If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Frugal February- day 11

I pack this little cooler for my husband before he goes to work. It is pretty much the same thing every day -
2 servings of fruit
1 serving of nuts
1 string cheese
A sandwich on a homemade bun with a few chips and pickles
Coffee and a bottle of water, an ice pack and a cloth napkin
This keeps him fed for lunch and breaks.
I like these Ziploc 3 compartment containers as they keep the sandwich and chips from getting squashed. 
The nuts are in a reused baby food container. 
I try not to use many sandwich bags -they only cost 2 cents at Aldi though.

All of his coworkers but 1 buy their breakfast and lunch at nearby fast food restaurants everyday. Those coworkers also complain about being broke too. They think my husband is spoiled because I pack his lunch too.  Silly men! 
Packing a lunch like this is not really any trouble, it just takes a little planning. 

When I was younger and living at home, I packed my dad's lunch pail. He did not care what was in it, he was just happy if I would fix it. He liked fruit and homemade cookies and crackers spread with peanut butter. I remember one time that we needed to buy groceries and all I could come up with for dad's entree was a stale hotdog bun with cheese and pickles. When he got home from work, he told me it was a delicious sandwich. 

When I was just a baby, my dad and his uncle worked at a petroleum refinery in west Texas.  All the men took lunches.  One man, a real creature of habit, always had the exact same lunch- a bologna sandwich, a banana and a Hershey bar. The men at this plant were jokesters, especially Uncle Jesse. One day, he convinced all the men to bring that same lunch and to eat it at the same time as the creature of habit man. Dad said all the men had a great time doing it but the guy did not realize he was being pranked until all the men were eating Hershey bars at the same time. 


The contents of my husband's cooler costs less than $2. 
If he ate fastfood, I am sure it would cost at least $10-$15 every day.


36 comments:

  1. That ziploc container would be perfect for my sons lunches. Will have to get one. That lunch looks great.
    I used to make my husbands lunches every day. He got tired of sandwiches and waiting in line to use the microwaves after a hundred other people got gross. He did it without complaining for years. A few years ago he started buying his lunch as it was just faster and easier. The food is subsidized by his employer so it is quite inexpensive. It has made his life easier, and so, I don't harp on the money aspect.

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    1. Subsidized meals is a great benefit
      I got the container at Walmart and have recently seen them on amazon.

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  2. Hubby packs a lunch every day. Usually his lunch contains leftovers. Every six weeks he has to go in for a blood draw before work. That morning he treats himself to a drive thru breakfast sandwich on his way in. He said that most of the people he works with go to the cafeteria for lunch. I can't imagine the expense. Besides that when he has eaten there he said it isn't that great.

    I enjoyed the story you included with this. I could see my dad being the instigator of the copycat lunch. :)

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    1. I think your husbands routine to get a breakfast out as a treat is a great idea.
      Glad you liked the story, there are many more of them :) as you can imagine jf your dad was like my Uncle Jesse.

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  3. I do the same thing for my husband. He leaves our home at 4:30 so I'm up at 4 and have him out the door in no time, I also include a breakfast sandwich to eat on the way. There's a thermos of homemade soup in the cold weather, he works in the elements and so appreciates a little warmth. Many people think I'm nuts as I also work full time. I do this to keep our finances in check and hate the idea of my family eating chemicals. I so enjoy reading your blog!!!

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    1. Hi Patti, nice to met you. My blog is just about what I do. I have also worked part and full time and I fixed lunches then too.

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  4. My husband works from home currently but a few years ago when he went to work, I packed him a lunch pretty much every day. His lunches were usually leftovers. I'm sure we saved quite a bit of money by doing that. Plus he only had 30 minutes to eat which really isn't very much time to run out and buy something. His coworkers also thought he was spoiled--I think it's a rarity for many folks to have home-cooked food these days.

    I don't usually have to pack a lunch since my work hours are such that I can eat lunch at home. When we do events on the weekends, I usually bring the cooler with lunch and snacks. good for saving money and health!

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    1. Hi Mary Ann, I did know about your outside jobs, I know you were doing in home day care. No wonder you are not blogging much these days :)

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    2. Rhonda,

      I blogged about it here:
      http://mrsmaryannshouse.blogspot.com/2013/09/today-beginning-of-new-season.html

      I am only working part-time and it is working out very well for us right now! I have lots of posts in draft that are waiting to be finished or for pictures. :-)

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  5. I pack my girl's lunches. I can still do it for less than the cost of a cafeteria lunch and I know they'll eat it. We've gone over the school lunch menus and determined most of what is offered they don't want to eat. There is a lot of processed food on those menus and not a lot of variety.

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    1. I think school menus are trying to use less processed food but you are right, there is still lots of it. My DD works at a school, if she buys lunch it is $3.50, cheaper than fast food but not nearly as thrifty as taking her own.

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  6. Greg takes his lunch most days. I usually pack up leftovers from supper as I clean up the kitchen, and then in the morning will add fresh veggies and fruit or cookies or whatever to go with it. This morning he took a mug of chicken tortilla soup, then a baggie with tortilla chips and some shredded cheese, and an apple.
    His company provides snacks and lunch fairly often, and he likes to eat out once a week, which he does pretty frugally with dollar menus.

