Several of you have asked (or perhaps wanted to ask) how we have time and afford to eat a big meal at lunchtime as well as dinnertime.
If you look at my menus…you’ll notice that often our lunches are just as big as our dinners. There are several reasons for that:
- Matt works all day putting on new roofs, tearing out and rebuilding bathrooms, working on people’s yards, you name it. The guy is hungry when he comes home for lunch. (and dirty…but that has nothing to do with this post)
- Our four boys are….hungry….always.
- I’ve found that it actually costs more to feed my family sandwiches and chips for lunch than it does to fix them a cooked meal…and it doesn’t take much more time to prepare.
Here’s a little research and number crunching I did to see how much it costs to feed my family of six a meal of sandwiches:
100% whole wheat bread…$2.00 on sale if I’m lucky
Two packages of Hormel Naturals Deli meat (the only kind easily available to us that I sort of feel okay about eating)…$2.98 each…$5.96 total
Mayo and mustard…50¢ (just a conservative guess…we go through a lot of it on a whole loaf of bread)
And that’s just the sandwiches.
We do, without a doubt, finish the entire loaf of bread and the entire contents of both packages of deli meat. Add fruit and carrots to that…and milk to drink…it can really add up!
Now, could I buy the cheaper bread and a package of bologna and save money? Sure. But…blech. (and I mean that in the kindest way possible)
And…I usually make my own 100% whole wheat bread…which is less expensive (and WAY better for us) than store bought…but…I’m just trying to make a point here. ;)
A typical lunch at our house might be something that uses a package of SmartChicken (which I buy on sale for $2.49ish/pound)…or a pound of hamburger meat (which costs me $4.35/pound because it’s from cows that are allowed to graze on organic grass and have college degrees). But look at that! Even my “expensive” high quality hamburger meat is less money than the mediocre-quality lunch meat.
Wow…I’m getting worked up here. I’ve never actually added it up before today. I knew I was saving money…but wow. This is exciting.
I have just succeeded in making myself very happy. I’m glad I did the math on that. It’s exciting to know that I’m feeding us good, filling lunches for much less than sandwich lunches.
Oh, and does it really take much extra time to fix a lunch, compared to the time it takes to make sandwiches? Maybe a little. But not much. Our lunches are often a High Five Recipe, which are quick to make, or something I’ve made ahead of time to throw into the oven.
Because many of you have asked about good lunchtime recipes and options…I’ll continue to share ideas as I can. Be watching for more High Five Recipes that are great quick and healthy lunches…plus…look through my menu plans for ideas on what we eat for lunch.
What do you usually eat for lunches? What works best at your house?