Buying Clothes For Moms On A Budget

Buying Clothes For Moms On A Budget

Just because you want to save money and ease up on your spending doesn’t mean you have to give up your love for fashion. There are still ways to save money and stay in style. Buying clothes you need and want shouldn’t break your bank. Since kids grow out of their clothes faster than you can buy them. It seems so silly to waste money on expensive clothes that they may ruin or will hardly ever wear. And just because you are a mom doesn’t mean you have to neglect your wardrobe either there are ways to have your cake and eat it too. We will provide you with some thrifty ideas that will save you money and have your family looking great!

 

There is nothing wrong with wanting to buy new clothing. But to be perfectly honest I never pay full price for anything. I enjoy wearing fun fashionable items but I do not want to fork out the money they are asking for. What I do is always stick with sale items. Just dodge all the clothing in front of the store and head for the back. A wise woman once passed on this piece of information and it has saved me a lot of money. Look for the clearance racks they are usually filled with items you may want or need. You can find yourself purchasing more items for less. The same rules apply for kids clothing as well. And if you’re worried about getting their holiday outfits, you save the most amount of money buying right after the holidays. That way you are already prepared for next year’s holiday season. Shopping off season is where it’s at.  And do not go shopping without those coupons. They are there for a reason. Think about buying a Calvin Klein winter coat on sale and having a coupon, for me that was a 60% savings off the original price.  

 

Now that you know where in the stores to shop know that it’s also important to shop smart. Shop for clothing that can be used year long. For boys clothing limit the amount of long sleeves you have to buy each year by utilizing tee shirts. Buy neutral thermal long sleeves the little guy can wear under his tees all year long. Dresses can be worn with leggings all year long. Purchase staple items that can be mixed and matched. That way you can enjoy your favorite clothing more.

 

Check out consignment stores. Bring your gently used clothing and swap out for cash or new used clothing you need. It is astonishing at how much you can save. There are some stores that may not carry what you need but will allow you to cash out for the items you brought. Since it’s clothing you were already getting rid of it will be worth the amount of money you will receive. There are even kids only consignment stores, which will save you probably hundreds of dollars.  

 

Thrift stores are a hidden treasure. It may take some time digging through clothes but you can even find designer clothing for cheap. As long as it looks like it’s in good condition why not. No one has to know that you bought it from a thrift store or will care. You will probably even get compliments on your frugal finds.

 

Hand-me-downs are a godsend. You usually know where the clothes are coming from so that will put you at ease and they are free. People love to give their kids clothes to someone that can and will use them.

 

So get over the thought of having to have something brand new. It’s not budget friendly. And if you prefer something new then shop smart. It’s not worth it to buy clothing at full price when there are so many other pocket friendly options.

 

Knowing How to Save as a Single Mother

Knowing How to Save as a Single Mother

If you are a single mother, you may have to juggle your finances since your child or children will depend on you to cover for two incomes that should be in the household – from a father and a mother. As a single mother, it is quite difficult to run a household exclusively with car payment, rent or mortgage, utilities, food and school expenses to take care of. It can be very challenging. With all the expenses, how can a single mother be able to save?

Watch Your Spending

Saving as a single mother is possible, but you have to watch the household spending for each month and set a budget, listing your monthly income and your monthly expenses. This will give you a better idea of the funds coming into the household and the funds going out.

Make a List

Once you make a written list of these expenses and income, choose the three that are the largest expenses. Usually, this could be the rent or the mortgage, auto payment and groceries. If you are paying a heavy mortgage, you may want to consider selling your home and purchasing something with less expense or renting an apartment at a lower monthly cost. If your car payment is high, you may want to also consider selling your vehicle and taking the bus instead. Remember that an automobile requires regular maintenance and gas every week. Your primary goal is to reduce your expenses as much as possible, no matter if you have to give up some of the conveniences that you are accustomed to.

Some Advice

If you were to move to a more affordable location such as an older apartment building, you may find that the rent is much less. Walk instead of driving when you can. If you have to work a second job or overtime, use some of the extra funds to put into a bank account. You could also use some of the extra money to pay down your debt so you can free up some of your money.

Eating Out

Instead of eating lunch every day at a restaurant, cook from home or make a quick sandwich to take to work. You can save so much money doing this one thing. Eating out adds so much to your expenses and it can be avoided. If you take your kids to the fast food restaurant more than twice per week, cut back on this. If you don’t know how to cook, invest in a cookbook or borrow one from the library. You will be amazed at how much money this can save you. Stop buying coffee every morning on your way to work or reduce it to just once per week. Make coffee from home and take with you each morning.

Cut Coupons

Nothing is wrong with cutting coupons to shop for groceries. Many single mothers have to resort to this. It might take some work to do this, but it will be worth it in the long run. Have the kids help you, if they are of the age to do so.

These are only some of the simple ways to cut costs as a single mother. Be creative and let the idea of having a saving account become your motivation. Commit to saving and you will be able to do it.

4 Way To Save Money As A Full Time Mom Or Dad

4 Way To Save Money As A Full Time Mom Or Dad

Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs out there, but for all the hard work, it doesn’t exactly bring in the cash. Being a stay-at-home parent doesn’t mean that you have to let financial stresses get to you, though. Whether you’re a full time mom, dad, or any other type of guardian, there are easy ways you can build a bit of savings without having to take time or attention away from your kids or other priorities.

