Fun Back to School Lunch Recipe #ChooseSmart

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I am exhausted! Our first day is behind us now and I am just trying to readjust back into school mode. My favorite part of back to school this year is packing lunches for my daughter and coming up with fun, different

recipes

to keep it exciting for her (and me). It is no secret that I love to find a good deal and for this shopping trip I went to

Smart & Final

to stock up on groceries. I am so glad to say my daughter has been trying new foods this past summer and one recipe she loved was this pasta salad.

For this recipe I bought First Street ingredients from Smart & Final and saved tons of money on great quality.

You will need:

First Street Macaroni & Cheese Dinner (1 box)

First Street Italian Dressing (2 TSP or to flavor)

First Street Colby Jack Cheese (1 slice lengthwise)

and Broccoli (1/2 cup)

Step 1: 

Boil a pot of water to prepare for the Macaroni & Cheese. 

Once the Macaroni is tender, remove a cup of Macaroni and set aside. 

You can continue following the instructions on the box to make the rest of the Macaroni & Cheese. 

Step 2: 

Slice the Colby Jack cheese lengthwise and either cube or use a small cookie cutter for fun shapes.

Step 3:

Chop the broccoli to desired size

Step 4:

Toss all ingredients together with 2 tsp of Italian dressing. 

Step 5: 

Add the pasta salad to your child's lunch box and refrigerate. Ta-da!

I love this recipe because I get to sneak in some vegetables into her lunch without her protesting.

Technically, you can put the dressing separate from the salad and have your child mix it in at lunch time, but for me, this salad is the best the next day after the dressing has saturated into the pasta and broccoli over night. 

How delicious does this lunch look? What a lucky kid! Yogurt, Apple slices, a few Vanilla cookies and a marshmallow bear (that I cut with a cookie cutter) and a delicious Italian pasta salad! 

I love First Street ingredients at Smart & Final. When you are on a budget like me, you can get much more fresh groceries at a better price and with the savings you make at the grocery store it helps make it easier to put in the extra effort for fun lunches. 

Just a few fresh First Street ingredients from Smart & Final and you have a delicious lunch! 

Oh and in case this hasn't crossed your mind yet, you know that you can double the portions and have the same lunch for you, your other kiddos and the husband. Just an idea! 

Oh and in case you were wondering what I did with the leftover First Street Macaroni & Cheese, I just added it to another lunch! I also made a wrap with wheat tortillas, lunch meat and First Street String Cheese that I picked up at Smart & Final and sliced it into 3 portions for a lunch side along with chopped apples and a Juicy Juice wrapped in a happy note from Mom. 

I save so much money on the grocery bill when I do my shopping at Smart & Final and their prices on their First Street products are just undeniable, you can also find other fun recipes on the

Smart & Final Social Circular

You can also follow them on

Twitter

and

Facebook

to get the latest on their promotions and deals. Right now Smart & Final has a Back to School sweepstakes going on their Facebook!

Go check it out!

What's the most fun recipe you've added to your child's lunch lately?