Most jobs will interrupt a meal. Often times it becomes too much of a hassle to pack a lunch, and so we may give in to the temptation to stop somewhere to pick something up. Not only is buying lunch out expensive, but also isn't always the healthiest of options. The key to calmly keep a packed lunch going out the door daily for the hubby (or if you have children) is to stay organized.
I'm a big fan of organization and working ahead. In the kitchen, that means portioning things out in advance so that when the time comes I can just grab and go to the lunchbox, stove, or where ever else. We typically do our grocery shopping each Sunday, and my goal is to have everything that gets packed for a weekday meal to be portioned out and set aside. Portioning out also ensures that each member of the home gets a share. (I'll admit to be a junk food junkie of sweets and certain snacks- ah hem, the Cheez-Its in the picture above!).
The greatest cost savings comes in the form of skipping all the packaging. Yogurt can be purchased in the larger 32oz tubs and then divided into seperate containers. We've recently made the switch from processed meats (can we say- ew!) to purchasing a whole ham or turkey breast to cook, cut and freeze. One morning spent cooking the meat is well worth the 5-6+ weeks of sandwich meat availability (and no mystery of the "meat"). Although the baby carrots and precut celery sticks on the store shelf look nice, they cost so much more than the unprepped versions. The few minutes spent chopping will be worth the effort! (You can keep these items in water in the refrigerator to keep them crisp and fresh). I'm still working on getting to the point of having homemade sandwich bread each week. I'm having trouble with it drying out and crumbling before the end of the week. Any suggestions/recipes with or without a bread machine? Eventually, if I can master the bread making then I'd like to have a loaf for the current week and a spare in the freezer for a backup in case I don't get to baking a fresh loaf one week. I have made homemade Ritz-style and Nilla wafer-style crackers before, and if I have extra time I'd like to keep with that endeavor. However, if need or hubby's tastebuds call for something else from a box, then I'll certainly oblige. My goal is always for balance. If we can cut some packaging out through utilizing homemade then -yay!
I typically just replace the baggies back into their original containers. However, Real Simple Magazine and IHeart Organizing has some great ideas for staying organized!
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