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Why Bulk Is Best For Back To School

August 30, 2012

Back to school shopping is almost a ritual in North America. New backpacks, clothes, pens, pencils, binders, it all adds up. We can’t help you with that stuff, but we can help you out when it comes to school lunches. And easy breakfasts. And on-the-go dinners. Here are our 3 top tips for making back to school simpler, greener, and more cost-effective.

1. Bulk Up Your Lunch

School lunches are a great place to take advantage of buying bulk. Dried fruit makes an amazing snack, and buying it in bulk then transferring it to reusable containers makes it environmentally friendly as well. Same goes for nuts and seeds (if your school allows), and even crackers and cookies. Buying the larger packages of Shasha snaps, as opposed to the single-serve, saves you money and cuts down on waste.

2. Quick and Easy (Nutritious) Breakfast

Cereal is a great breakfast option on the go. Nature’s Path Cereals come in Eco Packs, and have many healthy-yet-delicious options. You can also add your own nuts/seeds, etc. to bulk up the protein content. Hemp hearts make a great addition to any cereal, packing in 8 g of protein in every 25 g serving. 

Even more cost-effective is bulk oatmeal. Steel-cut oatmeal is the most nutritious option, but is often overlooked due to its long cook time. Luckily, if you make a batch in advance, it keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator. All you have to do in the morning is reheat it with your favorite milk (I like Almond Breeze) and any additional fixings to make a great breakfast. My favorite at-home oatmeal features chopped apple, almond butter, chia seeds, cinnamon, and a little bit of stevia or sweetener like maple syrup or coconut palm sugar that won’t spike your blood sugar levels.

3. Dinner On The Run

When everyone in your house has lessons, after school sports, clubs, etc., finding time to eat dinner together, let alone cook it is a challenge. We have lots of quick and easy meals, like Amy’s Frozen Burritos, and Patel’s Micro-Curries. Eggs are also an easy go-to. When I’m pressed for time, I like to keep pre-cooked grains and beans in my fridge. A batch of quinoa, like steel-cut oats, will last for a week. Same goes for cooked beans. Quinoa, beans, a few vegetables and spices makes a meal in minutes.

And now for the hidden 4th tip: getting around that pesky “No Nuts” rule at school. Wow Butter has come out with a nut-free, soy based “peanut butter” that is a great sandwich substitute. It even comes with lunch labels so teachers don’t have to worry. Give it a try!

Do you have any great back to school tips to share?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2012 2:53 pm

    I had my kids pick out Thermos’ so I can pack hot leftovers for their lunches. They like getting a hot lunch once in a while and it helps save on money and prep time. Win-win-win.

  2. Lori permalink
    August 30, 2012 6:33 pm

    Another great oatmeal option (esp. while the weather is still summery!) is overnight refrigerator porridge. Mix large-flake/old-fashioned rolled oats, chia seeds, nuts, dried fruit, with enough plain yogurt to mix it all up and moisten it all. Refrigerate overnight, then add some fresh fruit and enough milk to thin it out (it will be really thick!).

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