Insider Information: Lunchbox Edition

Posted August 8th, 2018

Whether you’re packing for a day at work, a long day of classes on campus, or a very active grade schooler, lunches can be a pain. There’s a lot of prep work and planning that goes into organizing a lunch. When we wait until the morning of, we tend to opt for an easier option, like fast food. Well, we've got some lunch box tips that can save you money, time, and stress.

  1. Make extra portions of whatever you’re having for dinner and freeze the leftovers. Be sure to freeze them in small grab and go portions so they can thaw throughout the day and be ready by lunch time. If you have kids, you can use ice cube trays to freeze small amounts of leftovers. Throw a few cubes in a container and you’ve got a bowl of soup by lunch!
  2. Pack breakfast for lunch. It’s super easy and usually eaten cold or lukewarm.
  3. Love the idea of grabbing a Lunchable, but hate all the added ingredients and lack of nutrition? Make your own! Here’s an easy guide to creating your own Lunchables with whatever you have laying around the house.
  4. While mason jar salads are all the rage on the ‘Gram, they are also super useful. By piling everything in a specific order, you can prevent using multiple containers and the salad doesn’t get soggy. Learn how to properly stack a mason jar salad here.
  5. Invest in some divided containers or bento boxes. These make meal prep easy and ensures you won’t forget a key ingredient.
  6. Keep sliced apples fresh by soaking the slices in orange juice or lemon juice or, once cut, use a rubber band to hold the slices and the core together.
  7. No microwave? No problem! You can still enjoy hot soup in the winter. Simply preheat your thermos by pouring boiling water in it in the morning. Let the water sit for a few minutes (make sure the lid is on tight), then dump it out and immediately pour in your hot soup. By the time you open it at lunch, the soup is still nice and hot!
  8. Kids love dipping food. If you’re at a lunch idea loss, just throw in some peanut butter and tons of things to dip, like pretzels, celery, apples, bananas, crackers, etc. The same goes for hummus, dressing, and more.
  9. Instead of freezer packs, try a freezable lunch box. These lunch bags from Amazon freeze overnight and keep food cool all day long. You can also ditch the ice packs in favor of frozen juice boxes (serving two purposes) or frozen sponges in a Ziploc bag (easier on the wallet when they get lost and you can then use it to clean up).
  10. Sure, PB&Js are a lunchtime staple, but did you know they freeze well too? Keep your sandwich from becoming soggy by smearing peanut butter on both slices of bread before adding jelly in the middle. Then, throw a few in the freezer! They will store for a few weeks and are so easy to grab and go. The sandwiches will thaw before lunchtime.
  11. Save money by creating your own single serving snacks. Instead of buying a box of 100 calorie pack pretzels, grab a large bag (much cheaper) and portion them out into small Ziploc bags or containers.
  12. Make smoothies and freeze ahead of time. By the time lunch hits, they’ll have thawed into a Slushie – perfect for smoothies!
  13. Cupcake liners make perfect separators for lunches! If you need to split a container even more than you already are, throw in a cupcake liner.

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