3 Strategies to Simplify Brown Bag Lunches

3 Strategies to Simplify Brown Bag Lucnhes

Want to start packing lunches for your kids, your spouse, or yourself to take to school or work each day? Here are three strategies to help you simplify and streamline the process:

1. Have a Plan

I know that this sounds so simple, but your success in actually following through with your good ideas and ambitions all hinges on actually having a plan. Just as you need to plan a menu for the week and buy the groceries to make those meals if you want to, you know, eat at home, you also need to have a plan for lunches you want to pack if you actually want them to be able to get packed!

Think ahead of time how many lunches you’ll be packing that week, what you’ll be packing, and what groceries you need to purchase. I recommend keeping it as simple as possible.

Don’t feel pressured by Pinterest pictures to think you need to come up with fancy new meal ideas every single day. Really, you don’t. Trust me on this.

3 Strategies to Simplify Brown Bag Lucnhes

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Instead, rotate a few different sandwich options and side options throughout the week. It really won’t hurt anyone to eat the same thing a few times each week! :)

Write this list of lunch ideas down, write down the ingredients you need to buy, and then you can use this plan over and over again. I recommend typing it up and laminating it or keeping it in an app on your phone so that you never have do the planning work again.

If the thought of making the same thing over and over and over again just won’t work for you or your family, try a 4-week or 6-week rotating lunch menu. This is more work to plan and follow through with, but once you’ve made the plan and created a grocery list based upon the plan, again, your planning work is done.

3 Strategies to Simplify Brown Bag Lucnhes

3 Strategies to Simplify Brown Bag Lucnhes

Need some motivation to put forth the effort to plan and make lunches? How about considering how much money you’ll save by doing so.

Over the past 12 and a half years of our marriage, I’ve packed countless lunches, not only for when Jesse was in law school and then working outside the home, but also for myself and/or the kids when we are out and about for the day or on a field trip.

One time a few years ago, I sat down and did the math. And it astounded me!

I figured out that most of the lunches I’ve packed cost anywhere between $0.75 to $1.50 each (remember, that’s mostly because I’ve shop the sales, used coupons, and stocked up on items when they are at their lowest prices!). A lunch at a fast food restaurant is likely going to cost at least $4-$5 at a minimum.

Based upon these calculations, it is very safe to say that packing a lunch has saved us at least $3 each and every time. Over the course of the year, that could add up to as much as $750 saved — just for packing a lunch for one person!

And that could be a low figure. You see, if someone is eating out at nicer restaurants most days and spending $7-$12 per lunch, the savings would be significantly higher! In addition to the savings, there’s also the added benefit of homemade lunches also often being much more healthful for you as well–especially when compared with fast food meals.

3 Strategies to Simplify Brown Bag Lucnhes

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2. Prep Ahead

Part of the drawback to packing a lunch is the part where you have to pack it. If only lunches just magically packed themselves, eh? :)

One of the best ways to make things simpler is to prep things in bulk. When you get back from the grocery store, wash and chop all the carrots and celery and store them in a little water in an airtight container in the fridge. Slice the cheese. Cut up the melon. Wash off the berries. Hard boil the eggs. Bake the chicken.

Have everything as ready to stick into a lunchbox as you possibly can. This will make packing a lunch a breeze and will give you little excuse not to actually make it happen.

3 Strategies to Simplify Brown Bag Lucnhes

3 Strategies to Simplify Brown Bag Lucnhes

I’ve also found that doing sack lunch prep the night before makes it so much easier. For some reason, I’m much more motivated and creative at nighttime than I am most mornings. Take a few minutes after dinner to figure out what you’ll be packing the next morning and even get as much as possible ready. You’ll never regret this in the morning!

