Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back To School Lunch Box Ideas from Walmart

Are you ready for your kiddos to go back to school yet? I for one am ready and I think secretly the kids are ready to get back to school themselves. Summer vacation is always fun, but when it gets towards the end they tend to get a bit bored.

I have finally purchased all their school supplies, backpacks, lunch totes and my daughters uniforms. I'm still working on my little guys school clothes and new shoes, but for the most part were done.

Goodness so much to do in preparation for a new school year. My kids start back on Monday and it will be here before I know it. My kids are not too big on buying lunch at school.My daughter is better than my youngest son. Mackenzie usually buys at least three days a week. Carson, well he's a whole different story. That boy is as picky as they come.

In fact he only buys lunch on pizza day which is Friday, so he packs the remaining four days. One dilemma that I struggle with is what to pack in their lunches.I'm sure that's the case for most moms. Walmart challenged me to come up with a few Back to School Lunch Box Ideas and share them with my readers.

So today's post is all about what to pack in your kids lunch boxes! I will share what works for us in the hopes that it will give you a few new ideas for yourself. I for one can use a a little lunch box inspiration myself, so if you have any ideas please by all means leave them in the comments section below.
We got started by heading out to our local Walmart and purchased a variety of lunch items. If you already know what your kids like to eat then you can go from there. If they're picky then sit down with your kids before you go to the store and make a list of things they will eat.

You can also suggest a few things yourself because you will be surprised at what they like from your suggestions. As you can see from above we chose a variety of different items. Lets start off with storage items and ice packs and then we can move on to lunch ideas.

Good storage options are a must. I like to purchase different container sets for my kids. The first set that I like is the 9 piece Great Value Storage Container with Attached Lids.

This 9 piece storage container set can be found in the foil and trash bag isle. The Rubbermaid TakeAlongs (pictured above) are located in housewares by the thermoses.
I love the sandwich size containers because the lids are attached and they just snap in place


These containers are very in expensive and re usable as well. I run them through the dishwasher after each use. On the smaller containers I splurged a bit more and purchase the Rubbermaid 1.2 oz Take Alongs.

My reasoning behind this was the smaller containers (1 cup) will be used for liquid storage, so I need them to be pretty sturdy. I chose the TakeAlongs because the lids twist on instead of snapping closed.
This is a must with lunch boxes and liquids. So when choosing storage containers get what works or you will just be disappointed in the end.  There is also a variety of ice packs to keep things cool. You can use the hard ice packs or the soft gel ones ($1 each). 

Both are great options, but by far my favorite ice pack is just freezing the kids juice boxes and using those as ice packs instead.
It works out perfectly because when lunch time rolls around the juice box will be thawed out so the kids can enjoy their drinks. Don't you just love things when they work out like that?
One thing I do instead of buying those expensive jello, pudding or yogurt cups is make them myself. I do this for two reasons, one because it's so much cheaper, and two because you get more for your money.

You can purchase a large container of yogurt for about $1.97. The large 48 oz jars of applesauce are only $1.68. Both make several individual sized cups. B
oxed Jell-O and instant pudding cost pennies per box. Plus they come in a variety of flavors as well as sugar free.

Here is a list of items that you can add in those cute little containers.
  • Pudding, jell-o, applesauce, yogurt, cottage,cheese,
  • Fresh fruit (strawberries, watermelon, berries, grapes. etc).
  • Canned fruit in juice, dips, peanut butter, ranch dressing or hummus for dipping veggies.
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The storage containers with attached lids are not only perfect for sandwiches, but also great for making your own DIY Lunchables.

I purchase large packages of lunch meat (turkey, ham, bologna, or your own favorite), different cheeses and a large box of crackers.

Just cut the meat and cheeses in smaller sizes and let the kids arrange everything into the storage containers to customize their very own Lunchable.


If I have learned one thing about making your own Lunchables its about cracker storage. Don't just toss the crackers in with everything, because they will end up being soft by lunch time.

This is caused from the moister of the meat and cheese. Instead store the crackers in a snack size zip lock bag and then add it to the container.You can also add a packaged cereal bar or a small sweet treat as well.


