Thursday, September 20, 2012

Simple Lunches from my Childhood

I grew up in a small town about 30 miles south of Chicago. The grade school I attended was small as well with only two hallways and the gym which was also served as the auditorium and the cafeteria as well as the gym. I have fond memories of the time I spent there and sometimes I feel nostalgic as I think about those days. My sister attended a reunion not too long ago and visited with several of my teachers from back then. Of course they have fond memories of those times too. :)

I can remember the Melamine lunch trays we used to eat from with their many different colors. Do you remember these?


I still remember some of those lunches they served in that school cafeteria. They were simple lunches back at a time when life was simpler too. Even to this day I still make peanut butter and butter sandwiches just like they made in that little school. My sister also eats them from time to time. Others in our family think we are weird for eating something like that, but we enjoyed them as children and we enjoy them as adults today.

Peanut Butter & Butter Sandwiches

Sloppy Joes

Hamburger Bun Pizzas

What are some of the simple lunches you remember from childhood?

© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2012.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”


  1. Hi Belinda,
    this is going to sound strange, but my mom used to make my sister and I olive sandwiches. She'd open a can of chopped black olives and mix with mayo, then spread on white bread. Those sort of sandwiches turned to dough in your mouth.
    As for cafeteria lunches, they served canned spinach a lot, and it was always swimming in greenish brown liquid, ugh!

    1. Oh my gosh, Lili...that spinach sounds unappealing. :( We never had spinach in our school lunches. I guess we were lucky. the olive sandwich sounds good! I love olives and could eat them with everything. lol

  2. Hi Belinda

    I'm a new follower from England. Not yet blogging. I love peanut butter and butter sandwiches. We never got anything like that at school. My favorite was savory crumble and worst manchester tart. we had proper plates but I believe the plastic trays came later

    1. Hi Carol! It's so nice to have you visit here all the way from England! My Mom talks about her school lunches and how nice they were, they had real plates as well and real made from scratch home cooking even down to homemade rolls. They don't serve anything like that in school lunches today, but some of them are pretty good. Yesterday I had a turkey wrap in a tortilla with fresh lettuce, tomato,and it came with grapes, celery, and ranch dressing to dip. It was really good. :) I'm so glad you decided to visit today and hope to see you again soon. :)

  3. I, too, recall those trays. We rarely bought lunch, usually brought it from home. I do recall oven baked chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn/green beans/peas/mixed veggie, a box of milk and chocolate cake with white frosting, sometimes jello with whipped cream or chocolate pudding with whipped cream. Spaghetti with meat sauce, salad with homemade vinaigrette, bread with butter, canned fruit, box milk and one of the aforementioned dessserts. Hamburgers were popular as were sloppy joes and grilled cheese with cream of tomato soup. Most popular was turkey and gravy over mashed potatoes, vegetable, pumpkin pie, box milk.

    1. I can remember the canned fruit cocktail in our lunches and the peas with carrots. Both of those showed up a lot. Your school lunches sound good, and are so different from the school lunches they serve today. I think my favorite one today is the grilled chicken salad and baked potato. I would buy that one since it is a good and inexpensive meal at $3.00.


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