A new school year has started. This means if this school year can be as normal as possible, that your child will spend an average of 180 days at school. This means also, for lunch packing parents, an average of 180 packed lunches, for one kid, for the whole school year. Whatever your budget is for your kid’s lunch, did you know that, by saving $0.56 per lunch, you can save a total of $100 each year?
So how to make sure you prepare healthy lunches your kids will love eating while not breaking the bank and saving money? Let’s dive into these simple easy tricks!
1. Check your fridge and pantry first
For starting packing lunch for your kid, you need food, to prep and assemble. The very first thing to do is to check what’s left in the fridge and the pantry and to try being creative with whatever it’s left. Not only it’s good for the planet to try reducing food waste, even one lunch at a time, but it’s also fantastic for our wallet!
2. Just buy what you need
After checking your fridge and pantry, do you think it’s actually time for grocery shopping? One sure way to reduce the grocery bill is to only buy the food you need. Meal plan, or make a list, or do both, and try to stick to your plan (or list)! You can also directly buy your groceries online: by avoiding some grocery store’s aisles, you’re pretty sure to avoid buying unnecessary items (but again, even online, stick to the list only!)
3. Enjoy special offers and coupons
Verify if your grocery store makes a special offer or offers coupons. For instance, it may be beneficial to buy a bundle of 3 cans of diced tomatoes at $3.50 instead of $1.50 each!
You may also save money (and your sanity) when enjoying offers from meal kit companies. For instance, these days, Gobble offers 6 meals for $36. These meals are pretty amazing for dinnertime and have most often very generous portions. Also, it’s possible to twist the recipes for making them more kid-friendly. Thus, you can eat 2/3 at dinner, and pack 1/3 leftovers in your kid’s lunchbox for the following day! In our example, add a banana for dessert and one carrot that you cut into sticks, and that makes a yummy kid’s lunchbox for less than $2.50!
4. Prep in advance and pack lunch in batch
Everybody knows this adage: “Time is money”. How to save time then? One easy way is to prep food in advance. For instance, take an hour on Sundays to wash, peel, and cut all the vegetables you’ll need during the week. Use a cutting board with trays (or just a cutting board and other food storage boxes), put on some music to make the task more agreeable, and your efforts will be rewarded throughout the week!
Cook 4 servings of the homemade Spaghetti Bolognese your kid loves. Dispatch in 4 lunch boxes. Keep one lunchbox in the fridge for the next day. Put the 3 other lunch boxes in the freezer, and save them until you need to grab an emergency lunchbox for your kid! Packing lunch in batch saves time and money… without sacrificing the variety of food you can offer to your kid!
5. Track your lunch packing budget
The best way to see how much money you save and, later, how stable your lunch packing budget is, is to track your lunch packing budget. One app we like is Mint because this app can help reach goals with personalized insights, custom budgets, spend tracking, and subscription monitoring, all for free.
Another resource with great tips, tools, and relief programs to help you manage your finances, and also to get out or stay out of debt is debtconsolidation.com. The average household in America with credit card debt, indeed, owes an average of $15,654. If that sounds familiar to you, see more tips about budgeting here: https://www.debtconsolidation.com/budgeting/
Do you have any additional tips for enhancing your lunch packing budget?
If you pack lunch for your kids, don’t miss out on the opportunity to showcase your lunchbox ideas on Teuko.com! Sign up free!
Disclaimer: This blog post is part of a sponsored collaboration. Also, as an Amazon affiliate company, if you buy some products from some links inserted in the text of this blog post, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale. This helps Teuko.com remain free! Any feedback? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org