I wanted to include a link on how to make DIY Pizza Lunchables . The Pizza Lunchable are my son's absolute favorite. I make homemade mini pizza crusts and store them in the freezer.

For the pizza sauce you can use homemade or store bought. Arrange everything in the storage containers and snap the lid shut.


A favorite in our house is my Healthy Peanut Butter Balls. My kids can devour those things in an instant. The best thing about it is they don't even know they're healthy.

These yummy little peanut butter balls fit perfectly in the storage containers. I usually add about 2-3 to a snack size baggie, but no more or that's all Carson will eat. .

We pack the usual sandwich favorites, but we also like to make DIY Uncrustables as well. Making them yourself is so much cheaper. Have you seen the price of those things? They are outrageous and my kids go through them like lightening.


For $1.97 I purchased a Sandwich Sealer N Decruster. I love this thing! It removes the crust and seals the edges around the whole sandwich. Carson loves these and says they are better than the store bought ones.

Plus you can use wheat bread instead of white which is what the Uncrustables are made with. You don't have to just make the usual peanut butter and jelly Uncrustables. Think outside the box and make a few other ones.

Try peanut butter and sliced bananas, peanut butter and honey, nutella & bananas, plain cheese, cream cheese and jelly, cream cheese & sliced strawberries or your favorite turkey or ham & cheese sandwich.

Store them in sandwich bags and add all of them to a large labeled freezer bag and freeze. You can also make them the night before like we do and store in the sandwich containers in the refrigerator.


My daughters favorite sandwich is anything with ham, turkey and cheese. I have been purchasing the little King Hawaiian Honey Wheat Rolls and making her little turkey and ham sliders over the summer.

These have become her new favorite way to eat a sandwiches. The bread is slightly sweet and really compliments the ham and turkey. Plus they're perfect size for little hands.

I usually pack her only two because with everything else she ends up with plenty in her lunch box. A few other sandwich options are instead of bread use mini bagels, pita pockets or tortillas to make sandwich wraps.

My daughter loves these yummy Ham and Cheese Tortilla Pinwheels. They're so easy to make and pretty much please everyone. Customize them with you kids favorite meat and cheeses.

Another great sandwich idea is Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi Rolls. I know it's really just a basic PB & J sandwich, but its all about presentation with the kiddos.

You can also stack chunks of lunch meat, cheese, bread cubes, cherry tomatoes and pickles on a stick and make a Sandwich on a Stick. Pop it in a zip lock bag and toss in their lunch box.


Let's talk about snacks and sweets. Trying to find a few healthy alternatives is always hard. My kids love chips, but quite frankly they can eat their weight in them.

Try buying a big bag of pretzels or goldfish instead of chips. Again package them up using the snack size baggies. This way you get the perfect serving size. I like to buy dried fruits and mix together little trail mix bags.

Dried apples, cherries, banana chips, raisins, yogurt raisins, pretzels, cherrios and goldfish crackers are a favorite in our house.

If they do want chips try and pick a healthier version. My kids have gotten hooked on the Multi grain Pringles over the summer. If they insist on chips try and go with the baked version, sun chips or the new veggie sticks.


A few other favorites snack items are animal crackers, teddy grahams, granola, ants on log or cut veggies to dip in ranch dressing or hummus.

You can also add apples slices. Make sure to toss the apples in a mixture of lemon lime soda for about 10 minutes and then drain.

Store in the snack size zip lock bags and squeeze all the air out. This will prevent the apple slices from browning. I have also heard that you can dip them in ginger ale, pineapple or apple juice.


Seems like I am really stressing the uses of the snack size bags, but I just can't help it they're so darn handy.

I like to bake up big batches of mini muffins and toss those into the snack size baggies as well. 2-3 mini muffins fit perfectly in one snack size bag.

Just toss all of them in the freezer for storage and take them out as you need them. I pop the muffins into the kids lunch boxes frozen because they will be thawed out by lunch time.

I do the same with batches of brownies and cookies. If you need a few muffin ideas here click here.


Some kids like to have more than just sandwiches for lunch my kids included. Our schools don't have microwaves, so we rely on a thermos to keep their food warm.

When buying a thermos make sure to get a good one.The plastic ones just don't hold the heat, so they're really just a waste of money.

