The bride's mother wanted no-drip sandwiches for box lunches. A commenter suggested pita pockets.
I needed a spread to flavor the roasted turkey without using messy condiments. This Vermont cheddar with roasted red peppers had been marked down in the gourmet case.
My husband divided the meat into 18 portions while I slathered and stuffed.
Do you see the pretty paper wraps? His idea! He folded thick Viva paper towels around each pita.
See the math--it would have cost only 20-cents more per sandwich to buy them from Kroger instead.
I sure have done my share of stuff like this where later I realized that I went to a lot of work that wasn't really worth it, money-wise. I think I remember reading that your husband works with this lady (am I remembering correctly?), and so for what it's worth, I think that, if nothing else, you created a lot of goodwill and friendship with a family that is part of your husband's life on a pretty regular basis. I'd love to hear the numbers breakdown on why you thought it wasn't any cheaper to do it this way. But there's no way Kroger would ever have packaged the lunches as beautifully as you did!
I think you did a beautiful job!
Regarding the price being cheaper if you had gone "store bought".
There is a lot of things that we can buy cheaper than making...but it's the fact that something is HANDMADE (whether food or clothes or whatever!) is what makes it more special.
My MIL sews beautifully...but she rarely makes children's clothes b/c "it's not worth it". But the few outfits she has made for my dd are more special to my dd b/c GRANDMA made it.
We all like to be frugal - but frugal does not always mean cheap.
I enjoy making special gifts for people...I enjoy taking the time to put something together and make it look special. The time, the effort is all part of the gift...and is a way that I can express my creativity.
I'm sorry it might feel like you went through a lot of work for nothing but at least the lunches were beautiful and they must have made the wedding party feel awfully good on a very special day.
"Later I'll show you why it would have been just as cheap--and probably tastier--to buy pinwheel sandwiches from Kroger!"
But the packaging is so pretty! I'll have yours over Kroger anytime.
Meredith, There is nothing from Kroger or any other store for that matter that would have been equal to the love and attention that you put into those box lunches and the breakfast for the bride and her friends. NOTHING. So please, do not sell your efforts short. You have an amazing, God given talent. We (your blog readers) are blessed that you share that talent with us. The family and friends who know you are blessed that you share your talent with them too. Thanks for the blog, I know that you must be very tired and have a lot of work still to do to clean up etc. Remember to take care of yourself too. Many blessings to you. Roxie
All the preparations look lovely and delicious! You are amazing!
As for feeding the family while you are cooking for an event. I have the same problem. I usually try to buy extra so I can feed us what I am already making. Doesn't always work, but there is always PB&J! ;)
DITTO what Roxie wrote above!
:) Great gift of time and talent.
Maybe you could have bought it all premade for cheaper... But you know what? I bet you weren't tapped for your talents to just buy premade sandwiches. For something like a wedding, a special, homemade touch does so much. It demonstrates your ability and willingness to give, it's a nice gift of hospitality and love to the wedding party... It cultivates such love, certainly in a way that prepackaged can't.
I wouldn't regret your choice, in the slightest, even if it took more money and time.
Don't sell yourself short. You did a wonderful job. I know the bride and her mother were very satisfied with all your efforts for the breakfast and lunch. Love your blog. Keep up the wonderful work.
Everything was beautiful! Congratulations on a job well done!
You did such a beautiful job, Meredith. I know that the bride and the bridal party must have really appreciated your homemade and special touches. What an elegant lunch and breakfast you put together- I am so proud of you! Way to go!
Thank you so much.
I'm not trying to sell myself short--simply to analyze what worked and what didn't, should I ever have to do this again.
Maybe my numbers will help someone else, too.
My $3 box lunches (with free labor) were definitely better than the premade Kroger box lunches for $5.
But to be honest, their sandwiches used more and better deli meats and cheeses for about the same price, even after I got a super deal on the turkey meat.
Meredith, I love your site, and get so many ideas from you. Thanks for taking the time to share your talents.
Those box lunches look absolutely GORGEOUS! What a lovely gift.
Personally, I have no doubt whatsoever that your meals tasted better! The love that went in them was the spice! That packaging had to make all the women feel so special. I am sure the bride and her mother appreciated it so much. I have told so many people about this idea because it is such an awesome gift! When we got married I would have loved something like this.
What a lovely looking lunch and it is very interesting to have the cost breakdown for future reference. Learning from your experience, if I was in a similar situation I might buy the sandwiches knowing that much of the gift would be having the food "taken care of" without a worry for the bride and mother of the bride.
One idea I had, next time you run into a sale priced ham like you brought for the breakfast, buy an extra, have it sliced very thin (the butcher will do this for you for free if you ask) and use that to make your sandwiches. I have done this a couple of times. It makes a lot of 'lunch' meat for a very reasonable price. Roxie
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