Saturday, July 30, 2016

"Savebucks" Protein Bistro Box {Inspired by Starbucks}

Trying something a little different here!

A rather popular coffee chain (Starbucks) offers a "protein snack box" for sale.  It comes with a cheddar cheese, a boiled egg, multigrain bread, peanut butter honey spread, and fruit (usually apple slices and grapes).  It contains about 370 calories, 13 grams of protein, and 19 grams of fat, and retails for approximately $5.

Now, at least at our house, a $5 price tag on even a semi-frequent basis is just not happening.  We also aren't sold that 13 grams of protein makes a meal a protein box either.  So we came up with plan B, can we make our own?
We played around with food and ratios (and what was in the fridge on that given day) and came up with our own version of a protein box, packed in one of our EasyLunchboxes to make it easy to grab and go.

What's in our protein box?

1 boiled egg - 70 calories, 6 grams protein, 5 grams fat
1 marble cheese stick - 60 calories, 5 grams protein, 4.5 grams fat
6 slices black pepper deli turkey - 50 calories, 9 grams protein, 1 gram fat
8 flatbread crisps - 70 calories, 1 gram protein, 2 grams fat
1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese - 90 calories, 11 protein, 2 grams fat
1/2 cup pears - 60 calories, 0 protein, 0 fat
One snack box - 400 calories, 32 grams of protein, 14.5 grams fat

You can easily adjust your fruit choices too.  Rather than 60 calories of pears (about a 1/2 cup), you could choose, which would make the calories in line with the other box:
1/2 cup grapes (30)
1/2 cup blueberries (42)
1/2 cup strawberries (27)
1/2 cup watermelon (23)
1/2 cup apple slices (28)

Hate cottage cheese?  My husband does too, even though I love it.  You can also swap that for Greek yogurt (I chose Chobani since that's what we had handy) at 100 calories, with 10 grams of protein and 1.5 grams of fat.

Bearing in mind we live in the greater Seattle area, and I try to shop sales as much as I can, I tried to estimate the prices:
$0.10 egg (I stock up when eggs are cheap, we go through at least a dozen boiled and a dozen in other things per week)
$.20 cheese stick
$.50 turkey slices
$.20 crackers (also something I only buy on sale)
$.40 cottage cheese
$.30 pears
$1.70 total cost of the meal box, so that's nearly three for the price of one at the coffee shop!

And, since I use reusable containers, there's zero packaging cost involved.  We highly recommend EasyLunchboxes for this since they held all our food with room to spare.  Since they come in a set of four, we can prepack several at a time, and just add the crisps at the last minute.

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  1. I love how you were able to amp up the protein and cut the cost by so much. With your reusable packaging, you are also helping the planet! Nice work!

    1. Thanks! I was amazed when I actually broke down all the numbers!

  2. This is great! I need all the ideas I can get with my oldest starting kindergarten- and needs 2 snacks plus lunch. Thanks!

    1. Thanks! My best tip is probably prepacking, especially laying out snacks or fruits or yogurts for the week!



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