Cold Lunches

After learning so much from WFMW posts, I thought it time I try to pass along a hint…so here’s my first contribution to WFMW.  To see more check all the participants at  Rocks In My Dryer.

With the kids back in school after the holiday break, it is time to get back into the lunch packing routine.  I don’t always like packing those lunches but I’m motivated by the money it saves and the extra nutrition it provides.  Have you ever added up the cost of school lunches for a year?  For my two kids to eat at school everyday for a year would cost me well over $600.

My kids are allowed to eat school lunch once a week.  Grace does did not like to take cold lunch.  We have argued discussed it many times.  Stanley is much more agreeable on the subject, thankfully.

Grace is a tough cookie.  She just really didn’t like taking her lunch.  Unfortunately it wasn’t really an option when we first moved.  In trying to make it tolerable for her,  I added a joke to her lunchbox everyday. That helped.  I found out that a dessert was also important.  And I didn’t mind the sweet treat since the rest of her lunch was healthy.  Overall her lunch is much lower in fat, salt and preservatives than the school lunches.

Before long both kids were telling tales of the kids who want to sit by them at lunch.  Why?  So they can hear the joke right away.  In third and sixth grades, I am still putting jokes in their lunch boxes.  Stanley reads his to one specific lunch lady everyday.  When I’ve forgotten to put one in she has sent one back to me.   Last year in December I sent a Christmas tongue twister everyday.

Where do I find the jokes?  Well it isn’t always easy.  This is supposed to be a frugal endeavor,  so I try not to buy books.  I have checked out dozens of joke books from the library over the last few years.  I found some online.  I have even had friends email me kids’ jokes.  The only regret that I have about the whole process is that I started out giving each of the kids a separate joke each day.  That is a minimum of 8 jokes a week.  It adds up.  And while you may still be thinking that the resources are endless, let me assure you that most of the kids’  joke books out there were written in the 70s and 80s or were written by someone stuck in that era.  Dated.  Some of the jokes are so dated.  And I’ve found riddles to be the best.  Knock knock jokes don’t seem to have much of an audience.  Tongue twisters go over well in moderation.  But the riddles are the favorites.  Something about taking that few minutes to guess the answer…

Sound overwhelming?  It really isn’t. I cut scratch paper (recycled from the kids returned homework) into fourths.  I write the riddle on the top, the answer at the very bottom and fold up the answer so it isn’t seen until the flap is unfolded.  I can write a month or more in an evening of tv watching.  Dan and I get a good laugh, or maybe groan, out of the ones I can’t use due to outdated references.

Try it if you have a reluctant cold lunch kid.  With a couple hours time, scratch paper and a joke book from the library you can have a fun new attraction in the lunch box. It works for me.  And thankfully it works for my kids!

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3 responses to “Cold Lunches

  1. Pingback: Cold Lunches: Part 2 « Small Town ~ Simple Home

  2. Pingback: 38 Ways I Save Money « Small Town ~ Simple Home

  3. Pingback: Links « The Earthling's Handbook

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