A few of our favorite Make Ahead Lunch Ideas:

  • Hard-Boiled Eggs
  • Veggies
  • Fruit
  • Sliced Cheese & Crackers
  • Homemade Soup — especially great for the colder months!
  • Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets (these are great if you have access to a microwave at work

3 Strategies to Simplify Brown Bag Lucnhes

3 Strategies to Simplify Brown Bag Lucnhes

3. Use Your Freezer

One thing that helped me in packing lunches was to divvy up serving-size portions of muffins and cookies in baggies and stick them in the freezer. Then, when I’m packing lunches, I can just pull a few of these baggies out to add to the lunch and round things out.

Baggies of muffins and cookies are also great to have on hand for when we’ll be out and about running errands. Being prepared with our own food means we divert the urge to make a quick stop through the drive thru!

A few of our favorite Freezer-Friendly Lunch Ideas:

Looking for more make-ahead sack lunch ideas? Check out my Lunchbox Freezer Cooking series. And speaking of prepping ahead of time, you might also want to check out my post on 8 Make Ahead Breakfast Ideas.

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This post is brought to you by MightyFix — a monthly subscription service dedicated to help you start living a healthier life one step at a time, one month at a time. When you sign up for MightyFix, you’ll pay $10 each month and you’ll receive one full-sized product in the mail each month worth at least $10 and designed to make it easier to live more mindfully and make healthy choices. Plus, you can also add anything else from their site to your order and get it shipped for free.

If you’re interested in trying out the MightyFix service, fill out the form above with your email address and you’ll get a code via email to get $5 off your first month + one reusable Lunchkin sandwich bag and one reusable Lunchkin snack bag added to your first month for free! Read more about the MightFix service here.

3 Strategies to Simplify Brown Bag Lucnhes

Note: MightyNest sent us some products to try out. Here are the products featured in the pictures in this post: Blue Lunchbox, Green Ice Pack, Neon Green Container, Divided Container, Black Lunchbots Rounds, Silver Insulated Bottle, and Green Din-din Spoon and Fork Set.

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48-Hour Giveaway: Dressing Your Truth Course + $200 Gift Card (1 Winner)

Dressing Your Truth course giveaway

I am SO excited to be bringing you another Dressing Your Truth Giveaway! The last Dressing Your Truth giveaway was one of the most popular and most-talked-about giveaways I’ve ever done.

In fact, since then, I’ve had reader after reader come to me and thank me for recommending this course and tell me how much it’s transformed their life and how they think about what they wear.

For those of you who missed my first review, here it is:

I first heard about the Dressing Your Truth® Course from a reader who highly recommended it to me and suggested that I look into it.

At first, I didn’t really think it was something for me. After all, I’m the girl with the minimalist wardrobe. The girl who only wore a few colors. The girl who would happily wear the same thing over and over and over again.

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Dressing Your Truth Course Giveaway

I actually ended up finding the entire course utterly fascinating! And many, many of you who have been with me in person over the past few months have not only heard me passionately sharing about it, you’ve also probably noticed that I’m gradually shifting over to wearing much more bold and bright colors.

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In the Dressing Your Truth course you’ll discover which of the 4 Types of beauty you express, plus learn the tools for how to express your true beauty through your clothes, accessories, makeup and hair.

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Dressing Your Truth course

By helping you learn exactly what looks best on you, the Dressing Your Truth course not only transforms your outward appearance to match your inner true personality, but it also saves you a lot of time and effort because you’ll be able to streamline your wardrobe down to those styles and colors and patterns that look best on you and fit your personality type.

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It’s been close to 10 months since I’ve gone through the course. Since then, I’ve slowly weeded out the items from my wardrobe that aren’t my type. I’ve found that knowing exactly what works for me makes getting dressed and shopping for clothes so much easier. I can almost instantly spot what will and won’t work, I have much more confidence about putting outfits together, and more and more, people are asking ME for input and ideas on their clothes and outfits!!

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Since I last ran a giveaway, the course has been updated to include new information, more transformations and a member’s area called DYT Life that helps you apply the information beyond your outer appearance.

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To enter, click on the graphic below and type in your name and email address. One winner will be chosen and posted next week. This giveaway ends Thursday, July 30, at 11:59 pm, CST.

Enter the Giveaway

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