PBJ Again???

by Tawra Kellam

School has been in session for several weeks now and you have already made 50 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Is there anything new that the kids will eat that isn't the expensive pre-packaged lunch kits? Here are some lunch bag tips that help guarantee your kids will eat their lunch.

Those snack bags of munchies cost a lot! Make your own by:

  • Pre-packaging chips, pretzels, animal crackers etc. into sandwich bags at the beginning of the week. (Have the kids help on the weekends.) Keep them in a big container/basket and just throw them in the lunch box in the morning.

  • Let the kids create their own pizza lunch kits- Toast bread and cut out little circles with a biscuit cutter. Add a small container of pizza sauce, cheese and other toppings.

  • Make up fruit gelatin and pudding and put in small plastic containers for the week. Make a large batch of granola bars, cookies, pumpkin bread, banana bread, muffins and then divide and put them in sandwich bags and freeze them in sandwich bags to be pulled out when needed.

  • Brownie bites are simple to make. Bake brownie mix in mini-muffin pans and put three "brownie bites" in a sandwich bag for each child's lunch. They freeze well too!

  • Fill thermos (not glass) half full the night before and freeze. Then remove from freeze and fill the rest of the way. The juice will be cold when they are ready to drink it and it keeps their food cold too.

  • Clean vegetables, slice into pieces, bag,. Have them ready for lunches and snacks a week at a time saves money and time.

  • Purchase cheese in blocks and cut up into pieces and put in sandwich bags.

  • Save the napkins, catsup and mustard packets you get from take-out. Use in lunches.

Check out notjustbeans.com for more recipe ideas. Not Just Beans: 50 Years of Frugal Family Favorites has over 540 frugal recipes and 400 tips on how to eat good food on a budget. Available at www.notjustbeans.com and bookstores.

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