This week, I plan to answer several frequently asked questions that I hear, you know, frequently. Clever idea, eh? I’ll be addressing the question of why I don’t have a Sam’s or Costco membership, how I store fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh, and this question:
Why do my lunches seem so involved? Why don’t I just feed my family sandwiches for lunch? So let’s start with this question since it relates to my menu plan.
The two main reasons we eat full meals at lunchtime instead of sandwiches are to save money and to save time. All six of us are usually home for lunch. We go through about two loaves of bread and up to two pounds of lunch meat and cheese in one meal – and that’s just the sandwiches. The cost of feeding my family sandwiches for a meal can really add up, so we save sandwich meals for times we’re on the go. There are many other meals I can serve at lunchtime that save us on our grocery budget. (Check out our Real Food Dollar Menu recipes for ideas.)
As for time? I find that if I’ve got food prepped in the freezer, it takes less than ten minutes to prepare lunch. A frozen casserole can be pulled out and put it into the oven mid-morning while we go about our school day. Foods like Chicken Patties or Popcorn Chicken freeze easily, and just have to be rewarmed in the oven. Serving fruits and veggies with these meals is easy as all I have to do is pull out the raw veggies that I’ve already cut, wash a container of berries, or steam veggies quickly. I also let my boys help with meal prep and clean up.
You like how I said “let my boys help?” Obviously, that means that I holler out their names and start giving out orders. Oh yes, I let them do all sorts of things around here. (Speaking of which, I really should let someone put the clothes in the dryer right now…)
Sandwiches work for many families – just not mine at this stage of life. What do you eat at lunchtime?
Here’s our menu plan for this week:
Sunday, February 16
Instant oatmeal, pears
Fund raising dinner at church (Asa is going with a group of teens to Ecuador this summer!)
Small group – Soups, breads, fruit