Lunch by Numbers

by Laura on June 20, 2013

in A Year in Our Kitchen 2013, Preparing


Morning Matching Game: Tins and Tops

Tomorrow is the last day of school for the kids (yes, we’re still in school this late into June . . . long story). I am rejoicing – not only because the lazy days of summertime are here, but because I don’t have to pack any more lunches for two months.

While my mind was done making lunches for the kids months ago, my body went through the motions every morning as I pulled the lunch pails and tins from the cupboard, searched the fridge for ingredients, and slathered peanut butter on countless slices of bread.

Tomorrow the drudgery will be officially over, so I thought I’d tally up some statistics on my daily practice.

One Last Lunch

One Last Lunch

 Lunch By Numbers

  • 4 = The number of kids I have.
  • 178 = The number of days in the school year
  • 712 = The number of lunches I made for the kids this school year
  • 30 = The number of minutes I spend each morning preparing lunches from start to finish.
  • 89  = The number of hours I spent making those lunches. THAT’S  MORE THAN 2 WEEKS OF MY LIFE!!!
  • 5 = The number of dollars it costs to purchase ONE hot lunch for ONE child on ONE day (4 kids TIMES $5 = $20/day).
  • 1 = The number of minutes it takes me to debate with myself whether to purchase lunch for the kids or make it myself.
  • 350 = The number of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I made this school year.
  • 450 = Approximate number of times cucumbers that came home in their lunches UNTOUCHED.
  • 208 = Number of times the kids told me they didn’t like something I put in their lunches.
  • 150 = Number of times I resolved to make lunches the night before.
  • 3 = The number of times I made lunch the night before.
  • 160 = Number of times I’ve wandered around the kitchen wondering, “What am I going to pack?”
  • 160 = Number of mornings I baked a muffin, scone, or made granola bars for their lunch.
  • 0 = Number of times they complained that I did that
  • 17 = Number of times I visited the school lost and found in search of lunch tins.
  • 3 = Number of lost, never-to-be-seen again, lunch tins.
  • 600 = Approximate number of times I asked, “What would like in your lunch”
  • 600 = The number of times something came home in their lunches, even though I gave them what they asked for.
  • 123 = The number of breakdowns I had making lunches.
  • 75 = The number of times I cursed under my breath as I made lunches.
  • 3 = The number of times I let loose on that cursing, and said it out loud.
  • 4 = The number of different lunches I made each day . . . of course, not everyone likes the same things
  • 178 = The number of days I complained about hand washing the tins from their lunches (we don’t have a dishwasher).
  • 3  = The total number of hours I spent searching for the tops to the tins in the morning
  • 0 = The number of lunches I need to pack for school tomorrow.
  • 1 = One huge smile on my face. One sigh of relief. One more half-hour given back to my early morning life . . .


. . . until late August, when I start all over again.

But things will be different this Fall, because come Monday morning, instead of packing lunches for school, I vow to start my  Summer of Lunch Planning. It’s going to be a time when I try out new lunch items. A time when I work at getting all four kids to agree on ONE lunch. A time to figure out a way to streamline the process. It’s my summertime resolution to get back those 89 hours of preparing lunches and take control of my school morning.

Oh, I’ve one more number to add:

5 = The number of summers I vowed to do the same thing.


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