The cost of school lunches can really put a crimp in the family budget. I started tallying up the cost that we spent out on school lunches last year alone and the total came to over $500!!! I know right?? That is an insane amount of money and when I think about the quality of food that my child was getting compared to the price I knew something had to change.
When your child takes his/her own lunch you will not only cut down on the cost but you will know exactly what is going into their bodies. As parents it’s very important to think about these things because trust me…..if you don’t think about it nobody else will. We all want our children to eat healthier and what better way than to pack their lunch ourselves. Sure it will take a little more time and planning but I think they are worth it. Don’t you?
Plan your child’s school lunches just like you would your own family dinner. If you don’t plan then you will fail at packing your kids lunches so spend five minutes of your time when planning out your budget for the week to come up with ideas to send your child to school with some healthy choices.
Don’t spend money on individually packaged items. Buying 20 different kinds of chips that come in cute little baggies that are so easy to grab and throw in a lunch box will cost you BIG every single time. Have you ever opened one of these little bags?? They have about 7 chips in them if you are lucky! Spend a little bit of time and buy some zip-lock baggies and make your own snack bag of chips. Try and grab some baked or healthier chips for your child also. I don’t think there is a whole lot of nutrition in a bag of Cheetos!!
Take some time on the weekend to make some goodies. Kids love pudding, granola bars and snack cakes. Take a little time on the weekends and make them yourself. Package them up in re-usable containers saving yourself a bundle in the process.
Look into other bread options. At our local Walmart they have a giant cart of different kinds of breads and cakes that are nearing their expiration date. These are breads that are baked fresh at Walmart and sometimes taste much better than the ones you get in the bread isle. Grab these sale items up and freeze them in your freezer until you are ready to use. Be creative…. who says they need sliced bread! English muffins, buns and flat breads are super yummy too on a sandwich and will keep them from getting bored from eating the same thing day in and day out.
Buy fruits and veggies that are in season. Fruits and veggies can be a great addition to your child’s lunch and if you watch the sale flyers you can get a rocking deal on them. If your kid is a veggie frowner you may try sending some ranch dressing with their veggies. Everything is just better with ranch!!
What kind of items do you plan on sending with your child this year for lunch?