Basically, we can all just go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of stuff. I tried to put in the list things that can be made at home cheaply and easily, or are cheap to buy. I also tried to have on the list snacks that are more of a light meal. If fruit and veggies are not enough by themselves, add a tiny container of peanut butter or cottage cheese on the side.
Bagging granola and such in advance will make packing lunch and snacks easier in the morning or the night before. A weekly supply of bagged snacks is reasonable and shouldn’t take too long. In the ‘Dry Stuff’ section I also added things that you can make at home and should last for at least 2 weeks.
That’s all I could come up with, so far.
*Homemade Granola Bars/ Cookies
*A mix of dried fruit (like raisins and craisins) and some morning cereal (I like getting shredded wheat/ cheerios/ chex-type cereal, when they are on sale, and the store-brand ones. That cuts down on the price)
*Pretzels (Cheap enough to buy). You can: add to the mix above, mix with few chocolate chips, add a small container of peanut butter with them, or some cottage cheese, olives, etc., on the side. Be creative!
*Pudding (wait for a good sale on the ones that are shelf-stable)
*Oatmeal and raisins/ peanut butter cookies, or any other cookies with some nutrition to them.
*Have enough washed fruit for a week.
*Cut up (no more than 2-3 days in advance): apples (dip in lemon juice to prevent browning), pears (dip in lemon juice), melons, watermelon, pineapple.
*Cut up (no more than 2-3 days in advance): cucumbers, carrots, celery stalks, bell pepper.
*Pasta or potato salad made with olive oil (for food safety issues, or if not worried about it- you can use mayo).
*Rice pudding (can be made at home very simply by cooking the rice in milk and adding some sugar and cinnamon if desired).
*Mini quick breads
*Mini lentil patties
*Tiny sweet rolls- you can use a recipe for kubane and add more sugar (you can fill with some chopped up fruit, or preserves).
*Tiny savory rolls- you can use a recipe for kubane (you can fill with mashed potatoes, spinach, cheese, chopped olives, etc.).
*Mini pizzas or calzones.
It shouldn’t be hard to build up a well-stocked freezer. Start with going over the stuff in the freezer and prioritize. If you don’t have enough space, don’t keep there things that are bulky, easy and fast to make- keep the space for things that don’t take too much space, stock up nicely (squares are great!), are more expensive to buy, and are making life easy when it comes to preparing food.
For example, whenever you make cookies, make a double batch and keep half the dough in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Lentil (or other bean) patties are much cheaper than buying frozen vegetarian patties, and are easy and fast to make. Kubane dough can be used to make sweet or savory rolls, and is easy and fast to make. Quick breads are… well, quick to make, and recipes are very forgiving- it’s easy to add more nutrition to them.
That’s it for now. I’m going to sleep. I hope it helps 🙂