Save Money on School Lunches
Posted on Friday, August 16th, 2013 at 7:00 am
Parents are aware that the purchase of new school supplies, and new school clothing, adds up. What is often overlooked is the amount of money that you will end up spending on your child’s lunch every school day. Here are some tips that can cut down on the cost of school lunch (without sacrificing nutrition).
How to Save on School Lunches
Get a reusable lunchbox.
One package of paper lunch bags, and a box of plastic sandwich bags, doesn’t appear to cost that much at first glance. You are going to use them up quicker than you might think. Over the course of the school year, that cost adds up!
A reusable lunchbox (or lunch bag) isn’t expensive and can be reused the entire school year. Pick up some small plastic containers and you can avoid the need for plastic sandwich bags. The price of a reusable water bottle is much less than how much you would spend on juice boxes, plastic bottles of water, or cans of soda during the school year.
Skip the prepackaged snacks.
Purchasing family sized snacks, and dividing them into individual portions, will cost less than buying individual packages. Put some chips or pretzels into a small plastic container. Divide up a large bag of baby carrots instead of buying a bunch of individual bags. Skip the Lunchables. You can prepare the same stuff (crackers, small pieces of lunchmeat, and fruit) yourself for less money.
Ask about reduced or free lunch.
Stop by the office at your child’s public school and ask if they have information about the free (or reduced) lunch program. It is a federal program that is designed to assist families that make under a certain amount of money. In some states, the free lunch program includes breakfast before school starts (or shortly after school begins).
Use some coupons to cut down on the cost of the snacks that you plan to put into your children’s lunches this week. Put those snacks in an out of the way place (like on top of the refrigerator) so your kids cannot eat them all before they make it into a lunch bag! Planning ahead will help you avoid spending extra money on the school lunch (when it isn’t in your budget).