Tips on Packing School Lunches to Save
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Tips on Packing School Lunches to Save

Posted on Monday, September 5th, 2011 at 2:12 pm
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School is back in session which means it’s time to start packing school lunches again. The great thing about packing your kids lunches is that you can ensure they are getting the proper nutrition, they won’t have to spend their lunch break waiting in line for food, and you get to shop for the best grocery deals possible. So, here are some tips on how to pack healthy lunches on a budget.

Invest in Reusable Containers

Reusable containers will make packing lunches easier for you and keep the kiddos food fresher throughout the day. I’d recommend investing in a refillable water bottle, a thermos, an assortment of Tupperware, and an insulated lunch bag.

Don’t Buy Individually Packaged Items

Individually packaged lunch items, such as snacks and juice boxes, are substantially more expensive than buying regular packages. Instead of buying these marked up items, opt for the regular packages and take a few minutes to measure out smaller portions at home using your reusable containers. For example, you can buy a large bottle of juice and pour it into the refillable bottle. To keep it cold, make ice cubes out of the juice so that the juice stays cold without becoming diluted. You can use the Tupperware (or some plastic baggies) to measure out things like chips, popcorn, etcetera. Avoid things like Lunchables, no matter how much your kids beg for them. You can pick up some Tupperware with individual compartments and make your own for less.

Stock Up When You Find a Deal

When you find a sale, make sure you stock up. I’ll usually stock up on things like juice and cereal when they are less than $1. I save a lot of money by stocking up at the right times and using my bargains to make my own snacks. You can make things like Rice Krispies Treats, trail mix, cookies, etcetera.

Be Creative

My kids love it when I add some personal touches to their lunches. Sometimes I’ll add a little note wishing them a good day at school or make fun shaped sandwiches using cookie cutters. Use your imagination to add a little flair to your kids lunch!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.