Saving Money on Packed Lunches

by Wendy Copley on August 16, 2011

With all the other purchases I need to make at back to school time, I’ve found that one expense tends to creep up on me: school lunches. Buying school lunch every day adds up quickly and that’s a big part of the reason I limit how often Wyatt can eat school lunch. (I’m not thrilled with the quality of the lunches either.) I’ve found that I can cut the expense of buying lunches significantly by packing his lunches. Here are a few other ways I save money on lunches:

  • Invest in reusable containers. Spending a little bit extra to invest in a good quality lunch system (like the Laptop Lunch or Easy Lunchbox) or a few bento boxes has saved me a ton of money over time. Since my Wyatt started preschool four years ago I’ve packed over 800 lunches and snacks in reusable containers and in that time I’ve never used a single plastic bag! Crazy! I’ve easily saved more than the cost of the containers I use in that time by not buying plastic bags and other disposable containers.
  • Avoid single-serve packaging.There’s no denying that juice boxes and tubs of applesauce are convenient and I do buy them from time to time, but ounce for ounce single-serving packages of food are far more expensive than larger containers. I buy regular sized containers of these foods and pour drinks into reusable water bottles and food into small containers to save money.
  • Stock up on sale items. I was surprised to notice that my grocery store is having back to school sales on crackers, cookies and other lunch box staples. Keep an eye out for bargains and buy multiples of your child’s favorites while prices are low. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be thankful to have extras on hand on days when you need to hit the supermarket.

How do you save money when packing lunches for school? Share your back to school money saving advice below for a chance to win a $500 Back to School Shopping Spree from BlogFrog!

Want to exchange more tips and ideas with other moms about back to school topics such as healthy snacks, school supplies and saving money? Visit the HorizonĀ® Healthily Families Back to School Community!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon. The opinions expressed by me do not necessarily reflect the view of the Horizon Organic brand.

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