Spilly, my man.
I have to admit, I'm captivated by your lunchtime efforts. And honestly, I want you to win this thing. I think there will be a week when the competition is just right, where you wake up well before noon, and you have run out of Pop Tarts. If the worlds all collide, I'd say you've got a chance at putting up a pretty good score.
My dad always says that luck is just preparing yourself for an opportunity. I think that your opportunity is coming, and I've got a three step plan to help you stay prepared for your eventual lunch championship.
1) Dish Management - Buy a Dish Wand, and fun smelling soap.
Spilly, the first step to making a good lunch is having a manageable place to do so. Lord knows, I've been one to have a messy kitchen and I know how it feels. Here's a list of thoughts you are probably having:
- "This kitchen will never get clean."
- "This place is depressing."
- "I'll just eat something I don't have to go in the kitchen for."
- "The television is much more interesting."
- "I am asleep."
But making lunch when you have a clean kitchen is very freeing! You have room to put out a plate, set your canvas of food in front of you and make some real art. I know that this has to appeal to you, as you are very good at making a recap of your food as you are going through it.
So my first piece of advice is to Get a Dish Wand. What is a Dish Wand, you ask? It's the number one dishwashing invention besides the dishwasher.
The worst part of dishwashing in my opinion is that sponges always make your hands smell really really really bad. The Dish Wand solves that problem. Because plastic doesn't hold that sponge smell, your hands are free to wash and have no unintended smelly consequences. As a bonus, get some soap that smells nice. You can get both of these things at your dollar store. Around here, we have Ajax Orange soap in the house. mmmmmmm oranges.
2) Eat food you don't have to cook (AKA unplug your microwave)
It seems like a lot of your meals are aided by the microwave oven. I've got to tell you, this is probably the easiest part to follow. As long as you buy some food that doesn't require cooking, you're getting rid of the microwave as the key to your meal. Here's some food that doesn't require "cooking" in the traditional sense:
- Fruit Salads
- Meat and cheese plates
- Tortilla wraps
I believe that you can make something that doesn't use the microwave that will be totally delicious. A nicely constructed sandwich? Mmmmmmmm, I'm getting hungry already.
3) Buy food that isn't processed. (Fruit is your friend)
I think one of the biggest things that is a problem with your lunches as currently constructed is the fact that they are made up of multiple parts that are processed half to death. I'm enamored with your level of innovation, but I don't think it's going to do much for getting a better score from the man upstairs. So, I submit to you that it's time to get some fruit from the store to spice up your lunches.
I'm not going to go as far to tell you that you should get vegetables or whole grain breads. I think this is too much of a step. Go to the store and buy whichever type of apple is the cheapest! (You can use @beenplumb's guide to apples if you want to get fancy.) Grab a bag of grapes on sale. Bananas! So cheap, and so easy. You can eat them as they are, or you can cut them all up and put them in a bowl with some yogurt. BAM! Instant fruit salad.
It's definitely important that you don't let the food go bad, especially being on a tight budget. So don't go overboard and buy 5 bananas and 5 apples, start off somewhere in the middle. Buy a small loaf of bread instead of a big one.
So, I think as long as you put a little bit of a different kind of effort into your lunch, you can start earning those high lunch marks you deserve. Does anyone have any quick and easy tips or recipes to help Spilly out on his endeavor? Leave them in the comments! Good luck Spilly. Godspeed.