I invested in a stainless steel thermos for each of my kiddos. They can be a bit pricey at $11.97, but so worth it in the long run. The stainless steel thermos will keep food hot for 5 hours.


A few food ideas for a thermos lunch:
  • leftovers, soup, macaroni & cheese, spaghetti, casseroles
  • mini corn dogs, mini corn dog muffins, beanie weenie, noodles & veggies
  • add a cold hot dog to hot water in a thermos
    (store the ketchup, mustard & bun on the side to make their own hot dog for lunch).
To prepare the thermos for food first fill the thermos with boiling water, close the lid and let sit for about 5 -10 minutes. When your food is hot and ready to add to the thermos, pour out the water. Immediately fill with your food and replace the lid and store in your kids lunch box.


The kids and I prepared a few cups of yogurt, applesauce and fruit. Look how perfectly they store in the fridge. Now all they have to do is grab what they want and toss it in their lunch box.


We do the same with their DIY Lunchables and sandwiches. I forgot to mention above in sandwich storage that I add the sandwiches to sandwich bags before I place them in the storage containers. This helps keep the sandwiches soft.

I hope you found some of these lunch box ideas helpful. Some of them require a little prep work, but in the end it is so worth it. Not only will it save you time but also money..

For even more Lunch Box Ideas click on my Back to School Lunch Box Ideas for 2012. A few ideas are the same, but I have added some new ones as well.



Looking for more recipe ideas? Check out the Recipe Index by Mommy's Kitchen.

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This is a sponsored post. I am participating in the Walmart Moms Program. Walmart has provided me with a GC and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. Participation in this program is voluntary and the opinions stated above are entirely my own. Check out my fellow Walmart Moms for more Back to School Lunch and Meal Ideas.


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99 comments:

Danielle said... #

Great Ideas thank you for sharing them.

black bear cabin said... #

those are some great ideas...and i too, love the snack size baggies! :) another yummy sandwich idea...sounds odd, but kids love em...cream cheese and jelly sandwiches.
thanks for the reminder about the hot water in the thermos before hand...i just bought one of those and forgot about that :)
and yes...i think we are all ready for our kids to be back in school! ;)

trooppetrie said... #

I love the homemade fruit cups. so very true. with 6 kids this is a amazing idea. I would love to be a wal mart mom. what a fun way to play with new ideas

Tiff said... #

I think these are great ideas... Probably because I do them too! :)

Elsa's Cooking Diary said... #

My kids aren't in school yet (actually, one hasn't even been born yet hehe), but these are some great ideas. I really love the muffin idea. I do this as well and freeze them, then pull them out in the morning for breakfast. I do that with pancakes as well.

The Better Baker said... #

What an awesome post...and what a smart mommy you are! These are terrific ideas...I love knowing you DIY lots of the lunch items. Good girl! Will you come pack my lunch for me? Everything looks sooo yummy. Thanks -

Peggy Clyde said... #

I just found your post from Coleen's recipes. Thanks for all these great ideas. Makes me wish my kids were young again.

Coleens Recipes said... #

You have taken school lunches to a whole new level, what fun!!!

Life of a Foodie and Her Family said... #

My daughter's school does not have a "cafeteria", so she packs every day except pizza Fridays.

We also use alot of the same tips you posted, but we do have to use ice packs. My daughter loves her food pretty cool.

When it cools off down here in SW Florida she loves taking her homemade chili and soups. I find that the Kuerig coffee maker is perfect for filling the thermos with hot water while the food is heating up.

Ginger said... #

Some interesting ideas, some crap...just don't buy your supplies at Walmart! Honestly, Tina, don't you feel bad about shilling for such an evil corporation? Have you no shame?

Prims and Annies said... #

Hi...wish I lived at your house...any kid would be so lucky to get a lunch like this. We have to pinch pennies wherever we can and Wal Mart is the low price leader. Have a great day
Smiles,
Maxie

Prims and Annies said... #

Love your blog...always great ideas.

Tina at Mommy's Kitchen said... #

Thank you Maxie. @Ginger if you feel that strongly then just please don't leave a comment or unsubscribe from my site. Using a blog or an idea post to vent your opinions about a company is just bad manners.

