Last week I wrote about the various kinds of containers that would work well for sending lunches with our husbands. Today I want to share (and encourage your own suggestions in the comments) what I do and have done for my husband’s lunches over the years.
First, I want to thank my husband for not being picky! Kevin loves variety but is willing to try anything and willing to work with our limitations in budget. That said, there are some things he would rather not do.
- he’d rather not have apples or raisins or bananas
- he’d rather skip a meal than for me to send things that he has to assemble in order to eat
- he’d rather not have to do a lot to get his meal ready (microwaving is fine)
So, I look at his requests and I plan meals that will fit within those requests.
One thing I’ve found that is helpful for ME, is to set certain days for certain things. Mondays I might send a frozen burrito, Tuesdays might be sandwich day, Wednesdays might be soup day, Thursdays might be leftover day and Fridays might be pizza or frozen dinner day.
Since he teaches at a college, our lives run on the semester schedule. Every semester I look at his schedule and decide what my meal days will end up being. This makes planning out the meals for those 16 weeks much easier. There have been semesters when I have my act together (not the usual case for me), that I actually have all the meals prepared or bought for him for the entire semester and each morning it is simply a matter of packing what I’ve scheduled.
Some things I’ve done:
- bought 16 cans of soup that he likes when they go on sale for his “soup day”
- planned 4-5 different kinds of meals, prepared and frozen them, quadrupling each one to give me 16 different frozen dinners
- made (or bought) 16 burritos and frozen them
- make sure I have nuts in the house to send for a snack
- buy 1-2 bags of sweet treats to send for a dessert (or have cookies available)
Here’s one week’s worth of meals I’ll do for him:
Monday: I’ll pack into his cooler a freezer packet, a frozen burrito (just needs to be microwaved), a small container of almonds, a slightly larger container of baby carrots, a container with tortilla chips perhaps with dip in another and a mini Kit Kat.
Tuesday: I’ll make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, almonds, chips, cut celery and a cookie.
Wednesday: I’ll send a can of soup (with a pull top ring – he keeps a bowl, mug and silverware in his office that he washes each day), container of peanuts in shells, crackers and a Reese’s.
Thursday: I’ll pack a freezer packet, container of leftover pasta carbonara, container of peas, almonds and a granola bar.
Friday: I’ll pack a freezer packet, corn dog, a container with leftover rice with gravy in it, almonds, a container with carrot sticks and a cookie.
This all works well for Kevin and I just make sure that our supper isn’t a duplicate of his lunch. It keeps his lunches varying throughout the week, but standard enough that I can easily prepare and toss it together in just 3 minutes each morning. Every day is different and I mix up the kinds of sandwiches and kinds of leftovers each week so that he never feels like he’s always having the same old thing. The small containers I use are air tight so nothing leaks and I never send salads that have to be assembled.
Again, with all of this, the key to non-stress is PLANNING! Now please know I am NOT a planner. I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of girl. But planning helps me keep the costs AND the stress low, knowing I always have food on hand to feed my husband. Kevin will rarely (if ever) go out for lunch. First, he usually has classes or office hours over the lunch hour. Second, there is no restaurant nearby. He’d skip lunch and NOTHING makes me feel more guilty than knowing my husband is missing a meal because I didn’t plan well enough!
I would LOVE to hear your suggestions! Share what you do, what you’ve learned. What works well and doesn’t work well for you. Even your husband’s requirements. Maybe we can all give some suggestions on how to make inexpensive lunches work for YOUR husband!
Blogs I might be linking to:
Menu Planning Monday, On The Menu Monday, Marital Oneness, The Better Mom, Multitudes on Monday, Hear it On Sunday, Sharing His Bounty, What Joy Is Mine, Playdates at the Well, Back to School Monday, Domestically Divine Tuesdays, Time Warp Wife, Funky Planet Frequent Flier Club, Encourage One Another, Living Well Wednesdays, Legacy Leaver Thursday, What’s Up Wednesday, Raising Homemakers, Thought Provoking Thursday, Hearts 4 Home, Thankful Thursday, Raising Mighty Arrows Thursdays, First Day of My Life , Thankful Thursdays, Thankful, Thankful Thursday Brown-eyed Bell(e), Big Family Fridays, Faith Filled Fridays, Home Focused Friday, Feasting In Fellowship Friday, Homemaking Link-up Week-end