Welcome Back Apple Stamped Back to School Lunch Sacks

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We’re kicking off a Back to School Bash with Frugal Coupon Living this week! When Ashley asked us to share some back to school ideas, we couldn’t be more thrilled. Being teachers we get just as excited (or nervous) to head back to the classroom as the kids do. For the next several weeks we’ll share with you some fun and educational ways to get in the school spirit.

Packing lunches can be a dreaded task in even the most organized of households. Use this art project as a perfect way to have your little ones help jump start your packing parties.

Supplies:

  • Paper lunch sacks
  • Washable paint (we used red, green, and white)
  • Apple sliced in half
  • Cork
  • Scraps of ribbon
  • Hole puncher
  • Black marker
  • Paper plates

Lay out a couple of paper plates for your kids with some paint on each of them. Show them how the apple can double as a stamp. Have them cover the cut side of apple with paint and stamp their bags. They can use the cork to make polka dots. Once they’re dry you can use the black marker to finish off the design. By folding the top of the bag over once and hole punching, you’ve prepared your bag to be used as soon as school starts. Have the kids design special ones for themselves or their siblings. Let them dry and store them away for back to school time. The final touch is some cute ribbon through the holes on the top once it’s stuffed with a yummy lunch!

For more educational ideas visit us at www.simplysprouteducate.com.

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Don’t forget our FREE First Day of School Printables - Pin to Pinterest!

Check out these other Back to School Frugal Coupon Living FREEBIES and Crafts:

1.) Introduction - Project Lunchbox - Pin It

2.) ABC School Days Theme - Pin It

3.) Shark Week Lunch Theme - Pin It

4.) Camping Theme Lunch - Pin It

5.) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Theme Pin It

6.) Bug Lunch Theme - Pin It

7.) Birthday Lunch ThemePin It

8.) Keep Calm and Teach On FREE Printable and Pencil VasePin It

9.) Face Fruit and Food Stickers and FREE Lunch NotesPin It

Also check out Back to School Deals on Frugal Coupon Living.


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Craft Store Coupons Until 8/9 – Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Jo-Ann Crafts

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

mason-jar

Craft Store Coupons Until 8/9 –  Save up to 40% off items.  In this Summertime Michael’s Project, learn how you can make this fun food craft – Mason Jar Lemonade! It seems Corn Syrup is the secret!

craft-coupons

This week’s Hobby Lobby Coupon is out!  Print this coupon for 40% off any regularly priced item at Hobby Lobby.  Coupon expires  8/9/14 (Saturday).

You can also grab 40% off one full-priced item from JoAnn Crafts. Coupon expires 8/9/14 (Saturday).

Grab a Michael’s Coupon for 40% off one full-priced item (as well). Coupon expires 8/9/14 (Saturday).

Find More Coupons on Frugal Coupon Living.



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Happy Birthday Lunch – Themed Lunchbox Back to School Series

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Happy Birthday Theme Lunch

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Welcome to the seventh post in our Back to School SeriesProject Lunchbox! Today’s theme – Happy Birthday! With each series, we create a theme and strive to create fun and inexpensive lunches to give your child a little Celebration in their school day.

If your child’s birthday happens to fall on a weekday and during the school year, why not make it special? A few extra touches can really make your child feel extra loved and celebrated. Celebrate your child’s day by making a birthday themed lunch for your little cupcake.

back-to-school-project-lunchbox-happy-birthday-theme-frugal-coupon-living-steps-1-to-3

I went simple with the food this theme, but included my daughter’s favorites; peanut butter and strawberry jelly, Sour Cream and Onion chips, fruit snacks, and fruit. Our school has a no celebration policy in tact for the classroom (class)… but on her birthday, I decided to surprise her with a little sugary treat (this is straying from my daily healthy lunch)!

To make everyday lunch items special, I raided my birthday stash, most of us have gift bags, wrapping paper, bows, and tissue on hand – This is frugal and costs no additional money. I wrapped her sandwich loosely, don’t want them having to wrestle at lunchtime to get into their sandwich. To make a sweet message, scratch lightly on a banana with a toothpick . Carve out a notes  or picture, the air will darken the peel of your scratch, making your note extra visible. The cupcake went into a small lidded container, with a candle on top- not only does this make the lunch more festive but it keeps the cupcake from moving around if the lunchbox didn’t stay upright during the day.

