I remember when a school lunch cost 50 cents! I am dating myself, but during the 1970’s and for most of the 1980’s in our rural area in America, that was what lunch cost. I had to purchase my lunch at school every day simply because it was a “good deal”. I suppose it was.
In our area, school lunches cost $2.00! If you have a large family, you can actually save money buy having your children pack their lunches. This is also, in many cases, a more healthy option as many menu items are “fast food” types of meals which are high in fat content.
Here are some ideas to liven up those packed lunches!
Try Something New
Instead of packing a sandwich using regular sandwich bread, try something new. I’m amazed at the different options available in most grocery stores nowadays. Try making a sandwich using pita bread, or a tortilla wrap. Instead of white or wheat bread, you can try oatmeal bread or potato bread to make your child’s lunches a little more appetizing.
I remember my lunchbox with great fondness! Ironic that my parents would purchase one for me every year, but I really never got to use it. For a while, lunchboxes fell out of favor and traditional paper lunch sacks were popular.
It’s not easy to find lunchboxes today, at least in our area, but they can be found for around $10. If you plan on packing your child’s lunch regularly, you might find it better to invest in a lunchbox instead of using a paper sack.
Instead of purchasing expensive juice boxes or water bottles for your children to drink during lunch, or allowing them to buy soda from the vending machines(they actually have these in my children’s schools!), you may want to use a thermos. Not only will your child’s drink stay cool, but you’ll be saving money and the environment at the same time. At the store near our house, they have metal thermoses on sale every so often. I purchased ones for my children for $3 a piece! Not only do I use the thermoses during the school year, I also use them during the summer when we are out and about. Instead of purchasing water bottles to keep the kids hydrated, I use this thrifty and environmentally responsible option instead.
Remember that it’s the “special touches” that really make the meal. I always put a small note of encouragement inside the kids’ lunchboxes. Although my one child claims that such notes are a great embarrassment to her, she makes a big deal if I don’t include a note!
Although we try to be thrifty most of the time, there are times when I allow the kids to buy lunch. For example, pizza day is a big favorite! Once a week, they can purchase ice cream at school too.
Do you have any tips to help others create thrifty and tasty lunch box meals?