Food Stamps Cooking Club: Let’s Do Lunch!

April 4th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »


Whether you have your mid day meal at home or at your workplace, it’s important to fuel up for a productive afternoon!

Sometime around the 1980’s LUNCH became a VERB.  Lunch suddenly was something people DID…in 2011, thanks to Club Member Mikemax, it became a NEW PAGE on this blog!  Look for “What’s for Lunch?” at the top of the blog…then tell us about YOUR lunch!  Inquiring minds want to know!

People who depend on food commodities, food pantry food, or EBT cards from WIC or SNAP are always on the hunt for new ideas for lunches that fit their slim budgets.  Those who use Angel Food Ministries bundles are always eager for ideas for those items to s t r e t c h their food budgets, too.  Even people who just want to be frugal, those who are living on a dime, are likely to be open to food ideas that make lunch interesting as well as cost effective and nutritious.

Maybe you tote a lunchbox or perhaps you fill lunch boxes for your children or your other half who works away from home.  You most likely HAVE great lunch ideas.  We hope you are willing to share…hint/hint…

If you are home for lunch you no doubt are clever at morphing leftovers into yummy lunchtime fare.  Won’t you share your expertise with us?  Thanks!

One of Mother Connie’s tried and true lunchtime “tricks” is to gather bits of this and tads of that left from previous meals.  When broth is added, it becomes a brand new soup.  It is virtually unidentifiable as whatever it WAS if some new veggies are introduced to the pot.  If there is any left of THAT, it can be a dinner starter in little soup cups before the main entree makes it to the table.

What do YOU do about lunch?  Let’s DO lunch and tell us all about YOUR menu on the new page!

Oh, and please submit your name and email address in the top right hand corner of this page so you can get our series of cooking tips and infrequent email messages.  We are tickled PINK to have new members!

Send your fan mail to  grin

Today’s post is sponsored by Living On a Dime. Thanks to them for their support!


Connie Baum

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  1. WritewhereUr says:

    Connie…tomorrow’s lunch will be chilli mac. I made chilli yesterday and there is enough left over to mix with macaroni to stretch it into another meal for five IF I add some macaroni to it and a little more tomato juice & more spices.

    If I add a slice of bread & butter with it…we will call it lunch. I think we will have an apple for dessert since we have some apples that need to be used up. They were purchased when they were on sale a week and a half ago. I think that will make a nice filling lunch since the kids are home from school for Spring break.

  2. Webmaster says:

    What time is lunch served at your place? I think your lunch sounds more interesting than ours…grin…

    THANK YOU for chiming in, Rainy!


  3. Carol M says:

    Just finished packing 4 lunches:
    dh-lefotver lasagna, banana, small yogurt
    DS#1-turkey, cheese, mustard, leftover shredded lettuce from recent taco night oen a marked down store bakery roll; banana, small baggie of “cheerios”, 2 homemade oatmeal cookies, reduced sugar “koolaid” mixed at home
    DS#2-turkey, cheese, mustard, leftover shredded lettuce on a homemade whole wheat roll; small yogurt, 1 cookie, small cup filled with homemade apple sauce, reduced sugar “koolaid” mixed at home
    DS#3-turkey, cheese, mustard on a homemade ww roll; cookie, small yogurt, small baggie of “cheerios”

    Me? I have a Pyrex dish with leftover taco casserole waiting for me (made out of leftovers the other day)

    Lunches for adults tend to be leftovers; kids get sandwiches on store marked down rolls or homemade rolls/bread. Aldi for sliced cheese. Condiments picked up as loss leaders, combining sales w/ cpns. Home roasted meats, egg salad, PB & J using home canned preserves. I try to add fresh fruit or canned packed in juice. Homebaked goods (muffins, banana bread, cookies). Mini yogurts or a Tupperware mini container filled out of a qt container of vanilla yogurt.

  4. Webmaster says:

    IMPRESSIVE, Carol! Your remarks have been carefully added to the “What’s For Lunch” comments on our new page!

    Mother Connie

  5. We are having meat loaf for dinner so tomorrow’s lunch will be meat loaf sandwiches! yummmmy!

  6. Webmaster says:

    Awesome, Martha! Ya can’t beat meat loaf sammies!

    Mother Connie

  7. mikemax says:

    DD works PT and takes a lunch to work 3X week. She likes to nibble and would take Lunchables every day–about 3 of them, LOL. So, this is her homemade Lunchable:
    Cheese and crackers
    Cup of yogurt
    Hardboiled egg
    Pickle or olives

    It’s an extremely fast and easy lunch to throw together. Usually, she takes 2 slices of Jarlsberg lowfat Swiss cheese, but sometimes she takes cheddar. If we’ve got leftover ham, she gets 1 slice of cheese and some ham. She prefers Ritz or Club reduced fat crackers, but if they aren’t on sale, she will happily eat store brand fat-free saltines, especially with cheddar. We buy a variety of yogurt flavors and fruit, as well as several types of pickles, so there is some variety there.

    If I’m out of cheese and crackers, I’ll kill two birds with one stone and make her an egg salad sandwich (her fave) and send along yogurt, fruit and pickles.