Descent once more on your crafts stash and grab some stickers! With the stickies, I decorated the outside of the cupcake container and the pack of her favorite princess gummies. Finally, tying some curling ribbon to the handle of her drink container added some festivity to her lunch.  Nestle all contents into a tissue paper bed.

While we all might not have the Martha Stewart of decorating abilities, anything that comes with bows, stickers, pretty colors and gift wrap is sure to excite our little ones! Smiles all the way around, you might even hear a “You’re the Best Mom Ever!” when she jumps in the car that afternoon.

To bring a little pizzazz to your child’s lunches with minimal effort begin by designating a drawer or basket in your kitchen. Gather simple items such as a paring knife, some basic cookie cutters, and an apple corer/slicer. Pick up fun items as you go to add to the collection. As you go about your day and life, you will notice little things that can be used for fun accessories or tools when making your child’s meal!

Do not forget the FREE Back to School Lunch Printables - a sweet note is always a great addition.

Find more Back to School Series including…

More Themed Lunchboxes

1.) Introduction - Project Lunchbox - Pin It

2.) ABC School Days Theme - Pin It

3.) Shark Week Lunch Theme - Pin It

4.) Camping Theme Lunch - Pin It

5.) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Theme Pin It

6.) Bug Lunch Theme - Pin It

7.) Birthday Lunch ThemePin It

Also check out Back to School Deals on Frugal Coupon Living.

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Bug Theme Lunch or Bento Box Lunchbox Food Craft

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Bug Theme Lunch

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Welcome to the fourth post in our Back to School SeriesProject Lunchbox! This week’s theme – Bugs! With each series, we create a theme and strive to create fun and inexpensive lunches to give your child a little fun in their school day.

Your little one will go buggy for this sweet and silly lunchbox.  Make a PB&J a little more special using a cute butterfly sandwich cutter. You can find these most anywhere, but I picked mine up at Target Dollar Spot-they also had fun dinosaurs. The little red Baby Bell cheese makes the perfect little lady bug. You may prefer to use a food grade marker to make your spots like these. But since the wax layer is so thick I felt comfortable using a sharpie.

Blueberries on a cut down skewer make an adorable caterpillar. Be sue to cut any points off the tips to prevent accidents and cuts. I thought it looked adorable resting on a lettuce leaf leftover from dinner the night before.  I haven’t had Ants on a Log in forever, how about you? I wanted to try this traditional favorite with a twist, my little one loves Craisins so they became my ants.  Another healthy option is nuts – adds a pit more protein to the meal. Almonds work great!

To include a little dessert, what else could I put in but dirt and worms in this bug themed lunch?  I split a chocolate pudding cup between both of my kiddos, a crushed Oreo each, and a gummy worm.  If your school doesn’t want sweets at school, consider doing sugar free pudding and perhaps breaking up graham crackers. It still is a tasty treat, without going overboard on junk.

Finally, I raided my art bin; a scrap of yellow paper with black stripes colored in with a sharpie, a piece of black construction paper, two google eyes, and a pipe cleaner. I think this little bee really finishes off the theme don’t you?  You could do a butterfly, or even a creepy spider the same way.   Keep it all cool with these  darling bug freezer packs.

To bring a little pizzazz to your child’s lunches with minimal effort begin by designating a drawer or basket in your kitchen. Gather simple items such as a paring knife, some basic cookie cutters, and an apple corer/slicer. Pick up fun items as you go to add to the collection. As you go about your day and life, you will notice little things that can be used for fun accessories or tools when making your child’s meal!

Do not forget the FREE Back to School Lunch Printables - a sweet note is always a great addition. Find more Back to School Series including…

More Themed Lunchboxes

1.) Introduction - Project Lunchbox - Pin It

2.) ABC School Days Theme - Pin It

3.) Shark Week Lunch Theme - Pin It

4.) Camping Theme Lunch - Pin It

5.) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Theme Pin It

6.) Bug Lunch Theme - Pin It

7.) Happy Birthday Lunch Theme - Pin It

Also check out Back to School Deals on Frugal Coupon Living.

