Slice of meat loaf .55, ¼ bag frozen mixed veg .25, orange .25 homemade muffin .25 Total: $1.30
2 slices deli ham, .58 1.5 ounces cheddar, .30 ¼ sleeve crackers, .13 orange, .25 carrot sticks .10 Total $1.36
Tortilla .25, 2 slices deli ham, .58 1.5 ounces cheddar, .30, orange .25, carrot sticks .10 Total $1.48 (plus my pudding cup-smile)
Can tuna* .69, apple* .67, 2 clementines .80, bargain pretzels .08 $2.24
Bowl of chicken wild rice soup, .80, apple .67 slice toast .15 Total $1.62
My lunches for the whole week, based on my estimates was exactly $8.00. My moment of madness trip through McDonald's on Monday night, exceeded $8.00. It doesn't take a mathematician or an economist to figure out the wiser choice. I put an asterisk next to my tuna and apple so I would remember to share the new to me way I enjoyed the meal. I've still not grocery shopped, other than the items DH couldn't pass up on Sunday, and the quick items I picked up, so packing lunches has been a bit like foraging.
As DD was finishing up in the bathroom this morning, I quickly opened a can, drained the water, added back pepper and a squirt of mayo. Into my bag it went with the pretzels and apple. I also threw a couple clementines in, as I had not left enough time for breakfast. The apple was on the large side, and I hate biting into big apples, so at lunch I cut it up in little wedges, then dipped one into the tuna salad. Not too bad a taste, so I decided to cut up in chunks a few of the wedges, and stirred into the salad. Even better. In went the whole apple, and my rather sad little canned tuna salad was transformed into a tangy, crunchy, and sweet meal. I proved my point to myself again of low stock piles leading to creative culinary outcomes. This may be added to my top five lunches of choice.
I've a new impromptu goal for February of no week day lunches out, take out, or a Target run from the deli. Added to the challenge is to keep it at or under $8.00, for five days, even my day off or working from home days. A final twist to the challenge, fitting at least two servings of fruit and veg in each lunch. I made that this week, actually exceeded, as the apples were large enough to count as two servings. If you have ideas to share on your favorite packed lunches, help me out and share! I'll update you all periodically in the weeks to come.