I for one like Walmart. Every company has their share of issues and problems. Not everyone is going to agree that is why we are all different. Walmart helps me save money so I will continue to shop at Walmart.

Anonymous said... #

Hi Tina~* Thanks for your ideas, they are awesome! I also like those sandwich containers with a hole and lid in the middle to send veges and ranch in the middle.

Rachelle

Jessica said... #

This is probably the best suggestions for school lunches I have seen. I have a super picky eater, and he always eyes the lunchables. I am going to pick up a couple containers and do this! Anything to avoid the constant request for PB&J

Patty said... #

Hi,

These lunch suggestions are so good! We home school so packing lunches doesn’t happen each day but on co-op day we usually pack a lunch.

We enjoy adding cheese chunks, miniature pickles or boiled egg to our lunch to keep a plain sandwich from getting boring.

Beef jerky is a great snack item to add to a lunch as well as assorted nuts.

Our favorite lunch dessert is homemade cookies or brownies.

I loved your slider sandwiches and will be giving this a try very soon!

You have such a nice site; it’s so inspiring.

Linda said... #

Great ideas Tina! Thank you so much for this post:) I am heading out to Walmart today.

Anonymous said... #

Great ideas..when my daughter packed her lunch years ago, she was the only child that had cherry tomatoes, sliced green peppers, and other veggies in lunch. Some parents take the short cut and buy all heavily processed foods, convenitent, yes, healthy no.

Anonymous said... #

When you have more than one child, packing a healthly lunch means speading a little more and that is why I also shop at Walmart for most of my food items. I don't like to shop there, but while my children are young I want to provide them with healthly snacks I will. Maybe when they are out of the nest, i'll boycott them.

Jaime said... #

Okay, has anyone told you lately that YOU'RE AWESOME! Thank you for this post. I made a similar one last year on my blog (which is now private), but these ideas are fantastic, and greats one to use for my husband's lunch box as well. I will certainly be coming back to read more. Oh, and remember you're awesome!

Jaime said... #

p.s. I'm going to Walmart tonight to buy that sandwich de-cruster. Can't wait to make sandiwches for tomorrow.

Green Mountain Realty said... #

Great ideas

Restored Grandma Terry said... #

Tina, I just found you tonight via Google search. I love your site and don't care to look any further. I have 5 grand children and my kids are going to love you. I also added your button to my site as well as sharing you on my facebook. I'm all about giving children a healthy diet and not a fast food diet. You make it look so attractive and plant a wonderful desire to do better for our children. Thank you. www.IRestoreRelationships.com
Restored Grandma Terry

Anonymous said... #

Thank you for keeping it real!!
I have been looking for lunch ideas and saw a lot of bento boxes recipes and other ideas that I will never ever have the time to make/decorate each morning or the previous night.
Hope you will keep posting more school lunch ideas.

Eva G. said... #

Your ideas are absolutely fantastic. I love your blog. I like Walmart too. Everyone has to shop somewhere and at Walmart I can usually get everything in one place. Everyone has their opinion about Walmart but it is no different then every other place of business. Please don't let rude comments get you down.

Crystal said... #

Awesome stuff! I am a non-creative person so I need all the help I can get for lunch box ideas for my kindergartener! Ignore the negative people!

shopannies said... #

great ideas

Anonymous said... #

Love it! Packing lunches is an art! The lunchables are way too expensive, I make my own also. I love the Hawaiian bread idea. Stealing that! I also use a variety of different breads from Walmart's deli. Another thing my middle school likes is I make the seven layer salad (you know the one you make in a huge bowl), but I make it in smaller containers and her and I both carry it for 3-4 days. It keeps well in the frig.

Anonymous said... #

These were really great ideas ! I myself am going back to school for the fall semester as well as starting a new diet. These ideas not only suit kids but can easily be adapted to suit me ! The portioning ,the easy prep work in advance (so I don't grab any bad foods on the go! ) , and convenient packaging make it exactly what I need to remain successful ! Thanks !

Anonymous said... #

Thanks so much for this post! I am always looking for new fun ideas to feed my kids a healthy, fun lunch!

Rosita Vargas said... #

Beautiful messages worthy of an intelligent mother, have little to worry about is the daily lunch for school, cute greetings as always prepare recipes, hugs.

