I have twin 9-year olds, that as I have said before, are pretty picky eaters. They both prefer to take their lunch to school, rather than to buy it. So, coming up with inexpensive, healthy school lunches can sometimes be a real challenge.
I wanted to share with you some of the ways that we save money on making their school lunches. I also wanted to give you some of the resources I have found online to help us to do so.
1. Invest in several, washable, re-useable containers
These are the best way to go, because the cost of zip-lock bags and disposable containers add up very quickly. Here are some of my favorites.
2. Buy in bulk
You never want to buy convenience or snack-size packaged foods, because you will be paying additional cost for that luxury. You can buy everything in bulk, and separate the items out into individual serving sizes yourself. It is easiest to do this as soon as you are back from your shopping trip, so that the items will be ready for you to grab when you are packing lunches.
3. Pack left-overs
When you have a great meal that everyone enjoys for supper, pack the left-overs for their lunch! There are hot food thermos containers that keep food warm in their lunches and these little containers are definitely worth the investment They last a VERY long time and are very durable if you take care of them. We have been using the same ones for the last 3 years. And we have always hand-washed them and they are still in perfect condition. If you choose to go this route, make sure to get basic designs that they will not out grow quickly.
4. Water should be their beverage
There is really no reason that children, or any adults for that matter should have additional unnecessary calories or sugar from their beverage. So, just pack water! It is very cost effective too. You can just give them ice water from the tap instead of buying bottled waters and put it in their re-usable drinking thermos. It stays very cold, and mine love it!
5. Make treats and snacks from scratch
Kids love home-made foods. And, it is very special for them to get to open these items in their school lunches. You can bake muffins, cookies, brownies, crackers, the ideas of things that you can add to their lunches with a little touch of love are endless. Here are a few of my favorite cookbooks that give lots of ideas. And, baking from scratch is always cheaper than buying those prepackaged items as well.
I hope these ideas help you with preparing your children’s lunches. 🙂