5 Ways to Save Money on School Lunches

school lunches

Guest post from Adeline of Frugal Fanatic

Now that school has started, you may have noticed how quickly all of the different costs add up. Not only did you need to purchase new school clothes and supplies at the beginning of the year, but now you have to figure out how you are going to afford school lunches.

Many parents plan ahead and budget for school supplies throughout the school year, but they forget about school lunches. Having your child buy their lunch from the school each day will quickly add up.

You want to send your child to school with a healthy lunch, but you do not want to spend a ton of money. Here are 5 ways to save money on school lunches.

1. Think Outside the Sandwich

Lunch does not have to be a sandwich every day. Invest in an insulated container that will keep food hot or cold. Leftovers from the night before are perfect. When you make some of your child’s favorite meals you can inexpensively double the recipe to allow for extra servings for lunch.

Not only do you save money, but your child will be happy to be eating one of their favorite foods at school.

2. Slice Your Own Meat and Cheese

If your child likes to eat sandwiches for lunch buy the sandwich meat and cheese in unsliced blocks, and do the slicing yourself. This will save you money instead of spending more to have it sliced at the deli counter.

Even though you will be taking the time to slice it you will quickly see the savings add up.

3. Make Your Own Lunchables

A lot of kids love Lunchables, but they can be pretty expensive. Instead, buy containers with different size sections and make your own version of the Lunchable.

You can use crackers, meats, cheese, veggies with hummus, and fruit. Plus, you will get to use all food you just sliced from our previous tip. This is a frugal alternative and much healthier also.

4. Buy in Bulk and Divide Into Servings At Home

Do not buy single serving packs of snacks like chips, cookies, yogurt and pudding. You are paying for the convenience factor. Instead buy larger packages and separate them into single servings yourself using bags and small containers.

This is a real money saver especially if you used reusable containers.

5. Get Your Kids Involved in the Process

Do not try to force your kids to eat things they really do not like. If you send them to school with a lunch they dislike, chances are they will throw it away. That is like throwing your money in the trash!

Instead, get your kids involved int he lunch-packing process and try to compromise — finding healthy foods that they love and will eat.

It may be difficult at first, but once you get into a routine and find out some of your child’s favorite foods, you can save money while still packing foods they enjoy.

If you are already calculating how much money you are going to spend this school year, try some of these ways to save money on school lunches. You can be frugal and still give your kids a healthy and tasty lunch each day.

What tips do you have for saving money on school lunches?

Addi Ganley is a work-at-home mom of 3 young boys. Her blog, Frugal Fanatic, focuses on how to live a frugal lifestyle. She is passionate about saving money and believes that if you save where you can then you can spend where you want to. Frugal Fanatic is her way of helping other people learn how to manage their finances in every day life.

photo source

Share This:

HUGE List of FREE Homeschool Curriculum & Resources

This is the weekly list of Free Homeschool Curriculum and Resources compiled by Jamerrill from FreeHomeschoolDeals.com. If you aren’t a homeschooler, but you’re a parent, teacher, babysitter, or nanny, you’ll probably find at least a few useful freebies in this list. You may also want to go through the Educational Deals and Freebies from earlier this week for more.


This week there are plenty of great resources and posts to encourage any homeschool mom, and supplement your current curriculum. Are you trying to figure out how to Homeschooling Through Sibling Rivalry? Maybe you are looking for some fall themed freebies. Here is an excellent Free Fall Homeschool Resource Unit: Homeschool Freebies and The BIG List of 60+ Apple-Themed Free Learning Resources!


Inspire your reader to become a great writer with this free Reading Character Wheel. Then, use this FREE 3rd Grade Reading List to find great books at the library.



These Phonics Alphabet Coloring Pages Freebies are cute and packed with multiple ways to practice and reinforce letter learning. There are 26 pages total! Here is a FREE Romping and Roaring Y Z Review Pack for when you get to those letters. You can find more of the Romp and Roar printables through the link to her site.

Make teaching long vowels easy with this FREE Long A Vowel Printable Pack and this FREE Long Vowel Sort.

