goes for things like carrots and even salads. Slice cheese as needed and as I’ve already touched on be sure to freeze any savouries.

Get In The Habit Of Cleaning Lunch Boxes As Soon As The Kids Get Home 

To make lunch prep even easier, get the kids into the habit of cleaning out their lunch box as soon as they get back from school. Mine does empty his every single day & when my youngest starts staying pack up she will do the same. Granted it’s usually in the morning before I repack it but they still do it!

My eldest also put’s his drink and any containers near the sink to be washed and bins any uneaten food. Having everything clean and ready to go will make it easier to pack the new lunches later on that night.

We should all (even me!) stick to these tips because it won’t take us long at all to get into an efficient lunch packing routine. Good luck in trying to get the kids involved but if we maybe put them in charge of much of the preparations; not only will this make your life easier in the long run, it will give them a sense of ownership over their lunch too!

If you have any tips on how to make packed lunches easier then please feel free to drop your ideas in the comments down below!

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About The Money Saving Mum

About The Money Saving Mum

I've always been financially savvy but when the kids came along I needed to up my game! Our finances and priorities changed overnight and it felt like I was spending money as if it was going out of fashion! I needed to start earning extra money just to make ends meet and continuously make sure we got the most out of every single penny we had! Sound familiar? Keep reading... I'm sharing my story to help people like you!




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