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James McIntosh

How to pack a healthy budget-friendly lunch

Posted by James McIntosh Monday, 8th September 2014

Back to school can not be missed, shops everywhere are advertising new stationary, children are getting depressed in our countries pandemic, and some parents may even be relieved! But like New Year, a new school year brings promise, a new chance, time to spend with chums, but where does that leave parents with the endless task of 5 new items of meal planning every week? I’ve been thinking long and hard about this and playing with my Rangemaster to come up with some bits and pieces to help. See my list below, what are your ideas; do you have any tips for other Rangemaster parents?


1) Choose local, seasonal produce. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, tomatoes, apples, pears and plums are nutritious, economical and pack into a lunch box really well.


2) Pack extra fruits and veggies for the larger appetite or to satisfy hunger on the bus ride home.


3) Pick the less-than-perfectly shaped fruits or veggies. They can be fun and less expensive and great for drawing in art class too.


4) Homemade savoury scones (see recipe below), muffins or flapjacks are inexpensive and a more healthful choice than pre-packaged biscuit bars, crisps or suchlike. Sneak some vegetables or beans into your baking for extra nutrition.


5) Cook large batches of soups, stews or ragouts for dinner and plan for leftovers to go directly into reusable containers for a portable meal and the next day or freeze for another occasion to avoid waste.


6) Use an insulated container to keep food safe. Hot food hot and cold food cold.


7) Wrap newspaper around an insulated container to help maintain temperature. Comics could be fun here!


8) Hard boiled eggs, cheese, meat, fish, poultry, yogurt, may require a cold pack.


9) Reuse glass jars to carry food. They are wide-mouthed and can accommodate a spoon, easy to clean in the dishwasher and can be microwaved safely with the top off. But not safe for very young kids.


10) Make your own lunchbox (great for entertaining the kids on a wet weekend), decorate a medium sized cake tin or gift bag or sew your own.


11) Use a pencil case to carry reusable cutlery and a fabric napkin to reduce waste.


Savoury Scones



Savoury Scones


  • 225g self raising flour
  • 50g butterPinch salt
  • 25g grated cheese
  • 150ml milk
  • 50g grated vegetables 






  • Heat the Rangemaster oven to 220C / 200C Fan / Gas Mark 7. Lightly grease a baking sheet
  • Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl and rub in the butter.
  • Add all other ingredients and form into a soft ball. Knead lightly on a floured work surface.
  • Pat out to a round of 2cm thick, use a 5cm cutter to stamp out rounds and place on the baking sheet. Lightly knead the remaining dough and repeat to use it all up.
  • Bake for 12 - 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack
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