This post brought to you by Dollar General. All opinions are 100% mine.

Concession Stand Inspired Lunch When you were a kid at school, did you ever pretend or imagine that you were somewhere else? Bring that same sense of imagination to your child's lunch period with a can session stand inspired lunch! I took a trip to Dollar General and found all kinds of interesting tidbits and yummy treats that I incorporated into a fun meal. Send it off to school, or pack up a picnic lunch for the whole family!

Project estimate:

  • Plastic baskets, 4 for $1.50
  • Plastic hot dog holders, 4 for $1
  • Napkins, on hand or $1
  • Hot dogs, on hand or $1 and up
  • Hot dog buns, on hand or $1 and up
  • Goldfish crackers or other snack, on hand or $1
  • Cookies, on hand or 2 packages for $1
  • Condiments, on hand or $1 and up
  • Plastic zipper bags, on hand or $1 and up

Total: $$2.50 and up

plastic baskets and hot dog holders

While I was wandering around Dollar General I noticed that they had some really fun food serving items. I picked up a set of red plastic baskets and some plastic hot dog holders because they reminded me of eating at places like a baseball stadium or an amusement park. And they were cheap. And it turns out that they just fit inside of my insulated lunch bag, leaving the perfect amount of room to pack a meal!

Concession Stand Inspired Lunch

If you have leftover hot dogs, you're ready to go – otherwise, you'll want to cook up the hot dogs in advance. Put one in a plastic zipper bag (the snack size bags are perfect for this!) and don't forget to put an ice pack in the lunchbox to keep it chilled until lunch. (Don't have room for an ice pack? Freeze a bottle of water and pack it along with the lunch and it will serve as both a chilling device and a beverage!) You should also place a hot dog bun in a bag or some plastic wrap. Make sure you throw in a couple of napkins as well, which can play double duty as both basket liners and finger wipers.

Tip: Do you keep extra packets of condiments from fast food drive thru visits? This is a perfect time to use them up! If you don't have any packets on hand but want to get some, look for restaurant supply stores in your area. You might have to buy in bulk quantity, but if you are packing them in school lunches throughout the year it may be worth purchasing a case of them.

snack foods at Dollar General

You'll also need some other tasty things to go with the hot dog. I surfed around Dollar General's snack foods and found some Goldfish crackers and a package of cookies, but they had many other great options as well, including things like dried fruit that are healthier. I was surprised at what a great selection of small snacks they had to offer, making it a good place to go if you're packing lunches on a budget! Have you ever packed themed lunches for your kids? We would love to hear more fun food ideas as well!

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