Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lunch Money 3.0

One of the major ways that we save money on our lunches, is by making everything that we take, from scratch.

I like to cook, but the thought of baking bread from scratch scared me. So I asked for a bread machine for Christmas and I got it! Last week was our first week to use the bread machine bread for our lunch, and it went pretty well. We even managed to keep it to one loaf! We were using at least 2 loaves of store bought bread a week, if not more. If you have a bread machine, or are not a chicken like me, this might be an easy way to save some money. I use the express bake 1.5lb loaf setting on my machine. It helps that I can work on other items for our lunch, while the bread machine is doing it's thing. Once the bread has cooled, I cut the loaf in half and then slice it and store it in the fridge.

That got me to thinking, why don't I make the chips? So, I took some of the potatoes from our stock pile, and proceeded. (This is where that fryer I got for Jeff for Christmas, comes in handy for my use!) Well needless to say, last weeks attempt at chips was a DISASTER. They tasted good, but evidently I did not absorb enough of the oil from them, and they turned into mushy potato slices. But they still tasted good, so we made do last week. NOT one of my better cooking attempts!

Today I found a recipe online for chips and tried again. SUCCESS!!! And the recipe is super easy!

Microwave Potato Chips

Potatoes (Number depends on how many you want to make, and how big your potatoes are.

Microwavable plate

Spray oil stuff

Flavoring

Slice your potatoes as thinly as possible. (After making sure to wash them really good.) I found that cutting the potato in half length wise works best if you are using a knife to slice them. If you have a grater that has the veggie slicer on the side, use it.

Spray the plate with the spray oil. I used butter flavor but do not think it really matters.

Arrange the potato slices on plate.

Sprinkle with whatever seasoning you like. I used garlic and sea salt on one and creole on another.

Microwave on high 5-6 minutes. Keep an eye on the chips and when they begin to show brown spots they are done.

LOTS better than my attempt last week at chips.

I also make our deserts for the week every weekend. I try and use whatever items I have at the house. Last week I picked up some black bananas and made several loaves of banana bread. We used one for our lunch last week, and froze the others to use in the future. This week I am going to make some cookies.

Not only is it cheaper to make these things myself, but it is cutting down on waste as well. No plastic bread bags, chip bags, or cookie packaging to go in the garbage.

To encourage you to start taking your lunch, I have a giveaway of a reusable bag that is perfect for taking your lunch to work in. I use one just like it and it works great! All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment and tell me what is one way that you save money by taking your lunch to work. Make sure that you leave an email address so I can notify the winner. One entry per person. Giveaway ends Thursday, January 15, 2009. I will draw a winner using a random number generator and announce the winner on Friday morning. Good luck!



25 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Natalie, Sorry I haven't posted lately... SO busy!!! Sounds like you are finding all kinds of great ways to save some money... Hooray for YOU.
Hugs,
Betsy

Jessica said...

Oh, I need a lunch bag! I've been carrying my lunch in a Kroger or Meijer bag. Real classy! One thing I've noticed lately about bringing my lunch is that I'm not wasting a dollar here or a dollar there by walking to the convenience store next door to work. And I definitely need to get a bread maker. I am considering making the chips...sounds awesome!

Bobbi said...

Wow - the chip recipe sounds awesome! I'm going to try this tonight. Chips are one of my downfalls, but these sound like they are much lower in fat than store-bought ones.

I don't have a bread machine, but I do bake bread every week. My family loves the homemade so much better!

MJ said...

I've done the deep fried chips before, my best results came when I used a grater for really thin slices.

I'm hoping to make it into my garage this week, so I'll keep an eye out for that bread machine book I was telling you about. I'll let you know when I find it, and you can borrow it!

Carol said...

That sounds like great potatoes! I would love a new lunch bag. My old one is rather grungy.

Taking my lunch saves me lots of money!

Shadows of the goddess designs said...

recipes sound yummy !!!!!

Mary said...

I save money by actually bringing leftovers from last night's dinner. This prevents me from buying "treats" at the grocery store for my lunch. I think I end up eating healthier as well, plus I don't end up with the problem of leftovers going bad and going to waste. I would love a lunch bag!

Sheila said...

I actually telecommute myself, but I have two daughters and a husband who take their lunches. I save money on lunch by eating leftovers. Yes, it is boring at times, but it's both healthier and cheaper than the frozen meals that I used to buy.