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Find this and updated daily deals on Frugal Coupon Living. Receive this and other Daily Deals for FREE in your inbox.

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Back to School | Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Lunch Theme

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BackToSchool

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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Lunch Theme

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Welcome to the fourth post in our Back to School SeriesProject Lunchbox! Today’s theme is - Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! With each series, we create a theme and strive to create fun and inexpensive lunches to give your child a little CONGA in their school day.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, will there be enough room? To contain the cuteness of today’s lunch? This popular childhood favorite is a hit with kids and parents alike.

Whether you have a toddler, preschooler, or early elementary kids, they will love seeking out letters in this fun box. Our tree trunk is a PB&J made of “Texas Toast” since I was only including less than half a sandwich I went with thick bread, and my Kinder loves bread. Use whatever you have on hand for branches; celery stalk ends, fresh spinach, iceberg, or romaine lettuce (ours is made from romaine hearts leftover from last night’s salad) Grapes make great mock coconuts, spread some up and down your tree. To carry on the alphabet theme we used Alpha-Bits cereal for a snack, and used a sharpie to draw those impish lower case letters climbing up the coconut tree on a stick cheese. We chose cheese curls because they mimicked the coconut shape and that seemed to round off the theme well.

You could also use Scrabble Cheez-its, alphabet graham crackers, or a small bowl of alphabet soup to carry out the theme further (grab a few thermoses on sale!) Also consider some ABC cookie cutters for cutting out sandwiches, cheese shapes, and more.

chicka-chicka-boom-boom

The Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Book Series can be found on Amazon. Books as low as $3.59.

To bring a little pizzazz to your child’s lunches with minimal effort begin by designating a drawer or basket in your kitchen. Gather simple items such as a paring knife, some basic cookie cutters, and an apple corer/slicer. Pick up fun items as you go to add to the collection. As you go about your day and life, you will notice little things that can be used for fun accessories or tools when making your child’s meal!

Do not forget the FREE Back to School Lunch Printables - a sweet note is always a great addition. Find more Back to School Series including…

More Themed Lunchboxes

1.) Introduction - Project Lunchbox - Pin It

2.) ABC School Days Theme - Pin It

3.) Shark Week Lunch Theme - Pin It

4.) Camping Theme Lunch - Pin It

5.) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Theme Pin It

6.) Bug Lunch Theme - Pin It

7.) Happy Birthday Lunch Theme - Pin It

Also check out Back to School Deals on Frugal Coupon Living.

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Find this and updated daily deals on Frugal Coupon Living. Receive this and other Daily Deals for FREE in your inbox.

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Back to School | Camping Theme Lunch Bento Box

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BackToSchool

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Camping Theme Lunchbox

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Welcome to the third post in our Back to School SeriesProject Lunchbox! This week’s theme – Camping Theme! With each series, we create a theme and strive to create fun and inexpensive lunches to give your child a little SPARK in their school day.

Want happy campers at lunchtime? Treat them to this cute campsite themed lunch.  They can imagine that they’re roughing it while sitting in the cafeteria.  I think your average bear (and boys and girls) would agree it’s a fun pastime, even if you’re just pretending.  I think this lunch would also be great to serve for a camping themed birthday as individual camp lunches, don’t you?

Of course ,we had to start with hot dogs on a stick, remember those days of finding the perfect straight stick to roast your dinner on?  Let’s recreate that in a fun, safe way.  Use skewers, but don’t forget to cut off the pointed end, and I use a bit of sandpaper to smooth the rough edge down a bit. Another option is using popsicle or lollipop sticks.  I “grilled” a bunch of hot dogs on my George Foreman mini grill, and froze the extra, you can cook them anyway you want, but I love the way the little grill lines look.

Next up, you can’t have wienies without the beanies can you?  As much as I don’t like canned foods, Pork N Beans have really got it down pat in the flavor department, so I cave a little.  They also go on sale and you can occasionally fine coupons so it might be something you already have on stockpile. Lastly, If you’re  gonna cook up some grub you must have a good campfire – Pretzel nuggets make great logs and sliced cheese can be cut into flames with a good pair of kitchen scissors (you might remember this pair from our Shark Week lunch!)

