Adult Lunch Suggestions

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Cut It Out! How I Feed My Family of 10 for $500 a Month Without Coupons“.

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

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  1. I love that you make it easy for him, and that you send him a sweet treat each day. Looks to me like you are a planner, and a successful one at that! Thanks for the great ideas

  2. Thanks! But I’ll tell you, I’ve come into planning KICKING AND SCREAMING! 😉 I just know that in my flesh, the tendency is to flow with the breeze…but then so many opportunities fly out the window with that breeze! Thanks so much for visiting with me today.

  3. I have finished TWO full weeks of lunches for KJ. A little guidance from you and I was flying. Now I’m looking for recipes to ADD to the round up for variety without a LOT of prep work. He’s fine with having a routine…such as every Monday, Wed and Frdiay will be homemade salads….like the chicken, tuna or egg salad. Tues being his choice of left overs and Thurs being a soup day.

    I find that he LOVES my home made salads, chicken, tuna and egg salad. He prefers them on a bed of lettuce with cut tomato and a sprinkle of cheese. But if I send bread slices he will assemble a sandwich on occasion as well. He doesn’t mind soup once a week, and I send it in a microwaveable covered soup bowl. When I made Spaghetti for dinner, he requested the left overs for lunch in his 3 sectioned microwaveable lid snaps on covered dish. I also made some au gratin potatoes for dinner one evening that he requested for lunch. Basically this covers 5 days of his MAIN lunch item. I TRY to spend ONE day a week, chopping, boiling, cooking and mixing these salads. But you are definately right that PLANNING the lunches helps as much as planning the rest of my menu.

    To round out his lunch and provide small protein snacks for his two breaks, I add the following. I’ve been blending vanilla yogurt with frozen fruit that he has raved about. I bought those little 1/4 cup size “disposal” save and serve containers. But he brings them home for me to wash.

    Cottage cheese with fruit mixed in.

    Sharp cheddar Cheese slices with little low fat wheat crackers (like Wheat thins but the Aldi brand).

    Peanut butter and celery sticks wrapped in plastic wrap. As a LAST resort, carrots with ranch or veggie dips.

    ANY goodies that I bake…NOT a protein source however.

    Fresh or canned fruit.

    I avoid chips, but have bought mini pretzels (fat free) because he likes dipping THOSE in peanut butter. He loves peanut butter straight from a spoon as well. He will accept a PBJ every couple weeks. His issue with sandwiches is mainly they squish. I’ve tried putting them in sandwich size containers but he complains the bread gets soggy and squishes. So I either pack the bread separately or it’s PBJ.

    He has access to a fridge, and prefers to keep his lunch in a plastic sack not in a lunch box. I have no idea why. He just does. He doesn’t have easy access to a microwave so I try not to send foods to be reheated more than 2 times a week. Although the business plan is for him to have his own office and he’s hoping to get it. THEN he can put in his personal “portable” microwave for his own use.

    You should show the link for those cutey microwaves. If you don’t have it I might.

    I’m totally WITH you on not being happy when he skips or buys a fast food meal because I wasn’t proactive enough to prepare his lunches for him. I used to make lunches for my son when he was working and still lived at home. Shoot, I’d STILL make him lunches if he lived in the same town with me. I like feeling like I’m taking care of my guys. Although my son’s wife may not like that. lol

    • Tina you are cooking with gas!!! Some great suggestions…thanks for posting them.

  4. My husband works as a supervisor in a frozen food facility-yup-below zero all the time! I pack all of his breakfasts and lunches on the day before his week starts. He works 16-hr days, thus the breakfast and lunch planning. I make omelets of varying kinds for his breakfasts and cut up his apples so he can microwave and just munch on the apples or other fruit, he like grapes too. Most of our bananas end up in Banana Lemon Muffins which also make a great snack or breakfast with a hard-boiled egg. i make a batch of Oatmeal & peanut butter cookies or some type of sweet that can be portioned into small servings for him too.

    Lunches vary, but I cook them all on the same day-takes about an hour or 1 1/2 hours max. I roast a chicken, bake a meatloaf and bake some fish, bake potatoes and or sweet potatoes and roast veggies then split them up into microwavable container meals. i also cook off some lean gr. beef and make spaghetti or taco meat for a salad. I pack the taco meat separately, but all other salads are assembled right in the bowl and ready to pour on dressing and eat.

    • Lonnie, thanks so much for sharing these ideas. GREAT!!

  5. My hubby is the most easy going when it comes to his lunches. Sandwich, fruit, 2 snacks, and he is good to go! He has Chron’s and so he is limited in what he can eat…fortunately he loves the foods he CAN have!
    We have taken to having one of the boys make it for him. Leaves for interesting construction as well as content. Yes, they do give him fruit snacks and for some reason they forget to “fold” the lunch meat.

    • How fun that your boys make Dad’s lunch!! He should be glad that legos and action figures don’t make it in between the bread!! ;D

      • Um…they have! My boys are the craziest jokers around. I’m afraid they have inherited a double whammy from both the hubby and I. I will often find “Samurai Snacks” and “Ninja Food” on my shopping list…not to mention there is a P-touch sticker that says “Armadillos lurk in your toaster” stuck ON my toaster! Yeah they crack me up…most of the time!

        • 😀


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