    This may sound boring, but she is a creature of habit, this is only 3 days a week, and SHE LOVES IT.

    She will usually drink a can of pop, or sometimes I send iced tea if I think to make it.

  8. mikemax says:

    I should have added that fruit can be fresh or canned, and sometimes I sub carrot and celery sticks. Today’s lunch:
    2 slices Jarlsberg Swiss cheese with 8 Ritz crackers
    Cup of pina colada Swiss cheese
    Hard boiled egg
    Last of the green olives

    I buy #10 cans of sliced peaches for under $4 at Costco. I put the peaches in smaller jars–2 quarts and a pint, tightly packed. Discard the excess syrup or figure out something to do with it. I also buy #10 cans of unsweetened applesauce for $3.55, sweeten it myself and add cinnamon, and put it in smaller containers. One goes in the fridge and the rest in the freezer.

  9. mikemax says:

    Cup of pina colada “Swiss cheese”?! Duh–yogurt. My bad.

  10. Carol M says:

    Lunch today:
    Dh & I have leftovers: horseradish encrushted Flounder, buttered rice, green bean saute (includes red/yellow peppers and onions)

    3 sons:
    reduced sugar “koolaid”, turkey breast sandwiches on homemade WW rolls,Romaine lettuce,Provolone, herbed mayo, spicy brown mustard. Homemade oatmeal cookies, mini yogurts, small Tupperware with homemade Winesap applesauce (we went to the orchard 3 times this Fall), small baggie of honey nut “cheerios”

  11. mikemax says:

    We eat lunch at home. Often it is leftovers from last night’s dinner. No leftovers, so today it was:
    Bean soup with ham
    Fat-free saltines
    glass of nonfat milk

    I am fundamentally unable to make a small pot of soup, so I always freeze leftovers for days when I need it for lunch. I pulled this one out of the bottom of the freezer…made in November.

    DD eats lunch with us at home, and then I pack a lunch for her to take to work (works swing shift, cleaning state and federal office buildings on a crew with other disabled workers). I let myself run out of yogurt, so she got 2 fruits today–applesauce and a handful of grapes. I’m still out of pickles, and we finished the green olives yesterday, so I dove into my stash of black olives!! And she took Ritz crackers, since she had saltines for lunch. Homemade lunchables are easy!! (and very forgiving, just don’t run out of eggs!!)

  12. Webmaster says:

    I dunno why the Food Police have not collared you for running out of not only yogurt but pickles! My word, Max, how can you keep HOUSE without those items? Just kidding.

    It seems to me that most youngsters + your DD + my Normanator are totally content to eat the same things day after day. Not my style but it sure makes for easy do lunches!

    And you are SO right about not running out of eggs. Now that would be reason for the Food Police to knock on your door! grin

    Thanks, kiddo!

    Mother Connie

  13. Webmaster says:

    Carol, your meal sounds utterly divine! It is highly nutritious, too-and colorful. I am green with envy that you have red and yellow peppers because I priced them yesterday and they brought the fainting couch to the product counter! I’m surprised anybody buys any of them at those outrageous prices, but I have to admit they were beauties. Red peppers are like candy to me and I could eat them all day long if only “they” would let me. Drat the fun/food police anyhoo!

    We live in apple orchard country, too, so I appreciate that you are still using apples from your fall trips. Yum.


    Mother Connie

  14. Carol M says:

    I can’t touch fresh produce that often this time of year, and quality is an issue. I have multiple bags of presliced orange/red/yellow/green pepper strips in the freezer. Either home grown or from the marked down shelf. : ) I pay about 69-99/lb for them.

    Apples from the orchard trips this Fall. Still have apple pie filling and apple sauce I put up. Yum!

  15. Webmaster says:

    I totally understand the dilemma of not having AFFORDABLE fresh produce, Carol. You were wise to freeze peppers back when. I was tickled pink when I found fabulous leaf lettuce at the market that will yield great nutrition and flavor, not to mention brilliant color, at a price I felt was fair.

    One way of getting greens into the fam is to use barley powder. I have a pint jarful that I use to sprinkle green over and into EVERYthing from glasses of milk to salad to applesauce to whipped cream! It mixes really well with anything COLD-if I use it with hot stuff it will clump and not be appetizing. It only takes a scant half teaspoon so it is economical to use. If you look for barley powder in the health food store, inspect the label for “COLD PROCESSED.” It is loaded with protein, enzymes and it is helpful during allergy season.

    Thanks again for some really great input!

    Mother Connie

  16. Carol M says:

    Leftover spaghetti with homemade meatballs in a doctored up AF canned spaghetti sauce, using a pint of my organic homegrown yellow and red tomatoes that I put up last Summer.

  17. Webmaster says:

    Sounds very inviting, Carol!

    We had our lunch at the Community Lenten Luncheon–we found out what great cooks those Methodist ladies are! We had our choice of chili or chicken noodle soup and a variety of sammies. We certainly were not hungry when we were finished!

    Thanks for checking in!

    Mother Connie