And finally, you wouldn’t send your scout off to school the great outdoors without a s’more to finish of their tasty meal – use 1 large marshmallow. A fun size Hershey( better yet buy a large, break off a piece for the s’more and keep the rest for your afternoon pick me up), and a whole graham cracker-broken in half for top and bottom. I heat in microwave for about 10 seconds just so it will stick together. 

I’m sure this lunch will get the stamp of approval from your backpacker. Like the little camping set? Check out one of our favorite toys, the LEGO Duplo Fishing Trip.

To bring a little pizzazz to your child’s lunches with minimal effort begin by designating a drawer or basket in your kitchen. Gather simple items such as a paring knife, some basic cookie cutters, and an apple corer/slicer. Pick up fun items as you go to add to the collection. As you go about your day and life, you will notice little things that can be used for fun accessories or tools when making your child’s meal!

Do not forget the FREE Back to School Lunch Printables - a sweet note is always a great addition. Find more Back to School Series including…

More Themed Lunchboxes  Coming Soon

1.) Introduction - Project Lunchbox - Pin It

2.) ABC School Days Theme - Pin It

3.) Shark Week Lunch Theme - Pin It

4.) Camping Theme Lunch - Pin It

5.) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Theme Pin It

6.) Bug Lunch Theme - Pin It

7.) Happy Birthday Lunch Theme - Pin It

Also check out Back to School Deals on Frugal Coupon Living.

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Find this and updated daily deals on Frugal Coupon Living. Receive this and other Daily Deals for FREE in your inbox.

FREEBIES: Find FREE STUFF on Frugal Coupon Living.

Craft Store Coupons Until 8/2 – Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Jo-Ann Crafts

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

kinetic-sand

Craft Store Coupons Until 8/2 –  Save up to 40% off items.  In this Kid’s Michael’s Project, learn how you can make a fun Kinetic Sand™ Dinosaur Sandbox.

craft-coupons

This week’s Hobby Lobby Coupon is out!  Print this coupon for 40% off any regularly priced item at Hobby Lobby.  Coupon expires  8/2/14 (Saturday).

You can also grab 40% off one full-priced item from JoAnn Crafts. Coupon expires 8/2/14 (Saturday).

Grab a Michael’s Coupon for 20% off your entire purchasel! Coupon expires 8/2/14 (Saturday).

Find More Coupons on Frugal Coupon Living.



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Back to School | A Bitey Shark Week Lunch Bento Box Theme

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BackToSchool

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SHARK WEEK LUNCH

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Welcome to the third post in our Back to School SeriesProject Lunchbox! This week’s theme – Shark Days! With each series, we create a theme and strive to create fun and inexpensive lunches to give your child a little BITE in their school day.

Just in time for Shark Week, this fun and ferocious lunchbox will have your little one squealing in delight – not fear. Check out that shark rising from the whitecaps, ready to… be eaten…. Let’s Begin.

If you don’t already have a pair of good shears dedicated to your kitchen, grab a pair. I use mine daily. I just pop them in the dishwasher between uses to keep them clean. Today I used them to cut out the Shark Pizza Quesadilla filled with cheese, pepperoni, and a bit of sauce, after all we need something red dripping from the sharks sharp teeth!

Cut a tortilla, folded over into two half ovals. Use your paring knife to shape out his sharp teeth on one side before cooking. Load with fillings of your choice. I used my toaster oven to just melt cheese and lightly toast. Alternatively, you can pop a bunch of pre-made Quesadillas onto a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray and then into an oven preheated to 400° for about 5-6 minutes until cheese is just slightly melted.  Once cooled, allow to cool, place in freezer bags, label with the date and title, and place in freezer. You now have a quick alternative to PB&J to grab for your child’s lunch box.

The eyes and nostril on the shark are tiny snips of a black olive. Another option is to grab a chef maker (can be used on food and eaten.) For snacks, shark fruit snacks will carry on the theme and of course you need goldfish for shark bait. The ones above in the image are the new French Toast flavor.  And finally for crunch, popcorn is always a big hit – Munch, munch, munch. We shook ours up with a bit of Parmesan cheese for a fun alternative flavor to butter.

