As we all gear up for back to school, I thought what a better way to celebrate (or morn the end of summer) than with a frugal back to school lunch hack you moms are going to love, Homemade Uncrustables. Not only will these babies save you time in the morning, but they will also save you a small fortune by making them yourself.
When shopping for back to school lunches last year, I bought a box of Uncrustables (for an outrageous price) just to discover that my son really doesn’t like peanut butter OR jelly. But, a plus out of that was I totally didn’t mind them and they were so easy to just grab and go. Yes, I am totally admitting that I actually really like these and now make them for myself.
What I also found out, my picky eater loves Nutella. AND, you can totally make Homemade Uncrustables with Nutella (or any other nut butter as well as marshmallow fluff). The process is really simple and they are so easy to customize. Side note here, I have tried to make a few with peanut butter and banana, but they did not turn out so well. I mean they technically work, but the brown banana inside is a real turn off for me.
I love to get my little one involved in making his own lunch for school. I even set up a lunch box station in my pantry and a drawer in my fridge so he can pick his own snacks. It makes him feel independent and helps insure that he will actually eat what’s in it. That’s also why I enlist his help when we make a loaf or two worth of Uncrustables. If your kids are older, they can even do this by themselves. I just refuse to let my 5-year-old lose with a spoonful of Nutella for obvious reasons.
If you are looking for a few more ideas (or hacks as you will) to make your mornings a little smoother, be sure to check out my 11 Tried and True Lunch Box Hacks.
Having a grab and go lunch option for my little one (or me) has been a real life saver. It makes my mornings run a little more smoothly and saving a few bucks sure helps my mood. If you are looking for a super easy lunch box idea, try making your own Homemade Uncrustables.
On a flat surface, lay down a piece of parchment paper. Place 4 pieces of bread down.
On each piece of bread, spread about 1 tablespoon of peanut butter just in the middle – make sure to not spread it to the edge! Spoon a little bit of jelly on top of the peanut butter.
Place a slice of bread on top of each piece of bread that has peanut butter and jelly on it.
Using a glass that has a thick rim, press down on top of the sandwich hard. Use a knife to cut around the glass, discarding the crusts (or set aside for later). *See tips for what to do with your left over crust below.
Place the uncrustables gently into a ziploc bag (in a single layer) and freeze. Pull these out for school lunches or snacks – they will defrost in about 20-30 minutes!
- glass with a thick rim
- 8 slices bread
- 2 tbsp jelly or jam of your choice we used Grape!
- 4 tbsp peanut butter or nutella
- On a flat surface, lay down a piece of parchment paper. Place 4 pieces of bread down.
- On each piece of bread, spread about 1 tablespoon of peanut butter just in the middle - make sure to not spread it to the edge! Spoon a little bit of jelly on top of the peanut butter.
- Place a slice of bread on top of each piece of bread that has peanut butter and jelly on it.
- Using a glass that has a thick rim, press down on top of the sandwich hard. Use a knife to cut around the glass, discarding the crusts.
- Place the uncrustables gently into a ziploc bag and freeze.
- Pull these out for school lunches or snacks - they will defrost in about 20-30 minutes!
Things to do with the left over bread
If you are worried about food waste when making Homemade Uncrustables, check out a few great things you can do with the leftover bread.
Breadcrumbs – Throw your excess bread into a food processor then lay on a baking sheet. Cook in a 300 degree oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
Croutons – Cut bread into bite size cubes and toss with olive oil and spices (like garlic, salt, and pepper). Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
Bread pudding – If you make huge batches (like me) then bread pudding is another great option! Check out this basic bread pudding recipe.
Stuffing – Need I say more! You can find a great stuffing recipe here.
Savory Strata Muffins – You can use leftover bread these delicious Strata Muffins!