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    1. Greg's lunch sounds good. I also plan his lunch ahead while I am in the kitchen, like setting up the coffee maker and baking fruit and nuts. Makes the early morning so a but smoother.

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  7. I will show this post to my daughter. She packs a lunch for my husband each evening. She loves coming up with different things to pack for him, just like you did with your dad!

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    1. Awww, i love your daughter does her daddy's lunches! That is an act of love and also good experience when she has her own home to manage.

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  8. Your husband is the smart AND lucky one. All his coworkers are not only broke, but eating fast food every day just sets themselves up for heart disease and other terrible health problems. My husband brings his lunch and snacks to work every single day, too. First of all, he doesn't have a choice. In his profession (911 dispatcher), he's not allowed to leave the building. Secondly, like you guys, we're on a strict budget. He could never afford to eat out every day, even if he wanted to (which he doesn't). I don't pack my husband's lunch - he likes doing it himself. I have offered to help numerous times and he always says, "Nope, I've got it." Anyway, he packs a healthy lunch: leftovers from the previous night's dinner (if there's no leftovers, he'll make a healthy sandwich - we only buy nitrate-free lunch meat or else I'll make tuna salad and I buy Ezekiel bread) and a salad with my homemade dressing. For his mid-morning snack he takes Greek yogurt and fruit.

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    1. Melanie, I think your husband is smart and lucky too!
      I have just discovered Greek yogurt, and it is so good! Any brands or flavors you prefer?

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  9. All the time that I was working I packed my lunch, I worked out once that I was saving my grocery shopping money every week by packing our lunches. I worked with people who bought their snacks and lunch and then constantly harped on about how little money they had.

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    1. Even when I worked part time, I took my own drinks and snack. I sure didnt like spending lots of money just because I had forgotten and got hungry either.

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  10. Rhonda - I pack 4 lunches every night. The boys take their lunch, preferring it to school lunch. Dennis and I take a small lunch instead of buying lunch each day. It is never the same. The boys are on a tortilla and cheese kick right now! I grew up with my daddy taking his lunch every day in a metal lunchbox and thermos. Mama always packed his lunch.

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    1. My dad had one of those metal lunch boxes too, the kind that was curved on the top.

      4 lunches every night, that really does take some planning, right?

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  11. You two are smart! My husband and I like to travel with our meals from home when we go out. I like your story telling!
    Blessings :-)

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    1. Thank you Kath, we often takes meals or snacks with us when we travel too. Even for short errands, we always take water to drink.

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  12. I pack my husbands lunch too. Usually a sandwich, chips, yogurt, fruit and some type of dessert. Or else he'll have dinner leftovers, yogurt fruit and a dessert.

    He works with almost all women on the midnight shift and they are always commenting on his lunch. Most don't bring anything and then end up ordering pizza.

    I always had an issue with spending money while at work. I'm there to make money not spend it.

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    1. My husbands shop is all men but at his previous job, he did have lunch and breaks with women coworkers. They were just amazed I made homemade bread and cookies, and this was almost 20 years ago when eating out frequently was not nearly as normal as it is now.

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  13. This is a real money and time saver (no waiting in long lines). I have always packed a lunch, and my kids do as well. I often take leftovers, homemade soup. Add a piece of fruit, a baked treat-done! I keep tea bags at work, and have access to filtered water. With 4 kids, there was no way I could afford what the schools were charging for lunches, which often don't have enough for my ravenous boys, or are not healthier choices. I won't pay either for a sandwich, when one can be made at home. that makes no sense to me. Today's lunch: homemade macaroni salad in a container, alongside some homemade tuna salad, home brewed tea. Perfect.

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    1. My husband does really like the no lines and no waiting at lunch. With his homemade lunch, he can relax his entire lunch hour. His job can be stressful so he really appreciates that.

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  14. I love the story about your dad. That is so sweet.

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    1. Thank you, I've got more of them :)

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  15. This is an excellent idea. We really need to reign in our eating out, it's ridiculous!!!

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    1. Thank you Valerie, I know you are busy know with your new place. I think once you get more settled and all that moving in work done, you will have meals at home more. They just taste better to me, are healthier and less stressful too

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  16. I totally agree...those men are broke and spend all that money on food...and don't even realize the connection!

    love the hot dog bun sandwich that was delicious. ;)

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    1. Hi Betsy, at my previous job, the women there ate out multiple times a day and also had money troubles. They never saw the connection either. I mostly dislike fast food and still don't understand how they ate so much of it

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  17. Not only is the lunch a big savings, but it's better for him. I don't eat fast food very often, but I get tired of it. I'm always amazed at the price of a hamburger and fries.

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    1. We rarely eat fast food, maybe 3-4 times a year, and when we do, we don't know the menu and it takes us so long to decide, it is not too fast :)

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  18. When my husband was out of work, I took a temporary part time job at the amusement park where our youngest son worked. I wasn't about to spend that hard earned money in their employee cafeteria, so I packed a lunch. And my son looked at me and said, You could pack ME a lunch too! So I did, and all his teenage friends were so jealous. It was mostly homemade whole wheat bread with chicken salad made from my home canned chicken, some carrot and celery sticks, maybe some fruit and a treat. It did also help with time, because our lunch period was very short, and we didn't have to wait in line.

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I love to hear from you - thanks for telling me what you think.

Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda