This post is a collaboration with Woolworths
Let’s be honest, packing the school lunchbox can seem like a daily chore, but it doesn’t have to be! With the right planning, packing the lunchboxes can actually be straightforward and easy. Can you believe I pack 20 lunch boxes a week, 80 lunchboxes per month and around 960 lunchboxes per year? That’s a lot of lunchboxes! Making all those lunchboxes, I quickly found ways to make packing the lunchbox easier, cheaper and healthier, and today thanks to Woolworths, I’m sharing these tips with you!
How to make packing the lunchbox EASIER
- Pack the lunchbox the night before. There is nothing worse than rushing around in the morning and having to pack the lunchboxes too. So be prepared, get organised and pack ahead of time! Packing the lunchboxes the night before and storing them in the fridge, will help make your school mornings a breeze.
- Plan a week’s worth of lunchboxes.When writing my grocery shopping list, I work out a week’s worth of lunchbox food at the same time, so I can grab it all at once and not waste money running back at the end of the week.
- Plan one day a week to do some bulk baking.This is something that I have been doing for years, and it makes it super easy to have some frozen cakes, pastries or slices on hand for the lunchboxes at the end of the week.
- Freeze sandwiches! I make up a week’s worth of sandwiches with fillings and freeze them. I freeze ham and cheese, vegemite and cheese, plain vegemite, honey and cheese spread. Just make sure the filling is freezable and wrap up the sandwiches well, so they don’t get the freezer taste through them. I pack the frozen sandwiches in the lunchbox frozen, and by lunchtime, they have defrosted perfectly.
- Find suitable lunchbox recipes online.There are so many great online blogs (like mine) and websites that provide fuss-free recipes appropriate for the lunchbox.
How to make packing the lunchbox CHEAPER
- Buy in bulk.You can save a heap of money by purchasing in bulk and separating it all into smaller quantities. I do this with crackers, cakes, biscuits, dried fruit and yoghurt, and I try to buy them when they are on sale which can save even more money.
- Bake at home in bulk. As I mentioned above, I plan out a day to do a batch of bulk baking but if you’re not a baker, buy bakery items in bulk lots and freeze them in individual packages.
- Check out the weekly specials.Before you start that shopping list, check out the sales and purchase items that are on sale for the week.
- Prevent wastage. Try not to over pack food in the lunchbox and speak with your children to see what they are eating and what they are throwing away. I ask my kids to leave their leftover food in the lunchboxes so I can keep track of what they are eating and what they are wasting.
- Check for markdowns. One of my favourite things to do is to head to the bakery section at Woolworths and grab markdowns at the end of the day (another money saver!). You can also freeze these if they are suitable for freezing, so buy in bulk!
How to make packing the lunchbox HEALTHIER
- Prepare foods at home and avoid pre-packaged where possible. As mentioned above make your food at home and freeze them in single servings.
- Pack fruit. Woolworths has handy mini sized fruit perfect for little hands AND lunchboxes. You will find bananas, mandarins, pears and apples for $2.50 per bag.
- Swap out high sugar items to low sugar or homemade options. Look out for these in the supermarket and check the labels to see the sugar content before purchasing.
- Think outside the box. Search your fridge and try and use up any remaining vegetables or fruits at the end of the week. Some vegetables that work well in the lunchbox are celery, cherry tomatoes and cucumber, and I’ve found if I send a little dip they are even more likely to eat them!
- Check out the health food section of Woolworths.You will find some healthier options in this section, with healthier style chips, crackers and dried fruit.
Now, for some exciting news! Woolworths is teaming up with Jamie Oliver to launch the first ever Pack Your Parents Lunch Day on the 11th of October where you could WIN a year’s supply of Woolworths Mini Fruit, perfect for kids and signed Jamie Oliver cookbooks! Pack Your Parents Lunch Day, is all about getting the kids interested and into the kitchen and creating a conversation around making the healthiest choices. All you have to do to get involved, is let your children pack your lunch on the 11th and share your images on Twitter and Instagram using #packyourparentslunchday. Jamie Oliver will judge the best lunch box shared using the hashtag #packyourparentslunchday.
So easy! And fun!
I’d love to hear YOUR tips on how you make packing the kids lunchboxes easier, cheaper and healthier?