It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that food bought in individualized servings for school lunches are not the most frugal way to shop. Make the most of your shopping dollar by buying such goodies at discount grocery stores, warehouse and/or bulk foods stores.
Dollar stores are also a great source for frugal food shopping. It is possible to buy packages of individual servings of crackers, peanuts, and cookies. Don’t forget to buy a box of sandwich bags while you are there. These are the frugal mom’s staple to packing affordable lunches. Not only for packing sandwiches but carrot sticks, celery sticks, or other fresh fruits or vegetables. Sandwich bags will also help you pack chips, cookies, or other snacks that you buy in bulk size instead of individual servings size. You also might want to grab a package of plastic spoons to add to your child’s lunch when you include pudding or yogurt. It can be fairly rare that children will remember to bring home silverware that was added to their lunchbox.
One last tip for affordable school lunches, check with your children’s schools. Different school systems have different policies regarding free or reduced lunches. Your child may actually qualify, it can’t hurt to check. Also, many schools have a website that allow you to look up the school menu and keep an eye on when your child is charging a meal on their account. You may want to consider letting your child buy lunch on days when it is one of their favorite meals. This may save you from surprise charges on your child’s account on days they decided to buy lunch on credit rather than eat what was packed for them.