Recipe Idea:

To create a healthy dip for the shark bait, mix 2 Tbsp. plain Greek Yogurt with 1 tsp. of honey, and 1 drop of blue food coloring – makes a beautiful fish tank!

To bring a little pizzazz to your child’s lunches with minimal effort begin by designating a drawer or basket in your kitchen. Gather simple items such as a paring knife, some basic cookie cutters, and an apple corer/slicer. Pick up fun items as you go to add to the collection. As you go about your day and life, you will notice little things that can be used for fun accessories or tools when making your child’s meal!

Get creative! There are an ocean of ideas out there to swim in!

Do not forget the FREE Back to School Lunch Printables - a sweet note is always a great addition. Find more Back to School Series including…

More Themed Lunchboxes  Coming Soon

1.) Introduction - Project Lunchbox - Pin It

2.) ABC School Days Theme - Pin It

3.) Shark Week Lunch Theme - Pin It

4.) Camping Theme - Pin It

5.) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Theme Pin It

6.) Bug Lunch Theme - Pin It

7.)Happy Birthday Lunch Theme - Pin It

Also check out Back to School Deals on Frugal Coupon Living.

Note: Shark Week for 2014 Begins on the Discovery Channel August 10, 2014.

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Back to School | School Days ABC Theme Lunchbox and Bento Box

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BackToSchool

Back-To-School-Project-Lunchbox-Frugal-Coupon-Living-School-Days

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Welcome to the second post in our Back to School SeriesProject Lunchbox! This week’s theme – School Days!

With each series, we create a theme and strive to create fun and inexpensive lunches to give your child a little whimsy in their school day.

To recreate this fun school themed lunch use a basic set of Alpha Cookie Cutters  – that come in letters and numbers. You can create random letters, spell your child’s name, include their grade or a fun phrase like – Wow, Love, Kiss! I find it is easier to make the sandwich first and then cut, or you can precut two of each letter from bread, ham, cheese, and stack. You can of course use peanut butter and jelly as well. For the cheese pencil, use a black sharpie to draw the outline of the pencil. Use a red sharpie to make a general eraser shape; you probably already have these in a kitchen drawer.

Our cute little “chalk board “is simply made from chocolate graham crackers with icing piped on to form letters and numbers. Don’t run out and buy a piping bag, I just used some frosting from a partial can leftover from cupcakes. I put a spoonful in a Ziploc, cut the smallest tip off the corner and gently squeezed from behind the frosting. Alternatively, you can buy a little Wilton Icing Tube for writing at the grocery store in the baking section, near the candles and cake mixes.

For another healthy addition to your child’s lunch (and perhaps as well for afternoon snack), create a fun Tropical Salad.

Back To School Tropical Salad:

  • ½ a golden mango diced
  • ½ a kiwi diced
  • ½ banana diced or sliced
  • 2 tsp. shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar

Mix Together. Add a 2 tsp. of lemon juice to keep from browning.

To bring a little pizzazz to your child’s lunches with minimal effort begin by designating a drawer or basket in your kitchen. Gather simple items such as a paring knife, some basic cookie cutters, and an apple corer/slicer. Pick up fun items as you go to add to the collection. As you go about your day and life, you will notice little things that can be used for fun accessories or tools when making your child’s meal!

Do not forget the FREE Back to School Lunch Printables - a sweet note is always a great addition. Find more Back to School Series including…

More Themed Lunchboxes  Coming Soon

1.) Introduction - Project Lunchbox - Pin It

2.) ABC School Days Theme - Pin It

3.) Shark Week Theme - Pin It

4.) Camping Theme - Pin It

5.) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Theme Pin It

6.) Bug Lunch Theme - Pin It

7.) Happy Birthday Lunch Theme - Pin It

Also check out Back to School Deals on Frugal Coupon Living.

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FREEBIE ALERT: Grab a FREE Amazon Prime Trial which includes FREE 2-Day Shipping, FREE Kindle Books, and FREE Video Streaming!

