Back-to-school is here, and the struggle of packing a healthy and affordable school lunch while managing consumer debt is more prevalent than ever. Here are a few tips to keep up with healthy school lunches without breaking the bank.
Tips to Packing a Healthy, Affordable School Lunch
For the first few weeks, at least, you may be sending pristine lunches to school with your child. But, we all know that as the school year goes on, the stresses that seem to dissolve over the summer begin to creep back during the fall. And many times, your child’s school lunches tend to fall to the wayside. More and more, you may be tempted to send your child to school with money to buy lunch. But, sending a few dollars a day adds up. If you are trying to eliminate debt, saving money wherever you can is crucial. Here are a few tips to packing lunch that may help to save some of the money you would be putting into a less satisfying lunch from the school cafeteria.
Buy in Bulk
We know, we know, buying in bulk is always one of the first tips you see to saving money during food shopping. But that’s because it works! Buying food in bulk offers a larger quantity of food that helps save money in the long run.
Pro Tip: Make sure to compare the price-per-unit to ensure you are saving that extra buck.
Another perk is that food bought in bulk will last you much longer than anything you get during individual trips to the grocery store. You can have a fresh stock of healthy snacks to pack your child’s school lunch that won’t run out when you least expect it! This way, you won’t find yourself unprepared and reaching to send your child to school with money to buy a lunch that may not be all that healthy.
Planning what you are going to pack for lunch in advance can help to the art of packing a healthy and affordable school lunch. And this way, you will have a better idea of what your child eats at school. If you shop on Sunday for the week, check out the sales for the week and base your kiddo’s lunch off of that! Follow your grocery stores’ sale schedule and really stock up when your child’s favorite foods are extra cheap.
If you take this route, you can even prepare the entire week’s lunches at once, so you have one less thing to worry about during the struggle of getting ready in the morning.
Find Out What Your Child Likes
You probably know what your child likes to eat, but a lot of times, they are more than happy eating something super simple. You may not have realized that they’d be thrilled to have cheese and crackers for lunch rather than a sandwich. And, if their favorite fruit is something that lasts a long time like apples and oranges, stock up! Don’t waste money on fruits like strawberries that can be expensive and only last a few days before going bad.
Packing apples and peanut butter or ants on a log (celery, peanut butter, and raisins or nuts) are super easy and super fun lunches for your kid. They are economical, healthy choices for your child that you can make lunches out of until you run out.
Hopefully these tips will help you stay motivated to send a healthy, affordable school lunch. And of course, having your child buy a school lunch every once in a while isn’t the end of the world.