Time Saving Tip: Make Lunch the Night Before

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I’m guessing that for most families whose kids attend traditional schools making lunch the night before is a pretty common practice. Since my children “do school” at home, it might not seem all that necessary. We’re home most of the day, so why do we need to do that?

But, oh what a help it is to my day if I’ve already prepped lunch! Cooking can take such a big bite out of the day, especially when I’m preparing three home-cooked meals. I need to be able to focus on math, spelling, reading, and caring for the little ones, not figuring out what there is to eat.

One thing that really helps my day go smoothly is to make everyone’s lunch the night before. FishPapa usually takes a lunch to work, and since he leaves before the sun is up, it’s always easier to make it before I go to bed. I line everything up on the top shelf of the fridge: drink, 2 fruits, a sandwich, a side salad, and an energy bar.

Since I’m a big salad fiend, I often put a plate aside from the night’s dinner, prior to dressing it. To make it more filling, I often add some chicken or tuna, hard boiled egg, or garbanzo beans.

The kids are happy with sandwiches or cheese and crackers along with fruit and veggies. So, when I prep all that at night, that takes a load off my mind during a busy school day.

What do you do to make your day go more smoothly for meal times?

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About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. That is a great idea! I guess with being at home schooling them that I hadn’t tried this. We are having roast for dinner so this will make for yummy lunch tomorrow.

  2. JessieLeigh says

    My kids only have school until 11:00 am right now (preschool), so it doesn’t make lunch prep too difficult yet, but you can bet I’ll be doing this in the future!

    I already make my husband’s lunch the night before. I also set the coffee maker and add the sugar and (powdered) creamer he likes to his travel mug so it’s ready to go. Simplifies my morning and he feels well cared-for… win-win!

  3. Jerri - Simply Sweet Home says

    Good tip. I read a lot of blogs of homeschool moms, and I’ve often wondered how they work out the lunch time and everything.

  4. Lynette says

    A while ago I had to come up with a “food schedule”. For my oldest, who would drive me crazy asking me what was for lunch (or more importantly if she could have turkey again today!) To save the turkey meat for lunch – I decided to rotate PBJ’s with Turkey sandwiches, and give 1 special meal a day (or more importantly I was saving the boxs of Mac & Cheese!).

    So I came up with a breakfast rotating schedule, and a lunch rotating schedule. Turkey and PBJ’s every other day (which includes a piece of cheese, a whole fruit – whatever we have in the house – and a treat of chips if they eat all of that). 1 day a week we do Mac&Cheese. Sometimes now I’ve been rotating in popcorn for lunch (while watching a movie, I know I’m bad!) Or some soup or ramen noodles (if we have been sick) I will also occassionally make Grilled Cheese Sandwiches too. Having the food schedule makes it easy for me to tell them what it is today because of what they had yesterday (i.e. Today you are having PBJ’s because yesterday we had turkey!) Then they look forward to have Turkey the next day!

    The breakfast schedule goes like this: M,F – healthy cold cereal, T & R – bagels, yogurt, fruit. W – can have unhealthy cereal if choose. S & S are free days in our house, but usually I make 1 hot breakfast on one of those days. Knowing what they are to have makes breakfast and lunch soo much easier these days! My oldest can get up and get cereal if it’s cereal day, or bagels if it’s bagel day and she doesn’t have to ask me – cause she already know’s what she can have!

    It’s also easy, if Daddy is home for lunch or is getting breakfast for him to just help prepare whatever it is too! Makes life so much simpler knowing this!

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