Smart ways to save money on school lunches

With back to school time around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about ways to save on everyday necessities. Packing your child’s lunch instead of buying it at school may be a great way to save money already, but wouldn’t it be great to save a little more? Take a peek below at these 7 smart ways to save money on school lunches so you can pack your child a great lunch for less.

1. Skip the baggies.

Yes plastic sandwich baggies are convenient, but you will buy box after box as the year goes on. Instead, buy reusable containers for sandwiches, chips, fruit, etc. You can simply wash and reuse them over and over. I quite like these ones from Amazon.

2. Skip individual servings/packaging.

Yes the individual applesauce, yogurts, and fruit cups are convenient, but you are paying more for the extra packaging. Instead, buy these items in bulk and then divide them up yourself. It takes a little extra time but the savings are worth it.

3. Know what to buy in bulk.

If your child has favorites that need to be included in each lunch, you can buy them in bulk. Nuts, chips, granola bars, etc. can all be purchased in bulk for less. Buying these items in bulk also saves you from having to run out for last minute shopping trips.Take a peek at these 7 smart ways to save money on school lunches so you can pack your child a great lunch for less.

4. Skip the sandwich.

You don’t always have to pack sandwiches in lunches. Get creative with a peanut butter alternative like Wowbutter by letting your child put it on a banana with toppings such as coconut. Or wrap lunch meat in a piece of lettuce for a cool and easy wrap.

5. Invest in a thermos.

A thermos is great for packing warm foods such as soups and stews. Soup can be purchased inexpensively as well (about $1 a can) and is great paired with a sandwich, fruit, or crackers.

6. Meal plan.

Just as you plan your nightly dinners, planning your weekly lunches can help you save cash. This way, you can plan your lunch menus based on weekly sales and specials and stock up on essentials for less. Plus, you could possibly use up those dinner leftovers! You might find my Back to School Action Plan useful.

7. Listen to your child.

Many parents pack items that their child isn’t interested in, so they won’t eat it or it ends up in the trash. Listen to your child and try planning a weekly menu together. This way they are getting foods they enjoy and you can encourage healthy lunch options at the same time.

By following these tips, you can plan weekly lunches that are tasty and budget friendly at the same time. Give them a try!

What are your money saving school lunch ideas? Let me know in the comments below!