I pack my husband’s lunch every day. I also “pack” his breakfast, though he technically eats that on the drive to work.
We do this mostly to serve money, but the real reason I do it is because if I didn’t pack Alex’s lunch, he would eat one or two of the following:
- gum (in this case, he would chew it…not eat it)
- a granola bar
- a piece of bread
- a candy bar
- a can of pop or cup of coffee
Then he would come home, having transformed into the Hulk some time on the drive home due to low blood sugar, and be ravenously hungry and eat everything in the house the rest of the night.
And that’s why I take care of breakfast and lunch for Alex – he brings home the bacon, but I make sure he can function enough to do so 😉
I’m sure there are some breakfast/lunch ingredients in here somewhere!
I’ve mentioned before that I make burritos and burgers for Alex’s breakfasts and lunch, but I haven’t gone into any detail. So, here are the details:
We used to buy turkey sausage patties and english muffins and Alex would make a breakfast sandwich for himself in the mornings. This is easy enough but not really cost effective since he was eating two of the sausage patties every morning.
I then started taking a 1/2 lb of ground turkey, browning it, adding three eggs and seasonings and placing the mixture into tortillas. This was really effective and kept him full but after I had Ezra, it became a little time intensive (though, honestly, it doesn’t take much time at all).
Now, I buy a package of the pre-cooked turkey sausage crumbles (Jimmy Dean, I think?) and heat them in a skillet, add three eggs and spices (lately, cinnamon, red cayenne pepper and cumin… I add cumin to pretty much everything) and divide the mixture evenly between 10 whole wheat tortillas. This lasts us for 2 work weeks and it’s extremely cost effective – each burrito clocks in at roughly $0.70. You can’t beat that for two weeks’ worth of breakfasts!
Lunch varies every couple of weeks as Alex gets burned out on whatever I’ve made him. It’s always some kind of sandwich, though.
If I didn’t get a chance to make anything for the freezer, it’s the old lunch staple – PB&J. But, usually, I’ve got something in the freezer. Lately, it’s been Jennie-O Turkey Burgers that I’ve cooked up and frozen. I usually will open each burger up and form all of the meat back into one large blob. Then I add BBQ sauce, cumin (see, told ya!), turmeric, parsley and basil and re-form into patties that I cook in safflower oil. This whole thing comes to about $0.54 per burger (not counting the cost of bread).
I used to make chickpea burgers and black bean burgers but that is definitely a little time intensive. One day I’ll get back to them, though.
I also pack some sides – a couple cookies, carrots, almonds and granola. No clue on the cost per meal for these items. I’ll have to sit down and figure that out.
Sometimes, too, Alex will take leftovers from dinner for lunch if it’s something that can be put between two pieces of bread. Tonight, for example, two chicken tenderloins were leftover so I packed that for tomorrow’s lunch. The tenderloins, by the way, were delicious – I just squirted in some Worcestershire sauce into a skillet and dumped a little hoisin sauce on top. Ah-ma-zing!!!
So, overall, breakfast and lunch costs $1.24 per day, not including the sides for lunch (though I can’t imagine it adds too much. I’m sure the grand total is under $4.00). Not too shabby! But the best part is Alex is well-fed during the workday.
If you have any lunch tips, please share in the comments!