How to Pack School Lunches for Less

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How to Pack School Lunches for Less

Packing lunches for your kids can be a bit of an expensive endeavor, especially when you're buying items pre-packaged for your convenience. Here are some tips on saving on packed lunches for your school-age kids. 

Shop and Prep in Advance

When you shop for other groceries once a week, make sure you add what you need to make your kids' lunches, too. If you're looking not to spend an arm and a leg on several Lunchables or expensive snack items, plan to cook their lunches in advance. Take it a step further and choose dishes you and cook and prep days in advance (perhaps you can do major prep work on a Sunday and pack those items each night before school.) When you plan the lunches out and cook most of it yourself, you'll get more bang for your buck, save yourself packing time by cooking in advance, and reduce the waste generated from expensive, pre-packaged items from the grocery store. Examples of meal ideas would be lunches like deli meat pinwheels, veggie/fruit mixes (chopped in advance), sandwiches, salads, and more. 

Choose Inexpensive Groceries

Choose to cook with groceries that are lower in cost naturally. Lots of produce items are great nutritionally and lower in cost. Other good options include string cheeses, buying large bags of pretzels/chips to pack from (rather than small, individually sized bags), avoiding expensive stores or organic items, etc. Shop strategically in this regard and keep it in mind each week when you plan your children's lunches. 

Don't Forget Promos and Coupons

As I always say, shop mindfully no matter what. Always plan your kids' lunches around items that are on sale that week. Make sure you're also always using coupons and savings apps for the store you're shopping at, too. Planning your shopping around weekly ads/deals and coupons will save you hundreds a year if you do it consistently, and buying to pack school lunches is no exception. 

Free or Reduced Lunch

In most states, there are federally funded programs that offer free or reduced school lunches to students based on eligibility. You have to meet certain criteria and fill out an application for your child to qualify, but if you do, your child will receive free or reduced lunches the entire year from the school. For more information on this topic and to see if you qualify, check out the link below:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-194552–,00.html

Written by Josh Elledge - CEO, UpMyInfluence

Josh Elledge is U.S. Navy veteran and launched UpMyInfluence to help entrepreneurs like himself attract the perfect audiences and grow their authority and influence. While growing their better-than-PR agency, UpMyInfluence discovered that building 7-figure B2B Sales Systems (with zero paid advertising) for agencies, consultants, coaches, and other high-ticket B2B service providers is actually what they do better than anyone else on the planet.

UpMyInfluence was the natural outgrowth of his first startup, which has grossed more than $6 million in sales with zero paid ads. He did it all through building authority and serving audiences in the media.

Josh is a weekly TV consumer expert in Orlando, writes a syndicated newspaper column to 1.1 million readers, and regularly appears on more than 75 TV stations across the country. All told, Josh has appeared in the media more than 2500 times.

Josh loves living in Orlando, FL with his wife and three children.


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