For the past year, I’ve focused a lot on our dinner menu and worked hard to stick to our $5 mealtime budget. Advanced planning and strategic shopping with coupons and sales have allowed us to realize huge savings when it comes to dinners. Many of you have joined me in the quest to plan and save!
Family lunches can either make or break the budget. Work lunches out, school lunches and a the drive thru diet can break the bank and set a very unhealthy standard!
I recently took a poll on my Facebook page and asked about school lunches. The vast majority of people said school lunches were mostly unhealthy and expensive at over $2 per day.
I’ve always packed my kids lunches ahead, even when they were toddlers and preschoolers at home. Back then, I found it to be easier than making a hurried lunch with hungry kids under-foot. Pre-packed lunches were healthier because they were packed thoughtfully with nutrition in mind.
As my kids got older and went off to school they requested foods like the other kids took in their lunches. They begged for chips and granola bars, juice boxes and cans of pop, Twinkies and Ho-Hos. I’m happy to say that I rarely fell into those bad habits, though it would have been easier to throw a bunch of prepackaged items into a bag and send them running for the bus!
These days our lunches are looking healthier than ever. Why? Healthy packed lunches are part of the 2012 Money Saving Madness Pack Smart, Save Big Challenge! Are you ready? Here are the rules for moms, dads, and kids of all ages:
- Pack a lunch instead of purchasing one or dining out (work or school)
- Pre-packaged foods are to be used minimally (including drinks)
- Plan ahead and make it healthy
Every Monday I’ll be sharing photos of FIVE of our previous weeks packed lunches with you to give you ideas! Are you up for this challenge?