Frugal School Lunches

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Frugal School Lunches

Frugal School Lunches


If you have a child in school, you know how expensive it can be when they buy a lunch in the cafeteria every day.  If you have multiple children, this cost can soar! You may want to be more frugal about school lunches, but you aren’t sure how to prepare homemade meals, that are quick and inexpensive, while at the same time being something your kids will like and look forward to eating.  Follow our Simplee Thrifty tips below to help you make fabulous frugal school lunches your kids will love!

First, make your meals interesting, fun, and something your kids will enjoy. Try to prepare one of your child’s favorite dishes over the weekend, or on a designated weeknight. Prepare this dish specifically for them to take to school that week. If your child loves macaroni and cheese, make tray of it so they have it for lunch for a few days, or make a tray of baked ziti with pepperoni. If your child loves chicken, cook up a few chicken breasts and then cut them into strips to make yummy chicken wraps through the week! Whatever you choose to prepare, make sure it is something your child loves, or it is likely to get thrown out at school, and will become a waste of money. If it is a hot dish you are sending with your child, there are many thermal container choices available on the web and in stores you can choose to buy. This type of container will keep food warm for a few hours until they are ready to eat it at lunch. Here are 10 tips on how to make Back to School fun!

When choosing fruits and veggies to pack with your child’s lunch, always buy produce that is in-season. Not only will it be fresher, but it will be cheaper. Never buy fruits and veggies already chopped.  This can really push up the price, and it’s an unnecessary expense. Put aside some time to pre-chop them and put them in containers for the week ahead.

For snacks and sweets, never buy single serve packages for convenience. You will end up paying much extra for single portions, when it is just as easy to split a less-expensive larger package into smaller portions yourself. Buy the family size bag of cookies or crackers, and split it up into smaller containers for the week. Other great choices are to bake a boxed cake mix, or cook a few boxes of pudding or jello to send with your children.

As always, check sales and coupons before you go shopping.  If you want to send sandwiches with your children 2-3 days per week, there is usually at least one lunch meat or cheese product on sale at the deli. Also, you can often find coupons for pre-packaged deli meats online or in the Sunday paper. If your child is a PB&J fan, look for sales and coupons on these items. Also – Avoid buying plastic wraps, zip bags and brown bags every week. Instead, invest in re-usable containers, a thermos, and a nice insulated lunch bag. Not only will this save you money in the long run, when the food is kept in containers, it is less prone to becoming squished or developing that “plastic wrappy taste” that sandwiches and other wrapped foods can sometimes acquire.

Check out these must haves for preparing lunches!

Popsicle sleeves are great to put nuts, M&M’s and small treats in. Magnetic letters makes great little love notes in there lunchboxes when they open it up! WoW these sporks are just awesome, fork on one end and spoon on the other! These are great for the whole family! Rubbermaid Lunchbloxs containers, lets see what you can create with these snap on containers! Need to cut up that food into bite sizes? Grab this Bite Size Food Cutter!! These silicone cupcake liners fit into mason jars, put your fruit on the bottom and the liner on top for example celery and peanut butter. We all know how expensive these little food pouches can be, you can buy them and refill them! Great way to save money?

It does take extra effort to prepare homemade lunches and wash your containers, thermos and bag each night; but it is well worth the savings! Use the money you saved to take the kids on a nice family outing over the weekend, or buy them some great new school clothes!

Save on Back to School with this School Supply Stock Up Printable List 

School Price List Image


Back to School Money Saving Tips


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