Now that the kids are home for the Summer, you may be wondering how you can keep them fed while sticking to your budget. The good news is there are several ways to save. Whether you make your own Lunchables or carefully compare prices on side dish options, you can save on kids’ lunches this summer.
1. Make Your Own Lunchables
Let’s face it, it’s a lot cheaper to buy deli meat and cheeses and cut into smaller pieces than it is to buy Lunchables. Get the meat and cheese cut to the right thickness and then use a round cookie cutter to cut the meat. Cut the cheese into smaller squares and pair the combo with great crackers. Add a pouch juice drink and a cookie and you’re done. You will not believe the savings when you make these yourself.
2. Go with the Classics
There’s a reason our parents served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – they’re easy and cheap. Other classics include bologna sandwiches and grilled cheese sandwiches. Sandwiches take literally minutes to make and are one of the cheapest options available for summer lunches.
3. Compare Prices on Side Dish Options
Before you grab that big bag of baked potato chips, compare the prices to the snack-sized bags. While snack-sized bags are usually more expensive, for some strange reason, the bag of snack-sized bags cost less per ounce than the big bag at Walmart. Compare the prices at your favorite store and see which one is cheaper. You should also compare the price of everything from baby carrots (which really aren’t baby carrots) to cheese sticks.
4. Reinvent Leftovers
Kids usually aren’t crazy about leftovers, but if you take the time to turn the food into something else, they’ll love it. For example, if you have leftover meat sauce from your spaghetti dinner, roll it into a large tortilla with shredded Italian cheese blend and microwave until the sauce is warm and the cheese has melted (3-5 minutes).
5. Choose Inexpensive Meals When Running Errands
Last, but not least, if you have to be out for the day, look for restaurants that offer cheap meals at lunch. It doesn’t have to be fast food. A number of chain restaurants offer $5 lunch options to compete with the fast food joints. Research your options online so that you always have a place to choose from that won’t break the bank.
Summer lunches don’t have to be expensive. There are a number of great ways to keep the prices affordable. Whether you make the classics or choose inexpensive meals when running errands, you can save money.
Do you have any affordable and quick lunch ideas for kids? Feel free to share in the comments.