Save Your Money Monday: Cutting Costs Of School Lunches

(Photo Credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

There’s nothing like a great school lunch. Lunch time for many students is the highlight of the day. It’s time to congregate with friends, eat nutritious food and drink delicious beverages and simply have a great time with others.

Regardless of if your school lunch is purchased at school or made from home, there are ways you can cut costs of eating lunch in school. Check out ways you can save money on that beloved meal!

1. Lunch Program Many schools have lunch programs that provide delicious and nutritious lunches to students at reduced rates. Please talk to school administrators to find out if you qualify and even if you don’t and could use assistance, please ask. There is help out there for you.

2. A Fun And Festive Lunch Tote I am not sure what is “in” or not when it comes to lunches and lunch carriers, but I would imagine that my “Cabbage Patch Kids” lunchbox is not a coveted item for students these days. Students should have a nice and lightweight lunch tote, whether that tote be a conventional lunch box or a handbag. A tote that will keep food safe and secure is ideal.

3. Sit and Plan During dinner time in my home, my mom would ask us what we wanted for lunch. Mom’s cooking was the best so normally our lunches were leftovers from the night before. Mom’s fried chicken wings are still legendary to this day and even taste good cold! From Roast Beef sandwiches to pork chops, our main course was taken care of. Talk with your child and ask them what it is they enjoy eating for lunch. That way you’re not throwing money down the drain on poor food choices should your little one throw that lunch away you packed.

4. Convenience is Key Not only do lunches have to taste good, but they have to look good. My mom, back in the day used to pack a perfect lunch for us! I had a “Snoopy” lunch box that was in the shape of a doghouse. Mom would pack my sandwich in foil, my chips were in one corner and my fruit cup was in another. There is nothing like having lunch items right there ready to be consumed. Also, I never had to throw an item away because it tasted weird. Who wants their sandwich to taste like peaches?

5. Grocery Store Sales! Should there be a paragraph about this? Every mom and dad always have their eyes on grocery store sales and stock up. It’s also a great idea to have a network of moms and dads who can report on who has what on sale. Great lunches are even greater when the contents of that lunch were on sale!

(Photo Credit: Debbi Morello/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Debbi Morello/Getty Images)

6. Lunchroom Discounts Perhaps you read the title and said “huh”? Make no mistake about it. Lunch rooms are somewhat like restaurants. Sometimes they cook a bit too much food and want to get rid of it. Many times before freezing it or donating it to community organizations, school lunch rooms will offer food at a discounted rate. Sure I brought my lunch to school but if the lunchroom was having a “sale on pizza”, I would whip out my $.75 for a delicious slice! Please don’t tell mom! LOL

7. The Freezer is Your Friend! Did you know that you can freeze bread, lunch meat, cheese and various fruits in your freeze with no problem? My mom used to freeze lots of food items for our lunches in an effort to save time and money.

Do you have additional ways you save money on school lunches? Share them with us as you enjoy related video below on healthy and wonderful school lunch ideas that can really save you money!


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