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Ack! Summer is almost over! Our family is gearing up for the new school year. All the back-to-school prep and supplies can add up quick, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. As you know, I’m already saving money with my Straight Talk Wireless plan. Now, I’ve got tips to help you save even more this fall.
In just a few short weeks, Jaxson starts kindergarten. He’ll hop on the school bus with his sister and head to school. It will be a new routine for him because he’s in school all day, not like his half days in preschool. Instead of just packing snacks for him to take to preschool, we’ll need to pack him a hearty lunch and snack to last him through the afternoon.
Packing school lunches doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. I’ve got some tips that will save you money, not to mention to help with your morning prep rush.
Ways to Save Money Packing School Lunches
1. Have the kids make a list of foods they want for lunch. My kids are particular about what goes in their lunchboxes. Sophia’s lunch period is short so she prefers food that’s in bite sized pieces whenever possible. If they can’t write yet, ask them to draw it. This gives you a “menu” of lunch options.
2. Invest in reusable containers. My daughter loves her Bento Living lunch container (formerly called Laptop Lunches). It’s a box with smaller containers inside that can be swapped out. Some of them have lids so we can put dips or ketchup in them. This year we will swap out our plastic ziptop bags for reusable snack bags. I like to buy an extra set just in case I didn’t get around to washing the previous lunch’s containers. Just buy a piece or two as your budget allows or check the dollar sections in your local stores. Need more bento box ideas?
3. Label everything. Since you’ve invested in nice containers, use waterproof name labels to make sure they’re easy to spot. At my kids’ school, each classroom has a huge bucket they toss their lunches in. The bucket is taken to the cafeteria where their lunches are handed out. You can see how easily things can get lost. We’re big fans of Mabels Labels or labels from Tiny Prints.
4. Buy snacks in bulk. It’s tempting to buy that box of snacks with individual sizes. Buying in bulk saves so much money. Each Sunday, bag a week’s worth of snacks in small ziptop bags or containers. Even better, put your kids to work and let them do it. This works great for snacks such as pretzels, nuts, crackers, cookies, and dried fruit. You can also do this with baby carrots and sugar snap peas–just keep those in the fridge.
5. Utilize leftovers from dinner. If you’re cooking pasta for dinner, make a little extra. Bake an extra chicken breast or boil a couple more eggs. You can give them new life by tossing the leftover pasta with grated parmesan cheese for lunch. Slide chunks of chicken breast onto a toothpick for a mini-kabob and pack a small container of bbq sauce. You get the idea.
There’s many ways to save money when it comes to packing school lunches. I’m usually strapped for time so these are the easiest ways for me. With tips #4 & #5, you just need to plan ahead a teeny bit. I promise it won’t add too much work to your hectic schedule.
Great news! Save money on lunches and your wireless plan. You can now get more for your money with Straight Talk Wireless. Their $45 unlimited* plan now includes 5GB of high speed data (up from 3GB). For more details and phones available, visit the Straight Talk website for more details written in easy to understand language. (*30 day Unlimited Plans include 5GB of high speed data per 30 day cycle. After 5GB, your data speed will be reduced to as low as 2G for the remainder of the 30 day cycle. If your data speed is reduced, the reduced speed may impact the functionality of some data applications, such as streaming audio or video or web browsing. Straight Talk reserves the right to terminate your service for Unauthorized or abnormal usage. Please refer always to the latest Terms and Conditions of Service at StraightTalk.com.)
Do you have any money saving tips for packing school lunches? Share in the comments.