As part of our lessons on budgeting and cooking, I am having the big kids calculate the cost of some of our favourite foods. The idea is to amass a list of cheap meals, that are easy enough to be made ahead and assembled by a kid or a mom with more toddlers than arms.
Sandwiches are an obvious choice for lunch, but lunch meat is kind of expensive and peanut butter and jelly is good, but it would get old day in and day out.
Some cheap sandwich ideas:
-Egg salad with dill
-Deviled egg salad (same ingredients as deviled eggs, but in an egg salad)
-Cucumber and cream cheese
-Cucumber and hummus
-Hot cheddar with fresh apple and Dijon mustard (see above)
-Blue cheese and ricotta spread with fresh apples
-Cream cheese mixed with green onion and fresh veggies
-Veggie cream cheese spread (I use Pioneer Woman's recipe) and fresh veggies
-Cheddar roasted garlic cream cheese spread with veggies
-Peanut butter and bananas
-Cream cheese and watercress
-Butter, radish and salt
-Butter and sweet onion (don't knock it until you've tried it. I first had these when my friend and I put on an advent tea. I was immediately addicted.)
-Peanut butter and apple
-Baba ganoush and veggies on pita
-Skordalia (a garlic potato spread) and pita
-Tomato and cream cheese (really good on a toasted everything bagel)
-Grilled cheese with mozzarella, dipped in pizza sauce
-Caprese on baguette (cheaper in the summer when the tomatoes and basil are home-grown
-Open face toasted mozzarella with fresh tomato and a mix of black olives, red onion, olive oil and salt (again, good in the summer)
An assortment of open faced tea sandwiches can use up this and that in your fridge. These are watercress, cucumber, radish and raspberry with honey butter or cream cheese and honey. I'm not sure which. Cinnamon butter (butter whipped with a little powdered sugar and cinnamon) is good with fresh fruit also.
I realize that in list form this could seem complicated, but if you make the spreads ahead of time, they last several days. In the end, branching out from the usual ham and turkey helps to stretch the creative muscles and use up what you have.