Kathee said... #

Thanks for the great ideas! I haven't made a recipe of yours yet that I didn't love!

Danielle (Life with the Hewitt Family) said... #

These are such great ideas that I took notes! I am already feeling in a lunch rut and it has only been two weeks. Can't wait to try some of your great ideas!

Julie said... #

Thank you! We have been trying to come up with lunch ideas. We also wanted the option of sending something hot and you are right the plastics thermos don't work. I am glad to hear that the ones we picked are what others suggest too! Can't wait to put these ideas to the test!

Anonymous said... #

These ideas are GREAT! I use the twist-on cap Take Alongs as well for yogurt and fruit snacks. I really like the idea of using the stainless steel thermos for hot foods! By the way - how many ounces is the thermos?

Anonymous said... #

wow!wonderful post..loved it.

Deanna said... #

I make those peanut butter balls- or rather I mix it up and have the kids make them on sundays.
did you buy the decruster recently.

Emily said... #

Still a great post! :) Even with school in session for months now, my boys get tired of the same old thing for lunch. I have a weird kitchen tool, it's like a biscuit cutter but also has the crimper ring inside - I'm going to try that for uncrustable sandwiches one of these days, see if it works. My older boy loves taking his Pizza Rolls in his thermos - is that bad? ;) Honestly, a few bad foods won't kill him, and if it beefs him up a bit I'd be happy! Keep up the good work, love your blog!

Beth Brubaker said... #

Just wanted to thenk you for reminding me to do the 'buy big, repack small' thing for my kids! I usually buy bulk meats and repack them, but it never really dawned on me to get the big buys of yogurt and fruit salad!
Thanks for the tips- my shopping list is longer, but in the long run, I'll have happier kids and a lot better choices for their lunches!! :)

Melissa said... #

Love all the ideas! Thank you so much for sharing. I think my son would love the do it yourself Lunchable! Can't wait to try.

Disneygirl13 said... #

I just found this post!! Thank you so much for writing this!! I will definitely be using a ton of your ideas now for my kiddos lunches!! Can't wait to see what you post in the future!!

Courtney said... #

A DIY Lunchable!! Why have I not thought about that yet?! My son begs me to buy him a Lunchable. I just can't justify paying 3 or 4 dollars for some lunch meat and cheese. Lol! Thanks for some great tips!

JackieH said... #

Thank you so much for your great ideas! My daughter is a very picky eater, and she loved your recipe for peanut butter balls. Keep up the great work!

Stephanie said... #

This coming year I'll be going from one homeschooler and a once-a-week preschooler to two in all-day school, so I am so excited to be able to put your awesome ideas to good use. Thanks for this post!

Anonymous said... #

such great ideas! my daughter is going to full day kindergarten next month and lunch time is my main concern! this is a big help :) thanks so much!

tbaz said... #

Thank you for REAL ideas my kids will try. I am looking for lunch ideas and so many out there are for radical healthy things my kids just won't eat. Or they are so decorative it would take me hours to make their lunches. Clever lunches don't win at 6 AM. :)

Macy said... #

Hi Tina,

I love these ideas for school,but I was wondering what you think would be enough food for my 11 and 14 yr. old.

Thank You!
Macy

jen said... #

Good ideas!
I slice my apple and then re-assemble it. then put a rubber band around it. it's not 100% free of brown flesh but it's pretty close! http://pinterest.com/pin/71002131595354721/

Anonymous said... #

Another good option that my son loves is pepperoni slices instead of ham in my homemade lunch able. He is super super picky. :)

Bmommy2 said... #

My child had school lunches all year last year. He was in camp this summer and I had to make him a lunch everyday. I must admit it was kind of fun making my childs lunch and he enjoyed it also. We will be trying some of these ideas especially the Lunchable alternative. Thanks for the blog!!!

Anonymous said... #

make a smoothie and pour them into little plastic
containers and freeze them overnight. take it out and put it in the lunch box, it will be defrosted and back to a smoothie by lunch!

Anonymous said... #

About the Lunchable idea...I recently saw some small pizza crusts (lunchable size) at the grocery store. Send some shredded cheese and sauce and they can make their own mini pizzas!

