Brown Baggin' It

A frugal woman is always looking for ways to save a few dollars here and there. We are set as stewards over the money and provisions God has provided, and the smart woman will use her creativity to spend less.

One easy way to save on food, especially if there are several people in your family gone during the day, is to prepare brown bag lunches. If you add up how much you spend each week on eating lunch at the local restaurant or in the school cafeteria, the amount you'd spend on a sack lunch is a huge difference.

But brown bag lunches are boring, aren't they? If you use your imagination, they can be the treat of the day.

* Use up your leftovers. Time to raid the fridge! The roast or the ham from last night will make a great sandwich. Many days I'll put some leftover chicken in a container with some frozen veggies and they'll go in the microwave together at lunchtime. Use up that last little bit of "whatever" that won't make a full meal again.

* Plan ahead. Boil some eggs, cook some chicken and cut up some veggies. Pack them in small bags or containers and stack them in the fridge. Anything that saves you time in the morning is a blessing. Plus you're not scrambling to find something interesting to take.

* Make sandwiches interesting. Don't just put meat on a piece of bread - use tomatoes, lettuce, some spices and cheese to dress up something dull. You've probably got plenty of those ingredients leftover too! Experiment with different condiments until you find a spectacular combination.

* Then fancy-up a salad. This one of those that makes us grumble - not another boring salad! How about taco salad today, or a BBQ chicken salad? Adding a different dressing than usual or sald toppers instead of bacon bits can freshen up your greens. How about cubes of cheese, some sweet or spicy peppers and cherry tomatoes? The possibilities are endless.

* Make a fruit and cheese plate. Protein and fruit in one meal...doesn't get much healthier than that. Buy some fruit you don't often use when it's on sale and pair it with the cheese you probably have in your refrigerator. Add some crackers and you've got quite the spread.

* And add a great snack. Skip the vending machines and pack something healthy and interesting. Make your own trail mix with your favorite munchies. Choose dried fruit or mixed nuts to snack on instead of candy. Pack granola bars, veggies and dip or string cheese for an energy pick-me-up.


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