For busy parents, packing creative and healthy lunches is a never-ending and tedious task, second only to descaling the coffee pot and possibly removing soap scum. We’re loving this time-saving system dreamed up by our Marketing and Community Manager, Sara. As a single mom who works full time, Sara has her days down to a science, and lunches are no exception.

She started with a list of food ideas she knew her daughter would like, then planned out a week’s worth of her favorite meals.

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She purchased five tupperware containers, then labeled each one with a day of the week and a list of ingredients for each day.

On Sundays, she lays all the containers out on the kitchen table and packs everything, including fruit in reusable containers and the non-perishables like crackers. If something needs to be packed at the last minute – like warm leftovers in a thermos – she puts a note in the box as a reminder.

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All the boxes then go in the fridge, ready to be taken out each morning and packed. Packing lunch literally takes Sara 30 seconds – meaning she has more time for exciting things like nagging her daughter to put her shoes on.

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Looking to put this system into use in your house? We’ve got lots of inspiration for creative (and delicious!) lunches, so you can save your brain cells for more desirable activities.

Do you have a time- or sanity-saving hack? We’d love to hear about it!

— Photos courtesy of Sara Olsher