School is starting up around the country and it’s the perfect time of year to find savings in your grocery bill! If you’re packing school lunches, or even bringing lunch to work, you can easily blow lots of cash on convenience items like pre-packed snacks, pre-cut fruits or meal kits like Lunchables. But as it turns out, saving money on school lunches is not just simple – it also provides a healthier, more well-balanced meal to power your kids through the school day. Learning how to save money on school lunches can save you hundreds per year.
A healthy school lunch can cost you around $43/month per kid, so we’ve got tips today on cutting down those costs while also saving time.
Spend some time bookmarking lunchbox inspirations from blogs to be sure you never run out of ideas. If you’re looking for a place to start, check out our Back to School board on Pinterest.
The best way to save money on school lunches – or any meal – is to plan what you’re serving around what’s in season and on sale around you. Check out the different sales at local stores and use those to choose your ingredients for the week. Then, give your kids the options and let them help map out healthy lunches that they’ll love all week long. If you’re crunched for time comparison-shopping, OurCart can help. Our smart grocery list app makes your grocery list fast based on your prior purchases, and gives you a report on prices on each item at nearby stores. Plus, we now pull in sale information at grocery stores near you.
Green Your Routine
It’s not just the environment that will benefit from more eco-friendly choices at the grocery store – you’ll have more green in your wallet, too! Avoid pre-packaged, individually portioned snacks. They cost much more per portion and are easy to replicate with reusable containers. Just do the work ahead — portion out snacks, chop veggies and fruits and package them up — and you’re good to grab and go when you pack out a lunch.
Prep on the Weekend
Planning ahead is a great way to ensure you don’t fall back on convenience foods or sending kids to school with money for lunch. One great way to do this is to designate an hour on the weekend to get your lunches in order for the week. Involve the kids (bonus – they’re more likely to eat it if they help out!) and create an assembly line to get everything ready. Chop, portion, assemble and map out the week. When you’re busy and hectic during the week, it requires no time or thought to get a healthy and affordable lunch together.