This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Del Monte. The opinions and text are all mine.
Back to school season is here and if you are like most parents, one of the things that you are not looking forward to is packing your kid’s lunch. Somehow it is just one of those jobs that can get boring and tedious pretty fast, not to mention the fact that a lot of kids can be hard to please when it comes to food!
Take heart! Here are 5 tips that will make packing your kid’s lunches easy and hopefully make them a hit at the same time.
1. Prep Ahead
The more prep work you do ahead of time, the easier your mornings will be. Mix up sandwich spreads, portion out bags of snacks and chop any veggies or fruit. Then all that you need to do in the morning is simply throw the sandwich together and grab your other items. And actually, if you want to make it really easy, you can even make the sandwiches the evening before too!
Want to be even more efficient? Prep a whole week’s worth of lunches at the beginning of the week!
2. Have a Designated Spot for Lunch Food
It makes things super easy if you can always find the items for your lunches at the same spot in the fridge and pantry. Designate a shelf as the lunch shelf or get a small basket and keep your lunch things in it. This not only makes sure someone doesn’t make a snack out of someone’s prepared lunch food, it also will save you time and hassle in the morning when you are rushing around trying to collect everything.
3. Allow Variety
Chances are your kids will be more excited about their lunch if it’s not the same old boring peanut butter and jelly sandwich every. single. day. Add some variety by switching the sandwich for a slice of pizza, a cheese quesadilla, hummus and crackers or even the occasional hot dog.
Prefer sticking with sandwiches every day? That’s fine! Just change things up and keep it interesting by making different kinds such as chicken salad, meat and cheese, tuna salad, egg salad or even cream cheese and banana. Of course you could easily sub a wrap for the bread some days too just for something fun and different!
Above all, keep it simple! Yes, you could spend extra time and make a sandwich that looks like an animal. And if you enjoy doing that kind of thing, go ahead and make them occasionally. But fancy looking sandwiches are totally not necessary to give your kids a healthy, delicious lunch. Chances are that you’ll stick with packing healthier lunches if you keep it simple and therefore easy to do.
I am a sucker for beverages, especially coffee beverages. But since I believe that homemade is usually better and since I’m frugal and hate parting with $4 every time I want to quench my craving, I’ve been on a mission to figure out how to make my own homemade coffee drinks that mimic the ones I love at restaurants.
I have an iced coffee recipe that I really like but just couldn’t come up with a homemade frappe that I truly loved. In my opinion the thing that puts this frappe a notch above other recipes that I’ve tried is the fact that it uses frozen coffee ice cubes instead of regular ice cubes. When you use regular ice cubes to get that slushy frappe texture, it just ends up making it too watery and weak. But by using coffee ice cubes, it keeps the coffee flavor nice and strong, the way it should be!
This recipe makes a very thick frappe. If you want it a bit thinner add more milk or brewed coffee. And if you think the coffee flavor should be stronger, feel free to sprinkle in a bit of instant coffee!
Zaycon Foods, which has been featured on Good Morning America, has meat sales all across the United States where they offer fresh meat at wholesale prices. You order the meat (which is sold in large quantities by the case) online and then it’s delivered directly via refrigerated truck to convenient local pick-up points.
Right now Zaycon is offering 40 lb. cases of chicken breast for just $1.89/lb.! Sale dates and locations vary, so visit their website to see if there is a sale in your area. If you can’t use the full 40 lb. yourself, split the case with another family so that you can still take advantage of this great price. I love to get large quantities of chicken and then cook most of it up, shred it and put it in small portions in the freezer. It makes meal time planning so much easier to have the meat all cooked and ready to go!
I got chicken from them last December and was very impressed- you can read my Zaycon Foods review here. A friend of mine also has ordered from them twice and this is what she had to say about Zaycon Foods:
This will be my third time ordering chicken from Zaycon Foods! It’s so much better than grocery store and way cheaper too!! Check it out! And it’s so easy…order online, pull up the day/time of the event and they put the box in your vehicle for you on plastic! Bring it home, bag it and freeze it and you’re set for lots of healthy meal starters!
Have you ever ordered from Zaycon Foods? I’d love to know how your experience was.
One of the ways I save money is by earning coupons and gift cards through Recyclebank. By spending just a few minutes each month earning points I can soon accumulate enough to redeem a few coupons or if I save them a little longer I can use my points to get a gift card. They typically have gift cards for CVS, Target, Starbucks, Lowe’s, Applebees, T.G.I.Friday’s, Kmart, Sears and more! If the selection is slim, check back again because they update their stock frequently.
Right now you can earn 150 points when you complete the following activity. And if you are new to Recyclebank, once you set up your account, click on the “Earn Points” tab to find more point earning opportunities.
* Focus on the fundamental dos and don’ts of back-to-school planning and earn up to 150 points.