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How to Save Money on Lunch Food for Your Kids

Whether they are carrying a brown bag or a lunch box, your kids should enjoy their lunch. You can keep them happy while saving yourself some money.


  • Step 1: Package things like carrot sticks and fruit slices on your own. Individually packaged items are cute and convenient, but they are much more costly than putting the items in plastic baggies yourself.
  • Step 2: Get the kids involved in making their lunches. Nothing is more costly than buying food that doesn't get eaten. If children are involved in the packing, they are more likely to eat the lunch. You'll be happy you saved money, and they will be happy to eat a lunch they like. Saving money makes everyone happy!
  • FACT: An appraiser on the PBS program, "Antiques Roadshow," appraised a 1970 Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat lunch box at $10,000 to $15,000.
  • TIP: You can buy frozen items, like chicken fingers, and heat them in the morning. Just put them in a thermos so they stay warm.
  • Step 3: Buy the things your kids love in bulk and put them in the freezer to save.
  • Step 4: Get hot lunches. It may sound surprising, but sometimes the lunches offered at school can cost less than putting together a lunch at home. Let your kids pick one meal a week to buy from school.
  • TIP: Check out the school's menu to make sure the lunches are nutritious.
  • Step 5: Use a reusable water bottle instead packing individual soft drink cans or juice boxes.

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