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Ahhh. Another back to school post. I’m on top of it this year. Yup. This is going to be the year. The year that everything is perfect, I’m on top of my “mom game” and Jayli will eat 100% healthy, 100% of the time. LoL…yeah, right! I can wish that were the case, but trying to maintain that perfection isn’t achievable. However, I do try to be as organized as I can so that it makes my life easier. And we all know, everyone benefits when moms’ life is easier, am I right?!
I don’t have it all together, but I have been able to find some really great hacks (thanks, Internet) that I am now passing onto you. Maybe you already have heard of these…heck, maybe you already do these things, you rock! Regardless, I want to share what I’m doing that makes my life easier and maybe help ya out, too. mmmkay.
Ok enough about me (for a little bit). Jayli is vegetarian and at her school, there isn’t very many options for her, which means she brings her lunch everyday. (Back to me). I have been struggling for quite a while to find a good lunchbox. And by good, I mean, great. I realize I am picky. I want it to be semi-leakproof, yet easy for her to open. I want separate compartments that aren’t too big or aren’t too small. I want them to be colored…yeah, fun colors! Dishwasher safe, microwavable, freezer safe, portable AND stackable so they can nest together to save space in my cabinets.
Ok, guys. I can’t justify spending $63 on a PlanetBox ROVER, but don’t think I didn’t think about it. I’m actually kinda embarrassed to say that I did consider it. Maybe one day. Let me know if you have them if and if they really are the “only lunch box your kid will ever need”
In the meantime, I did find some pretty rad and inexpensive lunchboxes. I realize this isn’t really a hack, but when you’ve done as much research as I have, consider it a hack. For a set of 4 at only $14 I’m satisfied with these. They meet all of my requirements and they’re as cheap as I could find for the quality….and again, I did a ton of research.
Ok, so the only thing that I don’t like about these lunchboxes are the fact that they only have 3 compartments.I know I’m picky, but here me out. I only want them to have 3 compartments on the days she isn’t packing a sandwich, but I don’t want to have a million lunchbox containers for different days. I can’t be the only mom who feels this way.
So, I finally got on board with the silicone baking cups. This allows me to turn three compartments – into – up to six compartments. They fit perfectly into the big compartment so on the days she doesn’t want to pack a sandwich and prefers something like, homemade lunchables, that’s not a problem.
BUT there is one other issue…they’re not leakproof. Dangit. I need them to be leak-proof for her dipping sauces! But guess what!? It’s not a problem because they specially made leakproof dipping containers that go inside the lunchboxes!!!!
Ok, I am really overly-excited about these lunchboxes…
And just for fun! I got her these re-usable ice popsicle molds. You can put fruit, juice, smoothies, yogurts, etc…into these popsicle molds! They’re flexible, reusable, and dishwasher safe. And you can mix the colors of the lids which makes it even more fun 🙂
And since we’re on the topic, we ordered this lunch bag. It is made for the lunchbox containers and it’s taller so you can stack multiple things on top of it.
I’m all about meal-prepping because it saves time, money, and you get to eat really good food without all the time and effort.
You know you can make PB+J sandwiches, freeze them, use them as an ice pack in their lunchbox and it’ll be thawed out by lunch time. That’s not all you can freeze! I also plan on making/freezing some bean burritos, bagel thins pizzas and quesadillas.
Make a list of meals ahead of time. I typed a list up, printed it out, and hung it up inside the cabinet. You can download it here. (Just right click to save it to downloads and print it off). It’s a list of lunch ideas because we all like variety…and sometimes, when a trip to the grocery store is needed, it’s nice to have some new ideas in plain sight. It saves money. It saves time. It saves sanity.
If you want to be the sweet, encouraging mom, and if you have the time, you can save time by writing up lunch box notes all at once on a pack of post-it notes. Keep the notes stashed with the lunchbox containers in the cabinet and you can easily slap it onto their lunchbox before they go to school. (You could also just print and cut a bunch out at the beginning of the month).
To keep an apple from turning brown, cut the apple into slices and put it back together. Tie a rubber band around the whole apple and place it in their lunchbox. They will take off the rubber band when they’re ready to eat it and the apple won’t be brown.
Create a Snack Station in your Fridge and Pantry. Let your kids make their own lunches by pulling one or 2 of each items and placing them in their lunchbox. I made JJ her own little bin in the pantry that she can pick an item out of after school for snacks as well.
You make your own ice packs using a wet sponge placed into a Ziploc bag. This is also great for injuries!
You also must get an umbrella! I bought this one, then went to TJMAXX and seen them marked down for 1/2 the price. Oopss…:)
Several years ago, we got her this backpack from L.L.Bean . I LOVE L.L. Bean because there bags come with a lifetime warranty, so we aren’t buying a new backpack every year. This saves money and being frugal is always a great thing in my book.
Do you have some hacks for me? Let us know what you find helpful so we can all save some of our sanity this year!
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