Making sure that your child has a healthy lunch while you keep to a budget isn’t as challenging as one might think. There are several ways to give your child a healthy school lunch without breaking your food budget. Here are tips on how to make lunches your child will like while being frugal about the costs.
Don’t buy single-serve snacks
This is perhaps the biggest waste of money. For much less money than you would pay for the box of single-serving snacks, you can buy a large box of the same kind of snack and portion it at home. Use small Ziploc bags or re-usable plastic snack containers. If the box or bag of snacks is large, transfer it to a tightly sealed plastic container to keep it fresh.
Choose the larger size
If the brand of peanut butter your child prefers is cheaper to buy in a larger jar and they eat peanut butter often, unless the small jars are on sale, buy the larger size. With items that you use on a regular basis, be smart about what size you purchase. You can save money by comparing the prices. If the item does go on sale with drastic savings, stock up on it. Having a pantry where you can keep most-often used lunch items will help you be frugal but provide a good lunch for your child.
Fruits and veggies
Shop local markets for fruits and vegetables to save money and provide a healthy snack for your child’s school lunch. Again, don’t buy convenience foods like baby carrots. Peel and cut your own carrots and portion them for a bigger savings. Buy large jars of fruits like pineapple tidbits and put them into smaller, child-size containers for snacks on the go.
Alternatives to sandwiches
Use bread substitutes like wraps to use up leftovers or to make normal sandwich fixings more exciting for your child. Healthy wraps like whole wheat can be filled with combinations that your child likes such as leftover turkey with tomato slices for a different twist to lunch. Mini bagels topped with homemade veggie cream cheese makes a tasty lunch also.
Rounding it out
Many Moms like to give their child yogurt and buying yogurt aimed for children can make your food bill higher. Buy yogurt in larger containers and add extra fruit to it. Portion it into containers and you will find yourself being frugal without even realizing it. You can save big on not buying kid yogurt which is more expensive than buying a container of economy size yogurt. The extra plus is that many yogurt products that are aimed at children contain unnecessary food coloring whereas when you purchase yogurt that isn’t aimed at children, you can find healthier alternatives.
Making healthy lunches for your child to take to school can cost less when you put more thought into how you purchase the items that your child likes. Get creative with combinations and try new things. Even your picky eater may surprise you.