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I have the same lunch as my kids!

We all have the same lunch

We all have the same lunch

Money has been tight lately. I used to make lunch for my kids, then either grab a ready meal for myself or buy my lunch. Buying my lunch would give me an excuse to get out of the office, but it was getting expensive.

My kids have a salad roll, some biscuits and some fruit in their lunchboxes. This can vary a bit depending what ingredients we have. Sometimes they’ll have popcorn instead of biscuits, but that’s the general idea.

In an effort to save money and eat a bit healthier, I have been packing the same lunch for me! The first day I did this, I joked with the other people in my office that I had the same lunch as my kids. As the weeks have gone by, I’ve been realising how this is not only saving me money, but it is also saving a lot of time.

Packing an extra lunchbox each morning doesn’t take any additional time, and I make sure there are always fresh ingredients available. I buy rolls from the bakery and freeze them so they don’t get stale, and, in the hot weather, they help keep the kids lunch boxes cool. I also buy biscuits and other snacks in bulk so they are there for lunch boxes as well as for after school. The next step is getting regular fruit deliveries so there is a plenty supply of fresh fruit available for all of us.

When I arrive at the office, I put my lunch in the fridge so it’s still nice by lunch time. This is a good thing because I don’t have an extra cold bag – these go to school with the boys to keep their lunches nice and fresh.

One down side is that I’m not really going out of the office at lunch time, however with the recent heat in Melbourne, I’m glad of the excuse not to go out. When the weather settles down, I’m planning to go out for a walk after I eat my lunch as there is a great park across the road from my office.

For you other working Mums out there, do you pack your lunch too, or just buy something?

I don’t like cooking…

I don’t enjoy cooking…

I have a confession… I don’t enjoy cooking. It’s not that I can’t cook, or that I’m no good at it, I just don’t enjoy it.

To be honest, I would love to have a personal chef to cook for us every night. I even buy pikelets to put in Mr Z’s lunchbox!

Every now and again, I will get the baking bug and bake some cupcakes, muffins, or similar. But this is rare. When the bug hits, I will bake a big batch and freeze them to use over a period of time. Even when baking, I’ll usually use a packet mix instead of baking from scratch.

I know there are some mother’s who love to cook, but I’m not one of them. And I’m OK with that.

I buy packet mixes and ready made food. I use the same recipe books to cook dinner. I don’t watch Masterchef and those other cooking shows on TV. It’s just not what I’m interested in.

So, there’s my confession for the day – I don’t enjoy cooking.

Menu Planning

Planning our menu…

I must admit that I’m not the most organised person in the World…  One thing that saves me a lot of time and effort is planning a weekly menu.

There are plenty of templates out there that you can download, however our method is a lot simpler.

We get a notepad or a piece of paper and simply write down five meals for the week. In addition, we write a shopping list at the same time.

Menu planning saves me a lot of time during the week. This way, I know what we are having and I know that we have enough ingredients to make the food.

I don’t put them down as Monday, Tuesday, etc. Just Meal 1, Meal 2, etc. This way if the afternoon doesn’t go according to plan, we can chop and change as we feel like it.

In addition to the meals on the menu, we make sure there is a supply of “back up” food, such as meat pies, fresh pasta & sauce, baked beans & tinned spaghetti, and sausages and frozen veggies. All of these are quick and easy and serve as weekend meals and meals when I’m tired or we get home really late.

Most recently, I’ve put my kids in charge of doing up the weekly menu! This may seem strange, but it’s something they really enjoy. This has a number of advantages. The first is that I don’t have to plan the menu, and the second is they put meals on the menu that they enjoy eating. They are surprisingly good at writing a varied menu, although there are a few meals that we tend to have every week!