I have always had a problem coming up with lunch ideas. I’m fine with pulling some random stuff together for lunch (a piece of fruit, some cheese and crackers, and a few nuts), but my husband needs something more substantial, and so do my kids. My husband can typically count on left overs two or three lunches a week, and is able to pull something together the other days. Last month however, the leftovers must have been in short supply as there was a need for him to run to the store and buy lunch on several occasions. It’s crazy how quickly $5 here and there adds up. And what’s the point in sticking to budget in one area if it just causes you to go over in another area.
So after discovering the issue I had to come up with a solution quick! I don’t like buying microwave dinners as they typically have junk in them and cost a crazy amount for the ones that don’t have junk. Even at Grocery Outlet, the Amy’s frozen entrees are $2.99, and that just doesn’t fit in out tight $80 a week budget. So after taking a quick inventory of the freezer, fridge, and pantry, I came up with a few microwave meals of my own. Here’s what I came up with.
Something like a tex-mex casserole. It had brown rice, canned pinto beans, frozen corn, fresh cilantro, sour cream, grated cheese and hot sauce. I was able to make 2, 2 cup servings
Enchilada casserole. It had leftover corn tortillas, canned pinto beans, frozen corn, sour cream, grated cheese, and a very small amount of enchilada sauce. 1 serving
Butternut squash zitti. It was made from left over homemade butternut squash ravioli filling, ricotta cheese, Italian herbs and whole wheat penne. 3, 2 cup servings
Curry. This was made from brown rice, organic frozen peas and carrots, organic lentil curry soup, additional curry powder, and fennel seeds. 3, 1.5 cup servings
A couscous dish made with whole wheat couscous, canned chick peas, organic spinach, Italian seasoning, lemon juice, 4 greek olives with additional juice, and a very small amount of feta cheese. 3,2 cup servings.
So by getting creative and spending an hour or two I managed to make 12 frozen lunches ready to just grab and go. Hopefully this will supplement all of this month and I can actually plan some out for next month.