JDaniel4's Mom said... #

These are great ideas! I love how you made it easy to let your children help you up them together.

Anonymous said... #

One thing we have found that really helps is we made a list with categories. So there is
Protein
Grain
Vegetable
fruit
treat
The kids and I sat down and listed all lunch stuff they like under each one. We have the list on the fridge so our oldest can pick a item from each list and make his own lunch:)It makes it easier for me as well on those rushed morning when I fell asleep early the night before and did not get lunches made.

Emmy said... #

Tina, I kind of second what Ginger is saying, both about the sponsor and the quality of the food. But since you didn't appreciate her opinion of the sponsor, I'll just focus on the food.

With the time and effort you put into shopping for processed crap, you could have made healthier options for your kids. Crackers take next to no time to bake, veggies and fruits can be packaged with little hands-on effort, and jello? really?? That stuff is evil.

You don't have to be Susie Homemaker to pack a healthy lunch for your kids. You just have to think outside the aisles and stay in the perimeter.

Tina Butler said... #

It's not that I don't appreciate Ginger or your comments. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just think it's down right rude to leave comments or opinions about a company on someones blog. That's just not acceptable, especially when you're talking about someones character.

I'm not a Natzi or Evil and would not post that on someones site. Just because you don't eat a particular food doesn't mean I'm an awful person. Not everyone has the time to bake homemade crackers, so shortcuts are always appreciated.

This is just my opionion and mine alone. I posted these Lunch Box ideas in the hopes that they might work for a few NOT everyone.

I'm sure there are companies y'all like that I don't care for, but calling people names or saying they are evil or use evil products is wrong and rude. When comments cross the line or affect someones entegrity then they need to be removed.

Just because my kids like jell-o doesn't make me a horrible person for feeding it to them. Not everyone is the same thats why were all different. On the brighter side this post has been re-pinned to Pinterest 15K times, so I know there are folks who havee appreciated at least some of these ideas.

Christine said... #

These are some great ideas! I love those containers (the sandwich ones with the attached lids) but it doesn't look like Walmart sells them anymore - at least not around my area...I went to 2 different ones, and couldn't find them...

Tina Butler said... #

Christine, the disposable sandwich containers with lids are in the foil, sandwich bag & trash bag isle. Not in housewares with the other containers. I saw them the other day at my Walmart. They say disposable, but I run them through the dishwasher and use them over and over. I hope you can find them.

Christine said... #

Ah...Thanks! I'll have to check again :)

Emmy said... #

Tina, I'm sorry to have gotten your hackles up. Rereading my comment, it didn't come across the way I would have liked. My concern is, as someone who was raised on packaged foods and now has a whole slew of very sad medical problems, I'm really gun-shy at feeding my kid anything from a box. But that's my problem, and I'm sorry to have come across that way. Of course you're not evil for feeding your kids jello. Jello is evil for my son, the food coloring makes him literally nuts!

15k pins is impressive, it sound like you have a platform where you can really influence the nutritional future of our kids...

Anonymous said... #

I love your ideas and information. I am an administrator of a school email newsletter that goes out our entire school and county school officials. I wanted to post a link to our FB page and put your site in a newsletter but am unable to because of the link on your page to the Food Porn site. I know this is an innocent site and not at all what the name suggests. The simple word Porn prevents me from sharing to our many parents. Please consider changing the name or removing the link. You have wonderful information that would be very helpful to many moms and I would love to pass it on. Thank you for your hard work in putting this site together!! God's Blessings on You!!

Tina Butler said... #

Anonymous, you know I thought the exact same thing as I was adding the badge the other day. I kept asking myself should I or shouldn't I, because it did sound a bit bad.

I think I am better off not adding it to my site. Sometimes it's just best not to jump into something and I think this is one of those cases. I really don't want my blog to be categorized like that in that way. Thank you for letting me know. (I removed it)

Tasha Lewis said... #

Tina-

Do you have any ideas for keeping a grilled cheese warm for lunch? My son loves them!! By the way I love your blog and thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Cecilea said... #

Thank you for these great ideas! With 4 kiddos of my own it's important to pinch pennies any where we can.

