I get 4 kids off to school each morning, and that can be a crazy task when I’m also helping people find their “favorite socks” and last night’s homework – or being called-in to solve a cowlick crisis in the upstairs bathroom. Not to mention – this girl is not a morning person AT ALL. My mom always tells me that if I’ll just stop staying up late I’ll become a morning person, no problem! Well I’ll tell you something – that dog don’t hunt.
Anyway – I try to make things ahead to help myself out in the mornings – like making sandwiches in advance and freezing them (Just like lunchables! They thaw to the perfect softness by noon) and I also make the entire week’s snack bags in advance too.
The cost for those handy 20-Pack bags of chips is $6 – $7 and each bag is just 1 oz. Make your own snackbags to save money, and do the whole week’s worth on Saturday or Sunday to save yourself time in the mornings! I like to buy the snack-size baggies and fill them up with my kids favorite Chex mix (Either Cheesey, Turtle or Bold). I’ll add a handful of unsalted nuts in each one for a protein boost and sometimes other odds and ends (mini-pretzels, or raisins or dried cranberries in the turtle mix). Let’s breakdown the cost:
I buy (2) Bags of Chex Mix 8.75oz Bag – $.50 each *after coupons at Save-a-Lot and often other stores
I add a few handfuls of nuts and break mine down into 20 bags (4 kids x 5 days)
Cost per 1oz snack bag = $.05 each + small price for nuts
So it costs me a little over $2 for a week’s worth of lunchbox snacks that are healthier than chips, just as convenient come morning, and still give my kids a choice of their favorite flavors. The bags of chips however, will run me about $14 for a week’s worth. I save $12 per week just on lunchbox snacks!
What are some tips & tricks that you use to save money and time on school lunches? Please share them in the comments – or email your ideas (and a picture please!) to time2saveworkshops @ gmail dot com (leave out the spaces)