Middle School Throwback: They Still Make Lunchables and I Ate One!

Two words: ONE DOLLAR.
Two words: ONE DOLLAR.
Photos by Christina Uticone

I wish I could say I had the strength to walk by a Lunchable priced at the low, low price of one dollar and just leave it lying there in the cooler...but clearly I cannot. We were shopping at H-E-B Montrose the other day when I noticed a bin full of Lunchables: the traditional cheese, meat and cracker stackers, plus the sandwich ones, which I think of as the "new" ones even though they have been around forever.

When I saw that the old-school ham-and-cheese snack boxes were on sale for just a buck, there was no way I could pass it by. A heavy feeling of nostalgia washed over me, and suddenly I was back in eighth grade, too cool for school lunch, and begging my dad (who packed my lunches) to buy me the awesome new thing called a "Lunchable" I saw on TV.

Marketing for kids -- it works!

My husband rolled his eyes the entire rest of the shopping trip -- this, the man who puts black pepper on his Kraft Macaroni & Cheese! -- but I couldn't wait to get home to tear open my Lunchable. They now come with a couple of little vanilla wafer cookies, which I don't remember from the original -- did they always have a cookie? I think they added that later.

Vacuum sealed for freshness.
Vacuum sealed for freshness.

Lunchables are one of those things that, in my mind, are 49 percent horrible and 51 percent awesome. In no way is this the most delicious combination of crackers, cheese and deli meat in the world, but the packaging and the accompanying memories of childhood make it satisfying. And for a buck? I can't resist a one-dollar lunch.

Just a few cents per serving!
Just a few cents per serving!

Lunchables are just as I -- and, likely, you -- remember them. The deli meat is overly salty, and the ham, specifically, is a bit gristly; the crackers are also too salty, but you can't really kill a Ritz too badly, so those are still pretty good; the cheese is largely flavorless, though there is a tiny bit of sharpness to the cheddar. The new-to-me cookie is a bit stale, but dunked in some coffee, it turned into a nice, sugary treat to end the "meal."

For a dollar I'll eat Lunchables all day long, and you can judge me all you want!



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