School lunches are such an expensive part of our life. Now with the rising cost of groceries and gas getting out of control it just makes sense to try and be as frugal as possible to hold onto our hard earned money. We have 3 kids that require lunches and snacks throughout the day and it can be tough to keep them full and healthy.
Packing healthy lunches is essential to how their entire day is going to go, if their brains aren’t properly fuelled then how can they focus and pack their brains with knowledge? Honestly it is the one thing you can control during your kids day at school so you should try to make it count.
So how can we cut costs on school lunches, stay on budget, and eat healthy?
Packing lunches has become an art form for some parents. I have seen so many cool bento box ideas that look amazing and so creative. If you have time to bang those out Komodo’s to you but I’m lucky if I can get everything in the lunch bag before the bud comes some mornings. As time consuming as it is, I found we are saving a lot of money by using bento boxes, reusable water bottles, wax wraps, and avoid single use utensils. (I always use the drawer full we save from takeout before ever buying any disposable)
ECOlunchbox has an amazing variety of items for kids of all ages to have reusable lunch boxes and containers. They come in a huge selection of sizes and colours and just keep producing new products each year that are just as exciting as the last.
They even have a wonderful book available “Say Goodbye To Plastic” which is a great introduction to being a more sustainable family and reducing the waste and cost of single use plastics!
Freezing sandwiches, burritos, fruits, and soups is a great way to ensure you have portions ready to go for weeks to come. There are so many freezer recipes and meal prep recipes you can make into portions using pretty much anything you can think of. All you need to do is thaw it out by morning and toss it into their lunch kit and you are good to go.
Invest in some good spillproof containers that can hold soups, stews, chili, and other amazing leftovers without creating a disaster in your child’s lunch bag. Leftover dinner is a wonderful way to avoid food waste and you know your child is getting a nutritious meal at the same time. You can even revamp plenty of leftovers into a whole new meal with a bit of imagination and determination. Leftovers can also be put into portioned containers and frozen for up to 6 months.
Buy In Season
Stock up on in season fruits and veggies! These are some of the most expensive items on everyone’s grocery list right now so if you can buy them cheaper than usual do it. You can bake with them, chop them and freeze them, make smoothies and so much more.
Stock Up On Sales
Clearance and sale items are some of the best ways to stock up. Seasonal items like mini granola bars, healthy fruit snacks, chips, and other lunch box snacks go on sale right after September for back to school, October as Halloween ends, Valentines treats in February, and sometimes you can find healthy snacks around the end of Easter and summertime.
These are some of our favourite ways to save money on lunch snacks and it has really helped our grocery budget stay on track even while prices climb.