Looking for some alternatives to lunchmeat? It’s not only expensive, many brands have additives, nitrates, and large amounts of sodium. While you can find organic and less-processed meats, they’re even more expensive! Try these alternatives to add a little variety to the lunchbox as well as better health:
Cook a pot of pasta and throw in some frozen vegetables, either alongside your dinner prep or over the weekend. Add beans, small cubes of meat from a dinner meal, or cheese and you’ve got a great pasta salad. I use a little salad dressing or olive oil to pull it all together. Use whole-grain pasta or the kind with added protein. This is also a great way to use up leftovers (see below).
You know I like to buy boneless skinless chicken breasts in bulk. Before I freeze the 10-20 pounds I’ve picked up on sale, I make sure and cook up a couple of chicken breasts (saute or grill, whatever you prefer) to use for lunches. You can make chicken salad sandwiches (recipe via Life as Mom), cut chicken into cubes for a pesto wrap in a tortilla, or to top a green salad. I feel like I can stretch my $1.99/lb chicken a lot further than expensive lunchmeat, too.
Healthy Hot Pockets
That’s what my kids call Homemade Calzones when we make them with chicken, broccoli & cheese, just veggies & cheese, or any other non-pizza combination. I guess they’re still sandwiches, but they look and taste different, so they’re a welcome change to the lunchbox.
I take a portion or two out of dinner before it’s served, from favorites like Real Macaroni & Cheese or Mini Broccoli Quiches. If it’s a hot meal, I plan to reheat it in the morning to put in a Thermos. Otherwise, it goes right into our lunch containers, saving me time in the morning. My kids love taking leftover Black Beans & Rice from a taco meal, as long as a put a sprinkle of cheese on top.
What do you pack for lunch as alternatives to lunchmeat?
I’d love to get more ideas!
Spending too much making lunches? Read my money-saving strategies for packed lunches.
Don’t forget to feed yourself! Try these quick lunches for busy moms.
Giveaway coming this Friday!