Find this and updated daily deals on Frugal Coupon Living. Receive this and other Daily Deals for FREE in your inbox.

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Back to School | Themed Lunchboxes for Your Kids

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BackToSchoolBack-To-School-Project-Lunchbox-Frugal-Coupon-Living

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Welcome to the first installment of the Back to school series – Project Lunchbox! Check out future themed Bento Boxes in the Back to School Series on Frugal Coupon Living.

All to soon those lazy days of summer will be forgotten- traded in for crisp fall days, and sharp # 2 pencils. Don’t be caught off guard, get ahead of the game and follow us on this 8 week journey from Lunch box supplies to simple, and fun lunch themes!

skip-hop-owl

First let’s talk about some of the gear to get you started on being the cool mom around the lunch table. Your going to need a few basic items if your child is “Brown Bagging” it.  Wow them with a simple few additional accessories and your kid will likely leave now veggies or fruit on their plate.

Insulated Lunch Bags

To keep your child’s food fresh and tasty you want to invest in a good insulated lunch bag. It is possible with a good insulated bag to keep perishable foods at a safe temperature.

I love this series from Skip Hop. These insulated lunchie lunch bags are Affordable and adorable! Owls are trendy have been everywhere lately and somehow the cute owl bag made it into my shopping cart this past year.

You can go with solids, patterns, or any number of popular characters to keep food cool till the lunch bell rings.

A Really Good Ice Pack

Just like the lunch bag you need one to keep perishables cold. Invest a little more in an ice pack that will keep your child’s food chill. I recommend having several on hand in case one is accidentally thrown away or begins to leak. There are many ideas but I particularly like the Cryopak Flexible Ice Two Pack.

Plastic Containers bento-lunch-box-4

You can go Bento-Style Box. Bento, meaning convenient, is a container that has multiple divided sections like this one. Love the look and durability of stainless steel! The possibilities are endless on what you can do with these cute little boxes!

Looking for something more frugal? You can pick up many cute single containers at Dollar tree, Target, or Walmart. These are perfect for snack foods, soup, pasta’s, cookies, or homemade fruit cups. Grab this Plastic BPA Free Set of 4 for $13.95.

A search on Pinterest will not leave you disappointed! Grab a variety and you will always have something on hand to fit that special treat.

Reusable Sandwich/Snack Bags

Though a bit of a pricey initial investment, Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags will save you in the long run from buying countless plastic baggies, and not to mention the bonus of being a hip green momma. They are easy to clean and how could your child not smile opening their bag to something as darling as this  - The Green Sprouts Set of 2 Garden Sandwich and Snack Bag?

I have a few fabric snack bags and toss them in the washing machine with our laundry.

Cookie Cutters

Not just for cookies anymore! Use these to cut pizza into fun shapes, how about a PB&J shaped like a football? Cheese Triangles? What a fun way to put a little pizazz in their day! Try a simple set like this to start out like the Wilton Metal Cookie Cutter Classic Shapes.

Frugal-Coupon-Living-Simply-Sprout-lunchbox-note-printables

Some other tools that you may want to consider having on hand to help in creating fun lunches are; a paring knife, apple corer/slicer, lollipop sticks (kids love anything on a stick), cupcake liners, food coloring, and a sense of humor – After all, you might see your winning lunch box theme on “Pinterest, Your’e Drunk!”

FREEBIES

Do not forget the FREE Back to School Lunch Printables!  Make sure to print something fun or create a short personal note!

Stay with us for tips on creating themed lunches that will put a smile on their little faces. I can’t wait to share all that we are working on.

 

More Themed Lunchboxes:

1.) Introduction - Project Lunchbox - Pin It

2.) ABC Theme Lunch - Pin It

3.) Shark Week Lunch Theme - Pin It

4.) Camping Theme - Pin It

5.) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Theme Pin It

6.) Bug Lunch Theme - Pin It

7.)Happy Birthday Lunch Theme - Pin It

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PIN ALERT: Pin them All!

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Find this and updated daily deals on Frugal Coupon Living. Receive this and other Daily Deals for FREE in your inbox.

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