Menu Plan Monday: Back to School Lunches

Welcome to your Monday, my friends! It’s menu planning time around here and since last week’s “keep it simple” plan went so well, I am doing it again! We are finally getting a hand on the back-to-school routine a bit, thanks to a flexible meal plan, which also gave us a lot of variety.

September Meal Plan

So looking at the week, according to the month long, plan for the week , this is what I am making:

  • Sandwiches
  • Breakfast
  • Stuffed
  • Italian
  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Mexican

What I am ACTUALLY making based on my grocery shop and what I already have is:

  • Leftovers (Pulled pork sandwiches)
  • Pancakes, eggs, bacon
  • Lasagna
  • Steak Tips on the grill
  • Spaghetti Squash casserole, grilled chicken
  • Quesadillas
  • Soup & Salad night (soup and sandwiches for the kids)

The only grocery item that I still need to get, is the steak, and I didn’t like the way it looked at the store that I went to, so if I can’t find it at the next one that I go to for meat, than this little item will change too- I have been wanting seafood so that would be a great option.

Overall, the menu plan helps with the budget for groceries…but can we talk about how expensive school lunches are to pack for 4 kids?! The snacks, people! The snacks are too expensive , and I need to pack peanut-free only snacks for them all, as many schools require now, so many options are brand-dependent on the ingredient list NOT saying “made in a facility that also processes peanuts or other nuts.”  I am not sure why so many brands of items even have peanuts near their stuff (?!) but they do, and a lot of things you wouldn’t think have a peanut issue, do- so I always read the label to make sure. Here’s what I usually include:

  • Fruit: strawberries, apple, little oranges or other fruit
  • Extra: carrot with hummus
  • Crunchy & Salty: Pretzels or chips of some peanut-free kind (this is the toughest!)
  • Sweet: cookies (Oreos, vanilla wafers, homemade, or Graham crackers)
  • Yogurts (sticks, or cups)
  • Cheese sticks/bricks with crackers
  • Sandwich (kid dependent on type) or Thermos of warm food (pasta, french toast sticks, soup)

Some of this is homemade, and some is pre-packaged.  I usually use a TON of little containers that are slowly taking over my dish-rack!

It takes a looooong time to pack 5 lunches (including myself) so I do most of it the night before. But I would love some lunch-time inspiration. I made a Pin-Board to get started, but honestly, the kid’s lunches are not as pretty as most of these!

Follow Hardly a Goddess’s board Lunch Box on Pinterest.

What do you you pack or plan for packed lunches?

Check out OrgJunkie , Mommy Run Fast or Fitness, Health and Happiness for some great ideas at the link-ups for menus to use to simplify your recipe planning. Have a wonderful Monday, and week ahead!

2 thoughts on “Menu Plan Monday: Back to School Lunches

  1. Lucie Palka

    I hate thinking of having to make my own lunch, I can imagine what it’s like to make lunches for 5 people. My little guy is only 2, but in 2 years I”ll have to start thinking about it! I better start pinning school lunch ideas now!

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