I started making my own whole wheat bread to help save money also. I can make a 1.5 lb loaf for just under $1! If you have a bread maker it takes about 5 minutes to throw everything in and walk away. 2hrs later amazing fresh bread! And the house smells delish too!
(If you don't have a bread maker goodwill and Craigslist are great places to find them. I got one for $5 at goodwill and works great! I make jam in it too)
@Tasha if you wrap a grilled cheese in a paper towel and then in aluminum foil it will stay crisp and warm. The paper towel keeps the bread from getting soggy.

Tina Butler said... #

Tasha, the only thing I can think of is, cutting the grilled cheese into triangles. Then add them to a thermos.

Anonymous said... #

@Emmy Homemade Crackers are not considered healthy! not all processed food is necessarily unhealthy.

Anonymous said... #

Thank you so much Tina!! I can't wait to share your idea's with all my parents!! I am going to link your site to my back to school newsletter and the first newsletter with all my new parents!! Keep up the wonderful work!!!

Anonymous said... #

I forgot to mention that we only have a WalMart and a Winn Dixie in our entire county to shop at so this will help lots of my parents!! The nearest grocery store other than those the closest is at least 25 miles away!! Thanks again!!

Anonymous said... #

This is great. You gave me so many ideas. I have twin boys who get tired with the same thing so this helps. Thank you do much.

Melinda said... #

My gracious, I love you.

The closest grocery store is a walmart (and it's the cheapest... I really can't shell out 2x the money for the same product at my "local" grocery stores), and these tips were fantastic. I went out and bought the takealongs, although they didn't have the size for the lunchable case (not to worry though, I managed to find some close-cut containers at home!)

Repinned this on pinterest and I find myself coming back to this over and over again! Thanks so much for this, it's perfect and half of the ideas I had never thought of!!!

Vanna said... #

Wow! I "stumbled" across your site from a Pinterest post! I am so glad I did! I have been searching and saving lunch box ideas all summer in preparation for the school year. Your's is by far the most informative! With actual family frugal advice. Also, love the pics...help with the visual :)
Thanks...your on my favorites now!!

*Me* said... #

Such a God send!! My little one just started kindergarten yesterday and Im already wondering what am I supposed to do for her lunch...but thanks to your blog I have my grocery list ready for tomorrow. Bless you for this post I am SO grateful...looking forward to more of your ideas and recipes. Thank you!

Anonymous said... #

Seriously, this post was a complete revelation to me. I NEVER thought of making my own lunchables or buying large jar of applesauce and using my own containers. You've changed my life. :)

Gramma D said... #

Have you ever tried spreading a pita or other wrap with peanut butter and jelly or honey, rolling it up, and slicing it into little bite size pieces? You could even roll it around a banana and slice, but I prefer to mash the banana and mix with the peanut butter.

Tanya S said... #

I am so happy to be blessed with your sight. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to help others. Iam pre-K teacher I will be telling my parents about your sight.

Anonymous said... #

Your ideas are amazing!! Lunches are one of my biggest stressors for the school year and you've just made it so much easier and even fun! Thank you thank you!

Anonymous said... #

Thank you for all of the great ideas, and inspiration for a few of my own for my picky eater.

This is awesome! Make your own uncrustables? Who knew?

Amy
Delaware

Wendy said... #

Hi thank you so much. I am recently new to the whole making school lunch. last year my oldest wanted a lunch box but we only did it for a week or so and he left it all behind. now with my youngest its not a matter of wanting. is a matter of been sure he has the right food in his box. due to food allergies and his gluten free diet i must monitor everything he eat. i notice on your blog how you keep it easy and real. i dont think we need to spend money on special boxes or supplies. i love the way you do ur thing. and yes i am a walmart mom too. not like you but i just shop there lol. but i would be interested in being part of the group. so can stop by my blog http://my2preciousboys.blogspot.com. thank you

Anonymous said... #

Loved these ideas! I've already done a bunch of them. Help me though-I bought already made pizza crust dough at Winco and tried to make the little cirlces for the hm pizza lunchables. It's so hard to get them to stay in a circle without shrinking back?? with the larger crusts, I've got a pan to form it to, but not with the little ones... help :)!

Anonymous said... #

Hello, I can across this post on pinterest. I have a very picky eater and this is great for sending food to school for her! I am wondering a few things though...