Reading is a snap with these free Bob books printables and lesson plans:

Shape recognition and cutting are skills that your toddler needs to practice. Now it can be fun with FREE Shape Recognition and Cutting Practice Printables.

Make learning fun with a fall theme though this FREE Fall Printable Pack , this FREE Lego Kindergarten Printable Learning Pack, and these FREE Superhero Writing Practice Pages.



This week there two great multiplication game printables. First, use this FREE Multiplication Grids Worksheet to review and practice. Then, use this fun FREE Printable “Don’t Get Caught” Multiplication Game (see picture above) to review.


Cutting is a necessary skill for preschoolers. Your daughter will beg to practice cutting with these FREE Princess Sofia Preschool Scissor Practice Printables, a super cute FREE Pumpkin Cut it Out Pack, and a fall themed FREE Apple Cutting Pack for Preschoolers.

Practice nursery rhymes with this FREE Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater Pack. Learn about colonial times with this FREE Preschool Mayflower Printable Pack, and have fun with these FREE Preschool Dot-a- Dot A is for Apple Printables.

Bible/ Character

These FREE Bible Notebooking Pages are part of a set from Thinking Kids Blog. You can find the rest of the set on her site by clicking on the link.

Teach your child about honesty in a fun way with this FREE Honesty with Aesop Fables.

Science, History, and Electives


Super Charged Science Activity eBook

Science experiments are so much fun! This Free Supercharged Science Activity eBook includes experiments that are suitable for any child aged 5-15, so you can make it work for the whole family.

This Free Squirrel Unit Study includes lesson plans and a teacher guide and is suitable for elementary grades.

Now your child can learn to type in a fun, free interactive way with Learn Touch Typing.

This FREE Westward Expansion Unit Study covers 12+people and events.

Organization and Planning

Here is a FREE Scheduling Printable to help you make a routine.

No matter what you need, these 50 FREE School Printables will supply you with handy resources for teaching, home, and school.

Click here thousands of homeschool freebies!

*Don’t forget! If you are looking for additional free homeschool resources please check the huge growing list of free homeschool curriculum and resourceson MoneySavingMom.com!

Jamerrill is the homeschooling mother of a large and growing family. After seasons of spending $50 or less annually to homeschool her children, she started Free Homeschool Deals in 2012 to help all families afford the homeschool life. You can follow the homeschool goodness on Pinterest and Facebook.

Share This:

Cents of Style Exclusive: Polka Dot Infinity Scarf + Bracelet for $8.95 + FREE Shipping!

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 5.44.36 PM

I’m so excited about this exclusive offer that Cents of Style is offering MoneySavingMom.com readers!

Right now, you can order this darling Polka Dot Infinity Scarf (4 color choices) and you will get a FREE bracelet when you use coupon code: MSMDOT at checkout!

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 5.44.51 PM

This scarf comes in 4 colors. Add the scarf color of your choice to your cart, then when you proceed to checkout a separate pop-up will offer the 5-strand pearl stretch bracelet for free!

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 5.45.08 PM

You can order as many scarves as you like, but this offer has a limit of 1 free bracelet per order.

This offer will run exclusively for MoneySavingMom.com readers through 10/28/14.

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
Share This:

Reader’s Choice Magazine Sale: Pick 2 Titles for $10

Readers ChoiceThis magazine sale is a great opportunity to get subscriptions to your favorite magazines at a great price, pick 2 for only $10!

There are over 50 titles to choose from, go here to see all of the titles included in this sale!

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 2.09.55 PM

You can purchase magazine subscriptions as gifts, for yourself or even to renew existing subscriptions! This sale will end Sunday night, October 26th,  2013, at midnight EST.

(Note: The links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

Share This:

Brigette’s $56 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

Biggest grocery success of the week: finding huge boxes of reduced produce at the Farmer’s Market and walking away with enough produce to last us for weeks – all for $11.50!!