CC said...

Bringing my lunch to work helps me save money by preventing me from having to go out and buy something come lunchtime. Even if I get something cheap, it costs about $5. Plus, I eat more healthily when I bring my own food. Thanks for the chance to win! ccmailnc at yahoo dot com

Melissa ~ A BumbleBaby Mommy said...

I'll have to try the potato chips! We eat at home. My husband works just 1/2 a mile away & I'm a wahm. . . but we have a kinder aged daughter who'd love to take her lunch in a cute lunch bag! We even pack lunches for day trips! Talk about saving $$$!
http://bumblebabymommy.blogspot.com

Jeanette said...

I take my lunch to work about 4 days a week. I go outside to get out of the office and I sometimes work on meal plans for the entire week during my lunch hour. (I enjoy it!)
roberts(dot)jeanette(at)gmail(dot)com

Amanda said...

I almost always take my lunch to work. I find it's economical to take leftovers. I also have been saving money by not buying expensive lunchmeat. I was buying lunchmeat for work luunches. I figured it was cheaper than eating out right? Well, I prefer turkey and the turkey has went up to almost $7 a pound here for lunchmeat. I will absolutely not pay that much. I went to sams club and they have these pre cooked turkey breasts from butterball. I really enjoyed it and they were about 4.50 a pound. And to get even cheaper, but not precooked are the little frozen butterball turkey boneless breasts. They are yummy and only about $3.33 a pound. They are really yummy too. It makes for a much tastier snadwiches plus without all of the yucky preservatives and such. I definitely could use a lunch bag. I usually use a grocery bag or my daughter's old supergirl lunch box. Thanks!
God bless,
Amanda
jesusluvsu2005 @ gmail dot com

Heidi said...

The chips recipe looks great, thank you for sharing that! As for lunch, I am at home with our five little ones but I try to save some of dinner and package it up to send with my husband to work. Since he sometimes does weird hours I also like to do bulk baking of things like granola bars or muffins so I can send those with him as snacks.

Thanks again! I'm hthaden at gmail dot com.

Leslie said...

One of the ways to save money is to take your drink with you to work. I get sick of drinking water so make sun tea or some other flavored tea and use a recycled glass bottle. This is in addition to taking home made lunches, left overs, etc.

leslie32177@yahoo.com

Courtnee said...

I make extra for dinner the night before- package up my lunch THEN serve the dinner to hubby and I. THAT way I have lunch all done, and our dinner portions are smaller too. :) I also carry my lunch in a plastic bag Haha!

Courtnee said...

Forgot my email!

cgd.avon@yahoo.com

Almost empty nester said...

bagging a sandwich, a drink, and a snack pack not only does bagging my lunch help me save $$ it also helps save me calories - fast food yuk!!

Gloria said...

I'm a preschool teacher, and I'm lucky enough to have a full-size refrigerator/freezer in my classroom! I stalk-up on what's on sale at the grocery store and freeze it.

gjw823@aol.com

Celeste said...

I bring along leftovers from the night before!!

contact me at:
celeste@mail4me.com

Chloe said...

At the beginning of the week, I make a lot of soup or get items to make sandwiches, then I divvy them up into containers and have those for lunch throughout the week.

springshoot5@aol.com

Stacie said...

Being organized helps to save money and to plan ahead. If you can prepare it the night before then you are more likely to take a lunch because in the mornings can get hectic!

Stacie said...

ahhh I'm sorry forgot my email in my last post (its on my profile though too if you want to delete this message)
stacie_vaughan@hotmail.com

Melissa McD said...

When I make salad as a side for dinner I always have 1-2 plastic containers out and make a couple of small salads while I'm cutting everything up so I can have a nice salad for lunch for a couple of days without having to take everything out and cut it up in the morning...because we all know what mornings look like...who's got time to make salad?
melissadotmcdonald at netzero dot come

Sarah said...

My husband gets to take leftovers for his lunch at work. My don't have to buy anything and the leftovers get used up!

bs.webster(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Danielle said...

My husband has evening classes. So instead of making 'dinners' I make meals for lunch. The leftovers he takes with him the next night to eat between classes. And so the cycle continues...
thanks
yellyjohnsen@yahoo.com