Six Ways to Rock The School Lunchbox
When our son was in elementary school, my wife and I would joke that he had an approved list of 10 things that he would eat. He didn’t care for many of the food options at school, plus he complained about not having much time to eat once he finally got through the lunch line and back to a table with his food. Given this, I started sending a lunch with him each day to school.
The good news is that since I packed his lunch every day, I had control over what he had for lunch, and also over the cost of those lunches. Here are some ways that I rocked his lunch box all week long while keeping the cost low:
1.) Shop the Outlet Store:
The anchor of the school sack lunch is the sandwich, so I use quite a bit of bread. We have a bread outlet store nearby where I can usually pick up a loaf of name brand bread for under a dollar. I can also find a variety of cookies, fruit snacks and other treats that I like to occasionally include in her lunch at a reasonable price.
2.) Use Reusable Containers:
Many people like to buy individual packages of crackers, chips, and other snacks. However, it’s much cheaper to buy a bulk package and put some into a reusable container for that day’s lunch.
3.) Use Products That Have Multiple Servings:
Cheese slices: I usually buy store brand packages which have 24 slices and currently costs me $2.59. That’s only 11 cents per slice!
Lunch meat: One package of lunch meat has between 10-16 slices depending upon product and package size. I like to use up the whole package within a week to keep the product we’re using fresh, so I end up taking sandwiches for lunch as well.
Peanut butter: A medium sized jar of peanut butter will cost me a little over $3, but by alternating different options for lunches this jar will last several weeks
4.) Let Sales Provide Variety and Savings:
Fruit: I look for things that are on sale: Bananas, grapes, apples, and strawberries are some of our favorites. This saves me money AND results in providing a variety of fruit in the lunches week to week.
5.) Keeping it Hot:
Macaroni and Cheese: A box of macaroni and cheese cost 94 cents. Putting a serving of this in a thermos keeps it warm long enough to eat it for lunch, and I get several servings out of it.
Soup: He LOVES a variety of soups, especially on a cold winter day!
6.) Keeping it Cold:
By using a drink thermos I can send water, milk, or a serving of fruit juice and keep it cold. This is much cheaper than buying individual milk cartons, bottled water, or juice boxes.
This is just a sampling of ways that I keep the variety in the lunch to a maximum, and the cost to a minimum.
Do you send a sack lunch with your child to school? If so, what do you pack?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock
Brock is a software engineer by day and personal finance blogger at night. He is a fitness junkie and enjoys grilling and smoking meat. Married with two children, Brock strives to improve his skills as a husband and father, and is always on the lookout to stretch his family’s budget as far as he can.