Biggest grocery failure of the week: somehow losing the pictures documenting this success. I have looked EVERYWHERE on my camera, and they are just not there. (Seriously!! How can you lose pictures on a camera?) So you will just have to use your imagination. :)

Another grocery success this week was trying the $1.69/lb ground turkey from Aldi for the first time – and my husband gave it a thumbs-up! Thanks so much for all of you that gave suggestions and encouragement to me last week! I mixed the turkey with rice, beans, and taco seasonings (and yes, I realize that you could mix just about anything with rice, beans, and taco seasonings and it would taste good, but that’s beside the point) and we used it in taco salad. Yum!



2 3-lb bags Golden Delicious Apples (@$0.69/lb) – $4.14, plus receive $0.50 back from Snap by Groupon

1 10-lb bag Russet Potatoes – $3.49

2 2-lb bags Honeycrisp Apples (@$1.29/lb) – $5.16

1 3-ct package Romaine Hearts – $1.99

1 Pineapple – $1.29

3 Pomegranates (@$0.69/each) – $2.07

1 bunch Bananas (2.76 lbs @$0.44/lb) – $1.21, receive $0.25 back from Checkout 51

Tortilla Chips – $1.19

2 32-oz cartons Half and Half (@1.69/each) – $3.38

1 8-oz package Cream Cheese – $0.99

1 16-oz package Baby Carrots – $0.99

1 dozen Eggs – $1.39

1 gallon Milk – $3.69, plus receive $1.00 back from Snap by Groupon

Total: $30.98, plus receive $1.50 back from Snap by Groupon and $0.25 back from Checkout 51


Harris Teeter

1 carton Egg Whites – $3.97

2 16-oz packages Turkey Bacon (@$2.50/each) – $5.00, used 2 $0.75/1 Printable (doubled) – $1.00/each after coupons

1 Cabbage (@$0.39/lb) -$1.37

1 2-liter bottle Cheerwine – $1.00, used .50/1 SS 10/6 (doubled) – FREE after coupons

1 bag Harris Teeter Shredded Cheese -$1.67

4 cans Progresso Soup – $5.30, used 2 $0.50/2 Progresso Product, exp. 12/13/14 (SS 10/19/14) (doubled), plus $1.00 Harris Teeter evic – $2.30/4 after coupons, plus receive $1.50 catalina for buying 4 (this works out to $0.20 each, and is worth it to me since my husband like taking these to work for his lunch)

2 bags Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips (@$2.00/each) – $4.00, used 2 $0.75/1 Printable (doubled) – $0.50/each after coupons

1 package Sargento Muenster Cheese Slices – $3.00, used $0.55/1 Printable (doubled), plus $0.55/1 Harris Teeter evic – $1.35 after coupons

2 containers McCormick Cinnamon (B1G1 @ $1.79) – $1.79, used $1.75/2 McCormick Spices or Herbs, exp. 11/2/14 (RP 10/05/14) – $0.02/each after coupons

Total after all Coupons, Sales and Tax: $13.70, plus receive $1.50 catalina back

Farmer’s Market 

(not pictured)

1 box of green beans, reduced (about 13 lbs) – $5.00

1 huge box of assorted fresh vegetables including zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers, green peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, and hot peppers – $5.00

1 3-lb bag Apples – $1.50

Total: $11.50

Weekly Total after all Sales, Taxes, and Coupons: $56.18, plus receive $3.25 back in rebates and catalinas

Weekly Menu Plan


Oatmeal and fruit x 5, Cinnamon Rolls and Eggs, Cereal


Shared lunch at the park with friends – I am bringing fruit for everyone; Grilled Cheese Sandwiches/Fresh Veggies and Fruit x 2; Leftovers x 2; Baked Potatoes with Cheese and Broccoli/Fruit x 2,


Dinner Out with Friends

Oatmeal Pecan Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Turkey Bacon (breakfast for dinner)

Hamburger Vegetable Soup (using ground turkey instead of hamburger), Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

Dinner with our Shepherding Group at Church

Taco Salad (back by multiple requests!), Steamed Cauliflower

Dinner at a Friend’s House – I am bringing Freezer-Friendly Pumpkin Bars




Dessert Night with Friends (I am hosting): Homemade Caramel Corn, Apple Slices with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese DipFreezer-Friendly Pumpkin Bars

Share This: