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Who loves to plan lunch?
Yep, me neither.
I've got to be honest, planning dinner makes me want to take a nap. I get finished with our weekly dinner plan, only to realize we need to eat breakfast and lunch too?
Be near Jesus. This is too much.
A short time ago, our weekly lunches could be some form of leftovers. Those were the days you guys. Three kids later, our kitchen hasn't seen a leftover since 2007. Our people like to eat.
We are also on a budget. Ten years ago, we cut back our spending to pay off all our consumer debt. Aldi was a huge money saver for us. We cut our food bill in 1/2 by shopping at Aldi. As a result, we were able to pay off $18,000 in 18 months.
HOW WE PAID OFF $18,000 IN 18 MONTHS
For the past 5 years, we have been aggressively working on paying off our mortgage. We are on pace to finish this in early 2018. Part of the reason we are able to hit this HUGE goal is by doing little things like packing lunches everyday. The cost really does add up.
You'll notice most of our lunches come right from my local Aldi. I really do believe you can make healthy, delicious, food your family will love while shopping at Aldi. I am an Aldi fan for life.
I even wrote an ebook about Aldi lunches. It has some great free printables if you are new to making lunch.
Grab our free ONE MONTH OF ALDI LUNCHES HERE.
Lunch planning has become a regular thing for me. I've been on a mission to make lunch planning easier for us. I am getting better at developing systems to make lunch making easier. So, I thought I'd share those things with you!
But first, I have a few ground rules for lunch making:
- I have to be able to make all 3 lunches before the coffee is made. 10 minutes max. I usually get it all done in 5 minutes.
- We try to use the same fruit and sides in most of our lunches throughout the week. This week we had strawberries and veggie straws. We love puffs, popcorn, and trail mix too.
- I pack all our lunches in the same lunch containers everyday. I have 10 of these 3 compartment containers so I always have clean ones ready to go. They are dishwasher safe and hands down the best thing to make lunch!
Okay, so here is what we had for lunch this week!
LUNCH 1: HAM + PROVOLONE ON HAWAIIAN BUNS
I love Aldi's version of King Hawaiian buns. They are the perfect lunch making bread. The sky is the limit on what you can do with these babies!
Our favorite combination is ham and provolone. I warm up the rolls first, slice them in half and stuff them with ham and cheese while they are still warm. The cheese melts into the bread. It is amazing.
These sandwiches are great cold. I put 3 in each lunch, but remember I have 2 middle school kids and 1 elementary school kid. If you have preschool or early elementary school kids, you may only need 1 or 2 sandwiches per lunch. Do what works for your kids!
We've been loving Aldi's veggie sticks in our lunches lately. My kids were skeptical at first, but this is slowly becoming our favorite lunch side. For a $1.99 a bag, you can't beat it!
Fresh sliced strawberries are the perfect sweet treat to end this meal. We are eating all the berries and peaches we can get before winter!
LUNCH 2: TURKEY + SWISS ON WHOLE WHEAT.
This lunch is easy and fast. I had work trip to Nebraska this week so I saved this lunch for my busiest day! I literally made all our lunches in less than 5 minutes.
We used Aldi's whole wheat sandwich bread. Spread one side with mayo and mustard if you want. Layer your sandwich with turkey and swiss.
I served this with Aldi's organic puffs and fresh strawberries.
LUNCH 3: WHOLE WHEAT BAGELS WITH STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE AND HARD BOILED EGGS
Whole wheat bagels are another weekly Aldi staple for us. They are great for breakfast and lunch!
I toasted these bagels and spread them with strawberry cream cheese. My kids love this flavor from Aldi. Peanut butter or any nut butter would also be a great option for this lunch!
I hard boiled eggs in my instant pot for the first time. It was magical. I will never hard boil eggs on the stove again! The eggs peeled perfectly. I've never seen hard boiled eggs like this before.
We served this lunch with mountain trail mix and strawberries.
LUNCH 4: CHICKEN BOWLS
Chicken bowls are a favorite lunch at our house. Everyone loves chicken bowls.
You can use Aldi precooked, sliced chicken next to the deli meats for this lunch. Or I bought a rotisserie chicken from Costco and sliced it.
To assemble this lunch, I use the brown rice microwave packets from Aldi. I put about 1/4 cup of brown rice in each lunch container. Top the rice with 2 tablespoons of black beans, shredded cheese, and sliced chicken.
You could put some salsa in the lunch too if you have it! I served it with sliced avocado and fresh peaches.
Looking for more help with lunch? Grab our FREE Aldi lunch plan. Take 30 minutes on the weekend to prep a week's worth of lunches. Our meal plan has shopping lists and recipes all ready for you!