Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How to Make Homemade Uncrustables - It's Cheap and Easy!

Last week I shared some of my tips for quick lunch box prep which helps me save time preparing my kids' lunches and ensures we have healthy snacks available and ready to grab!  Another way I save time (and money) on lunches is making my own  homemade uncrustables.  Occasionally when Smucker's Uncrustables are on sale and I have a coupon I will grab a box or two, but it is so easy to make these at home AND you know exactly what is going in them that there is no need for the store version.  

At the Commissary a box of 4 uncrustables usually runs around $1.99.  With a loaf of bread, jar of your favorite PB, and your choice of jam, jelly or fresh fruit spread you can make 9 sandwiches - I usually prepare 3 loaves at a time for a total of 27 sandwiches.  At my local bread outlet store I can get 3 loaves of whole grain bread for $1.98, jelly starts at $1.38 at the Commisary and a 15 oz jar of Peanut Butter is around $2. That brings our grand total to $5.36 or .20 per sandwich and I know exactly what's inside! 

Nutrition Tip: For an even healthier option, you can opt to use almond butter in place of the PB if your kiddos will eat!  A giant jar of Maranatha is a little over $5 at Sam's Club.  

Not only are the homemade versions healthier and cheaper, but they're easy to make too!  You will need a sandwich sealer like the wonder bread product I use.  I picked mine up at my local grocery store for $2, but you can find a variety of products online at Amazon including some cute shaped versions!  Just make sure to select a product that seals AND cuts for easier prep.

Here's how to make your own uncrustables:

1.  Spread Peanut Butter on both sides of the bread. (This keeps the Jelly from seeping through the bread). Be sure not to spread too close to the edges.

2.  Spread Jelly on one side of the bread.

3.  Place the pieces together and use your sealer/crust cutter to cut and seal your sandwich.

4.  Place sandwich in a Ziploc baggie or wrap in saran wrap and place in freezer.

When you're ready to serve the sandwich just throw it in the lunch box and it will be thawed and delicious by lunch time!  If you are serving at home I would pull out about 30 minutes before lunch.  Even my hubby loves these although he has to take two.

Tip:  If you don't have a sandwich sealer or crust cutter, you can cut off the crust and then press by hand to seal the sandwich shut.

Be sure to save your crust to take to the park for feeding the ducks, making home made croutons, or using in recipes that call for bread crumbs.  I place the crusts in a bag and freeze to use later.

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