Thursday, October 14, 2010
I have two things going on in my life right now. One of them is writing. I'm writing...a lot. More than I thought I would, which I suppose is a good thing, but quite frankly makes me feel like I really haven't left the paper at all.
The second thing is my compulsion, nay, lets call it an 'obsession' with saving money - lots and lots of money. You have to remember that since I've officially left the workplace we are a) down by one-third the income and b) without health insurance yet again...although we're working on fixing that one. So...the budget is tight. It's been tight before and I'm sure it will be tight again, but its tight non-the-less. So I see my real job as saving as much green as I possibly can...and I'm not talking the environment.
One of the things, besides couponing, that I've done to cut down on our overall budget is forgoing school lunches and packing it for them.
Do you know how HARD it is to make four lunches every morning and still get the kids off to school on time? I mean, really? It's nearly impossible. Well, I guess it wouldn't be impossible if I got up at 5:30 every morning...but I'm too lazy for that. I left the working world remember? I can drive the kids to school in my sweats, sans makeup, with just a brush run through my hair. I'm not about to get up at oh-dark-thirty if I don't have to. So, I've started packing as much of it as I can the night before and then finishing up with sandwiches first thing in the morning.
Speaking of sandwiches, there's the sheer boredom factor. There's only so many PB&J sandwiches a girl can make before going looney. And despite what they may tell you upfront, kids really DON'T want to eat PB&J every day, all school year long.
I would try some pre-packaged stuff, but its expensive. Besides, so much of it isn't healthy. One of the knocks I've always had against Lunchables is what I've heard and read about them not being good for the kids.
You had the crackers, cheese and meat and not much more unless you bought the bigger packs which just had the juice packets and a candy bar inside. I doubt my nutritionist friend would approve.
So I'd buy them as treats, once-in-awhile. Maybe for a road trip or something like that.
But never for daily lunches.
Then I got an email about the Lunchables Blog Tour. They would send me a couple of coupons if I would agree to try their product and then write about it.
Like they had to ask twice.
I get out of making lunches for a whole day...AND I get to save money?!
It was a dream come true! :)
I jumped in Blue Mama and headed to store to pick up my freebies - Pizza and Turkey & Cheddar.
Right away I noticed no juice pack and no candy bars. Hmmm...so far so good. Then, right there on the package, 'made with whole grain.' Alright...now we're talkin'. And there was fruit. Gosh honest fruit! In the Pizza version was a package of mandarine oranges...the Turkey & Cheddar included applesauce and Nilla Wafers.
Sounds pretty good to me.
The only down-side I could find is that I like my kids to drink milk at every meal. They like milk...I like the added calcium. While the packages include cheese...I really don't like filling the kids up with junk for a drink. The meal included a bottle of water with one of those Kool-aid packets inside. I'm not a fan...and there's no way my kids will ignore my pleas to not dump the kool-aid in the water if I'm not there at the lunch table with them.
I mean, can you blame them?
The real proof was in the pudding...or maybe I should say the fruit cup. Alek, who as you know is 12, has a new hobby is eating me out of house and home. Every day he comes home from football practice famished. He can't wait the extra half hour until supper, he has to have something NOW or he is convinced he will DIE!
So I usually give in and make him yet another PB&J to tide him over.
He came home that day and didn't say a word about needing anything to eat.
And when I asked him about it he said he wasn't hungry. He could wait a little longer.
That did it! If I can find some coupons on these things I really might consider putting in my kids lunches every so often sans the Kool-aid packet.
Who knows, I may even splurge and make it a once-a-week deal, just to give myself a lunch-making break. ;)
This is where I was supposed to give away one of the coupons for someone else to enjoy a Lunchable of their very own. The problem is...someone (ahem, me) didn't read the fine print on the letter. So I went ahead and used both coupons.
Next time, if there is a next time, I promise to share.
Unless of course its chocolate-related and then you all are just out of luck! :)
* I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Lunchables and received the products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.