It only took me 12 years of homeschooling and 9 kids to figure out how to make lunch easy.
Gah! Why did I wait so long?
To be completely honest with you, what finally forced me to simplify our lunches was this new job/new house/new baby thing that all took place right around the holidays. We did just about every major life change all in a matter of 6 weeks! Go big or go home!
I was really struggling after Aspen’s birth (that’s another post) and needed to make life as simple as I could until I was back on my feet and fully present. I made a list of all the things that were causing me stress, and one weekend I took some time away to pray and work through as many things on that list as I could.
Lunch was on that list, and the solution came in the form of 3 S’s:
Soup ~ Salad ~ Sandwiches
Last week, I told you about our Kitchen Sink Soup. This is our go-to soup. We make it a couple of times a week to finish off any random leftovers in the refrigerator. I don’t really plan any soups besides this one. When I originally made the 3S Plan, I was going to add in some “original” soups as well, but implementing that proved to be more work than I cared to do.
I try to keep a loaf of bread on hand to go with our soup. I prefer it to be homemade, but will often grab some sort of specialty loaf from Aldi just in case I don’t get around to making something. Sourdough or French bread are favorites here, as well as our homemade whole wheat buns.
Before I had Aspen, I ate salad almost every day for lunch, but rarely had the kids eat it. Now, if I’m eating it, so are they! The two salads we make most often are Taco Salad and Chicken Fajita Salad. For the Fajita Salad, I buy chicken fajita strips at Aldi in the freezer case, warm them up and throw them in with salad greens and cheese. Corn chips add filler to both of these salads.
Because I need things to be as simple as possible, I purchase a couple of loaves of bread a week and keep sliced cheese and deli meat, peanut butter and jelly on hand at all times (although, I’ve never eaten a peanut butter & jelly sandwich myself, most of my kids like it). If we have homemade bread, great, but if not, I know we can still throw together sandwiches with the store-bought loaves. We will have the occasional deviation from these two types of sandwiches with something like my son’s fried egg sandwiches or my daughter’s grilled cheese or bagel sandwiches, but that is fairly rare.
This plan makes shopping for lunches super simple too! My weekly list will always have these things on it:
Deli Meat & Cheese
I keep us stocked with those items so I always have what I need to make lunch easy!
**Huge sigh of relief!**
How have you simplified lunch at your house? Or maybe you’ve learned to simplify another meal. I’d love to hear your ideas!