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I am looking forward to seeing what y’all have to say about this week’s poll, but first – last week’s results.

Last week’s question was “What percentage of your budget do you spend on food?” Thank you all for answering and explaining how you budget for food in your families. It really is helpful to hear from others – you never know who is going to give you a great tip!

The average food budget turned out to be 12.7%, with a range of 4 – 20%.

I wanted to say that I hope that this does not discourage anyone. It is really easy to look at someone’s else’s numbers and be discouraged. One thing to keep in mind is that we do not know someone’s circumstances, nor what their husband prefers. Here’s a simple thing that I’ve learned, if you start with what your husband’s preferences, numbers don’t matter and everyone will be pleased in the end.

Now, onto this week’s question.

Because of the stage of life I am in (two littles) and the season (cold winter), I haven’t been leaving the house very often. A year ago, this would have driven me absolutely mad. Now that I have better embraced the things I need to get done around the home, I have found myself more content not getting out – at least in the cold months. It also keeps me more motivated to stay on top of my tasks and creates a warmer environment for my husband when he gets home. Come spring, I may be singing a different tune.

So, this week’s poll is all about how often do you leave your home (not just for your backyard) during the week in the winter months.

I’ll go first. I get about once per week, sometimes less.

[polldaddy poll=1187962]

Cathy asked what we eat for lunch. I generally don’t post my lunches in my menu plans because about 90% of the time we are eating leftovers. Our family is still fairly small so it is easy for me to make a few extra servings for dinner and then just reheat them for lunch the next day. It also helps that my husband doesn’t mind eating cold leftovers the next day for his lunch at work.

When I make something like eggs for dinner where there are no leftovers I have to come up with something for everyone. I like it to be quick and simple. Here are a few ideas:

Soup. This can be a fast and easy soup of canned beans, vegetables and broth or something from the freezer. If we have enough leftovers I like to freezer small portions of leftovers in 2.5 cup containers and pull something out when we have no leftovers for lunch.

Sandwiches. If you have a whole wheat sourdough or sprouted grain bread you can make a nourishing sandwich out of egg salad, tuna salad, leftover meats, cheese or even good old peanut butter & jelly.

Breakfast foods. These are so quick and easy that they make great lunch foods as well. Scrambled eggs, omelets, french toast, pancakes, etc. My toddler loves eggs so he really enjoys this as well.

Beans. One of my go-to meals I make when I have no time and very little ingredients is tostadas. Traditionally tostadas are made with a fried corn tortilla, but I like to simply put corn tortillas on a sheet pan to crisp in a 400 degree oven. I then top them with canned beans (or leftovers if I have them) and then put cheese on top and pop them back in the oven until the cheese melts and the beans are warmed. We like to eat salsa and lettuce with these. Other bean options could include bean bowls or burritos.

Pasta. We don’t eat a lot of pasta, but when I’m really in a pinch I will put some brown rice pasta on to boil. One of our recent favorite sauces to go with this involves a basic tomato sauce with canned tuna. I would have never thought that this would be so tasty!

Snack lunches. These are usually the easiest. I just take a quick inventory of what I have on hand and throw a few things together. In the warmer months we like yogurt smoothies for lunch along with some nuts, a salad or bread or muffins. We’ll also often eat yogurt with fruit & nuts for lunch as well. Other snack ideas include a plate of sliced cheese, fruit, nuts & seeds, veggie sticks (with or without dip) and crackers.

I’m a bit of a minimalist so I like to keep lunch really, really simple. Also, I generally cook both breakfast and dinner so I really don’t like to take more time and make more dishes cooking a big lunch. Of course with a bigger family this may be more difficult. I am always looking for more lunch ideas.

What do you serve for lunch?