1. how do you send the apple sauce, yogurt, grapes, and oranges to school? Do you freeze them or just send ice packs? If you freeze them is there a certain way to do
it?

2. For the thermos, does it keep mini corn dogs hot? do they get soggy?

Thanks!!

Sabrina G. said... #

I am sooooo glad I found your site!!!!! I have been surfing the internet for lunch box ideas with no success! It seems like the lunches were either too healthy or something I knew my child would not eat! I LOVE how you broke it down to simple/easy solutions. Thank you so much:)

Cynthia Medina said... #

I love..love..love your blog..very helpful and easy!

Back2BasicsMom said... #

You can also freeze the yogurt and applesauce after you divy it up. It will be thawed my lunch and the yogurt will taste more like frozen yogurt so it's even more like a treat.

Anonymous said... #

Thank you so much for taking the time from your schedule to post your ideas for us. They are so helpful!

Anonymous said... #


I love it when people come together and share ideas. Great site, keep it up!

Nancy-Joe said... #

Do you think WalMart still has the 9 piece Great Value Storage Container with Attached Lids because I tried pressing the link you have but nothing came up and then I looked it up again from internet, and still could not find it. And last night I went to WalMart and looked at the bags/garbage bags aisle and still could not find it! Is it possible they are discontinued, because I really would like to have them.

Tina Butler said... #

Nancy Joe,
I just clicked on the link and it is working for me. The containers are located in the isle with all the zip lock bags and foil.

kelseyjoxo said... #

I know this was written awhile ago, but if you are having trouble finding the sandwich storages, Target has Disney Character ones for $1 in their $1 section!

Amazing tips! My little guy won't need his lunch packed for a few years, but will definitely remember all these!

Raven said... #

Hi Tina, just found your site through Google Search, after searching countless of sites for lunchbox ideas with no success on liking any of them I came across yours. This is actually my first time making lunches for my kids and I love your ideas (which I will use) Thank You for this :)

Millie Camacho said... #

Hello Tina, thanks for ideas. I am a Kindergarten teacher and many times I don't know what to pack for MY lunch!

Elise said... #

I just came across your blog from Pinterest....LOVE IT! Thank you for all of the wonderful ideas. We are starting kindergarten this year, so packing lunches is a whole new ball game for us! I will definitely be re-pinning this post and will be revisiting it often!

cherylsm said... #

Love your ideas. I don't have any children in school, but I take my own lunch every day and I am always looking for new ideas. I too love Walmart. When you live in a small town sometimes that is your only choice. I also use the snack bags all the time to portion out serving sizes.

Anonymous said... #

Thanks for sharing. I have a Kindergartner this year. I've been racking my brain the past month trying to figure out what to pack. You have some great ideas. The most clever thing I've thought of are salami & cream cheese roll-ups.

Vanessa Z said... #

omg i just have to say thank you for all the great ideas. This year i am packing my kids lunch for my girls and was in need of some inspiration. And you have surpassed it. Thank you so much. I am definitely following you on pintrest and checking in on your site regularly for more ideas on recipes. Your a life saver!

Tara said... #

Thanks so much! My oldest is heading off to kindergarten this year so I'm a lunch packing newbie! I'm off to walmart tomorrow to buy some essentials and have gotten so many helpful hints to provide healthy (cheaper) lunches! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

azbaby24 said... #

Bummed cause I think they discontinued those cool containers with attached lids. I cant find them in the store or on their site. I always come back to this post when I get in a lunch rut!

Johna said... #

Great ideas for my husbands lunch! Thank you for the detail & recipes.

Monika said... #

I think your ideas are awesome!! I think everyone is so worried about making everything "homemade" I don't know how we survived growing up not having everything organic or homemade :o) Thanks for your wonderful Ideas and they have helped saved me money and time!

RNsteven said... #

I write you in deperation. i went to Walmart yestuerday to get those food storage containers with attached lids the "great value" brand, and it seems they are discontinued. i have looked on line and they apper to be gone. they offer a "mr. lid" version for 4x the price. any clue where to get these now. i had gotten some about 2 years ago. but treated them like disposable. I figured i could just go and but more. Thx steven