Saturday, August 16, 2014

There's no lunch like home lunch!

Oh my goodness, I can't believe it's time for school to start again.  It's crazy.  Time for crazy mountain loads of paper, for stricter schedules, for hungry, stinky, tired kids, for packed backpacks and packed home lunches.   Do you send your kids with home lunches too?  Well, I needed a plan this year to help that whole lunch packing scene go a little smoother at our house and today, I'm sharing it with you.

Yes, Yes, I know...everyone is talking about going back to school and getting all prepped and ready.  Sometimes I just roll my eyes at the whole concept.  But, this year I decided that I want to prep everything now, so that my life and therefore the life of my family/home run much smoother.  After all, by the time they get home from school, we only have 3-4 precious hours together of quality time.  I don't want to spend that time being stressed out about this and that and worrying about whether or not something is done.

So, anyway...I am introducing a downloadable kit that it free THIS WEEK ONLY!  This is a School Lunch Planning Calendar Kit.  It's great.  I put it in my "Home Management Binder", which I have updated and made smaller and more concise.  I will be sharing some other awesome kits in the near future that also go in the binder that will help life go even smoother.  Yay!

Okay, so I've got the whole family on board (which I think is important) and everyone is ready to help keep things going, especially because I'll be having a big fat chubby baby boy this winter.
(#1: 6.5 lbs. #2: 7.4 lbs. #3: 8.6 lbs. #4: 9.6 lbs. #5: 10.3 lbs.  #6: ????  Do you see a trend?) I will need all of them to pitch in extra.  My main job is to get the shopping done and to print out and display the monthly menu so that they can refer to it.  That's it.  My kids divide the items up when I get home from shopping and put them in their bins for the week, they make their own sandwiches, soups, drinks, potatoes, etc. (it's very important to my husband and I that our kids are self-sufficient at an early age)

Side Note:  I never take my kids shopping with me, unless it's one on one and for a very specific purpose or teaching experience.  I will go at night or early early in the morning to avoid it, which equals a happy, peaceful, calm woman doing her shopping in a non-hurried, non-pressured, non-grumpy way.  :)

I love this quote I found.  Sometimes, I have been guilty of be-gruding "having" to cook for my family and all of these little people all of the time, plus their friends.  Oh, and the messes involved.  BUT, I decided that this is one of my most important roles and duties as a woman and as a mother.  If you have a husband, son, daughter that loves to cook and prepare meals, by all means, put them to work, but the main responsibility is ours, ladies.  It's awesome and it's important.

If your kids go to a great school that serves healthy great food and you can afford sending multiple children there to eat, then go for that.  Disregard this whole post.  BUT, if you're like me and will be sending 4 hungry kids to school, then that quickly adds up.  For instance, it is $1.75 per elementary kid per day here, which for us equals $95/month. It's $2.00 per middle school kid per day which equals $40/month.  That adds up pretty quickly to $135/month.  OUCH!  That's just for lunch food.  

Since my kids don't finish most of their school supplied lunch food anyway (proven fact) that is a huge waste of money and food.  I have budgeted a months worth of main lunch food items, snacks, fruit, veggies and drinks and I came to about $75/month.  WOW!  That is a $60 savings.  

These pages are simple calendars with only the days of the school week on them to help you zone in and get some planning done.  I've included the holidays on there in case you want to add something a little special, or remember that you don't have to pack lunch for that particular day.  The shopping list is short and sweet.  Use it along with your main grocery shopping list.

This is not hard.  If you can just plan 3-4 weeks worth and just rotate, rotate, rotate.  After awhile, it will become second-nature and you and your family will become very familiar with the items and how to prepare and use them.

I've included in the download a list of ideas that you can use if you would like to get your brain flowing.  You can mix and match, and organize according to food portions, or different focuses on different weeks.  You can get a lot of different food combinations with these 4 small lists.  :)

So, there you have it.  You can go to  my store to download your free copy.  

It is free for this week only. 
Be sure and share it with your friends!

Have fun, and Happy Planning!

Turns out, kids are pretty easy, light eaters and if you plan it just right, you can learn their favorites and even push them to eat a wider variety of foods in a fun way.  You can do themes also.  For instance, we are having a "hot & healthy" Wednesday every week.  We try to only do juice drinks or milk on Tuesdays & Thursdays.  Make it fun and did I mention, you should get the kids on board with the planning and carrying out the responsibility of checking the calendar and packing their own meals.  It's good preparation for their future.


While I was putting together my menus, I gathered a collection of ideas of how to organize and implement lunch planning.  How great to have everything ready to go for the whole week.  The kids can simply put together their meal by grabbing items that are pre-packaged.  

In my family, we are actually going to have a small bin for each of our children (including the 2 at home, not eating at school) in both the fridge and the pantry and load it up with the items 
I choose (cuz I'm the mom, Yay!)  for the week.  They get to choose  which snack/food item they eat for that day.  Win, Win!


  1. Can you please tell me what snacks u have in the fridge and pantry? Is everything in snack sized bags?

  2. I was wondering how your main meals worked. As in do your children able to worm them up at school? or all the foods and types you listed are fine to eat cold? I pack my duaghter lunch normaly and looking for more ideas and systems for doing so but her lunch can not be a need to be heated up luch for they dont have this option in the cafteria for the students. Not that i know of any that do.

  3. I discovered you too late! Is there any way I can order this from you since I missed the free week? I pre-ordered a planner and I'm so excited to get it!

  4. I hope you bring this back. I love and need this!