Dec 28, 2007

School Lunch Savers

Amazingly, the hot lunch program at school isn't required to provide a daily balanced lunch, but just a WEEKLY balance. So if my child eats hot lunch only one or two times a week, she may not get the needed nutrients to grow her body and brain.

And I just can't imagine spending the money to send individual sized chips, drinks, and snacks to school with my kids. Yes, they are cute little things, but mostly you're paying for packaging! Just look at this:

The average mom packs $2.00 worth of pre-packaged goodies into each lunch she sends to school with her kids. (That works out to $720 for 2 kids.)

While the kids aren't in school this week, thanks to the holiday break, here's a quick article on saving money on kids' lunches - up to $400 a year! It's a good time to plan for the upcoming week. The kids always like to help cooking, too, so why not make your own and save money?

Those snack bags of munchies cost a lot! Make your own by pre-packaging chips, pretzels, animal crackers and other snack items into sandwich bags on the weekends. (Have the kids help!) Store them in a big container or basket and just throw them in the lunch box in the morning.

Let the kids create their own pizza lunch kits - Toast bread and cutout little circles with a biscuit cutter. Add small containers of pizza sauce, cheese, and other toppings.

Make fruit gelatin and pudding and put in small plastic containers for the week. Make a large batch of granola bars, cookies, pumpkin bread, banana bread or muffins. Divide them into zip top sandwich bags and freeze so that you can grab one or two when needed.

Brownie bites are simple to make. Bake brownie mix in mini-muffin pans and put three "brownie bites" in a sandwich bag for each child's lunch. They freeze well too!

Fill thermos (not glass) half full with juice the night before and freeze. In the morning, remove from freezer and fill the rest of the way. The juice will be cold when the kids are ready to drink it and it keeps their food cold too.

Clean vegetables, slice into pieces and bag. Preparing a weeks worth of veggies at a time for lunches and snacks saves money and time.

Purchase cheese in blocks, cut into pieces and put in sandwich bags.


Article Source: Creative Homemaking

2 comments:

Barb, sfo said...

Don't forget to put some pepperoni in with that cheese! All my kids love pepperoni slices and cheese cubes in their lunches.

Angie said...

These are great ideas! :) I just wish my kids didn't want the exact same thing each day -- peanut butter and jelly & goldfish crackers. LOL

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