School is back in session! If you’re committed to sending your student to school with a brown paper bag, you may be brainstorming budget-friendly lunch ideas. Below are three practical ways to keep the cost of school lunch down so you can give your kiddo the fuel they need to learn – without breaking the bank!
Practical tips for budget-friendly school lunches
1. Plan ahead
Start by planning your weekly menu in advance. There are many meals that are both easy to prepare and cheap, including chicken or egg salad sandwiches. By having a clear idea of what you’ll make, you can avoid relying on pricier convenience foods.
Once your menu is complete, create a detailed shopping list. This will help you stay focused and organized at the grocery store. Instead of wandering the aisles for something that “looks good” and giving into impulse buys, you’ll know exactly what you need to create a nutritious meal.
2. Shop smart
For pantry staples like peanut butter and oats consider buying in bulk. Bulk purchases often offer significant savings over time compared to buying smaller packages. While they aren’t always single serving, it’s easy to divide out portions yourself.
What you put your kiddos lunch in can also affect the cost of it. Opt for reusable lunch containers instead of disposable ones. Over time, this investment will save you money as you won't need to constantly buy single-use bags and containers. Plus, you can feel good about the eco-conscious change knowing you’re not adding more plastic waste to the environment.
3. Rack up rewards
How you pay at the grocery store makes a difference! Reach for a credit card with a rewards structure when you’re at checkout. You’ll earn cash back or points on purchases you were going to make anyway, which can be used to cover the cost of future shopping trips or chip away at your card balance!