Sell Some Stuff

Here’s the beauty of a garage sale – it lets you clean out your home of all the stuff you’ve accumulated and nets you some cash on the side. If you’re a full-time parent, though, the thought of getting up even earlier than you already do and doing a lot of heavy lifting at the crack of dawn only to go back in and do it all again for the kids probably isn’t an appealing idea. So instead, take the garage sale concept and move it online.

Selling your old stuff through online marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist are great ways to make some cash while decluttering, with the added benefit of being able to sleep in. It’s not just about big ticket items. Parents are always looking for affordable deals for school books, clothing and toys kids will grow out of quickly. If you’ve got clothes that don’t fit your kid anymore, you’ve got a tiny gold mine.

Rent Out Extra Space

You might not have extra space in the house, but did you know you can rent out your garage, driveway, or even parcels of your backyard? If you live in a city or near a transportation or office hub, places to park are at a premium. Renting out your garage or driveway is a great way to earn regular cash with little effort.

Renting a small parcel of land for something like gardening is also an option – just be sure to have very clear terms about what can and cannot be done on your land, and have it all in writing. This can help you prevent the planting of anything detrimental to your family and pets, or otherwise against the law.

Take An At Home Job

If you have a bit more time when the kids are in school, an at-home part-time job might be the way to go. You won’t be giving up any time with your family, and you’ll still be right there when you need them, but working as a virtual assistant, content writer, tutor, designer, or whatever else your interest might be comes with the benefit of being able to challenge yourself and do something that you enjoy while still being available as a parent. Be sure to do a bit of research to make sure the person or company for whom you work is on the up and up, but if you find a position you like, there’s no reason you can’t have a career at home.

Do Some Daycare

If you’ve got a kid, odds are they have friends. At least some of those friends probably need watching at least some of the time. Doing a bit of daycare lets you make cash just by watching other kids along with your own. You’re essentially making money for doing what you do every day, but on a larger scale. You can do it as much or as little as you desire, and of course you can pick your own clients. It’s the easiest way to parlay your skills as a parent into cash.

How to Save Money at Disney World

How to Save Money at Disney World

Experiencing Disney World really is a magical experience. It’s hard to put a price tag on the memories you and your family will make there. But when you come down to it, it’s one of the most expensive vacations you can take.

 

Luckily, there are few simple ways to stick to your budget while you’re at Disney World. Here are the three biggest money-sucks of the Disney experience, and here’s how to avoid them:

 

 

  • Pricey Peak Hours: Go in the Off-Season

 

 

You’ve heard this a hundred times, but it’s easily the biggest Disney-related money-saving tip out there. Don’t go during peak times. This includes during the summer while everyone’s on vacation, spring break, or Christmas.

 

Some of the best (and cheapest) months to visit Disney World are in January, February, September, or November. Plus, taking a vacation to Disney World in those glum, colder months will give you a nice warm break in the Florida climate, and break up the tedium with something fun and exciting.

 

Not only will the park itself be cheaper in the off-season, it’ll be less crowded. Other money-saving off-season benefits include cheaper travel and airfare, cheaper hotel rates, cheaper car rentals, etc.

 

Steer clear of the busy peak months, even if it’s more convenient; ask off of work for a week if you want to save some serious money on your Disney World vacation.

 

  1. Costly Resorts: Book a Hotel Outside of the Park

 

The Disney resort packages can seem incredibly appealing, but unless you get some truly significant discount (for example; AAA members get a sizable discount at the All-Star Resort) then you should just book a cheaper hotel offsite.

 

There are hundreds of hotels orbiting the perimeter of Disney World’s gates, so you’ll have no trouble finding cheap and nearby accommodations. Sure, you’ll lose the novelty of staying in a Disney-affiliated hotel, and you won’t get all the cool resort stuff. But you’re rarely actually saving money when you book the Disney resort package.

 

Besides; you probably won’t be in your hotel room much. You’ll be too busy exploring the parks! Even if you’re traveling with a baby there are several nursery areas at Disney World where you can put baby down for a nap without having to trek all the way back to a resort or hotel, so closest proximity is less of a concern.

 

Most hotels near the park offer complimentary shuttle services that’ll take you straight to Disney World, so there’s no real reason to mess with the resorts unless you’re into spending more money.

 

  1. Sneakily Expensive Meals: Watch What You Eat

 

The biggest expense that Disney World visitors forget about is the high cost of meals within the parks. Packing snacks is a must, but of course it’ll only get you so far.

 

You’re sort of trapped in the parks, so Disney can safely ramp up the meal-time prices to $5 for a child-sized soda. Even the cheapest eats will cost about $12 per person. The good news is: most of the meal portions are massive. You can usually split meals between two hungry people and opt for water instead of sodas (you’ll want to stay hydrated anyway).

 

Stay away from the fancy snacks-on-a-stick and ice creams… they’re even pricier than the meals. Combo meals may also seem like a money-saver, but you actually wind up spending more, so go for the individual options, instead.

 

Pre-packed snacks and water bottles will be your new best friend, and if you loathe the idea of carrying it around with you, you can always splurge on renting a locker to stash it away for later. It’s still cheaper than spending a chunk of your budget on each meal!

Extreme Coupon Shopping Ideas

Extreme Coupon Shopping Ideas

 

American families on average spend between up to $1,000 on a combination of items each month, which could include entertainment, groceries, beauty care products, cleaning products and clothes, just to name a few. However, this does not have to be the case. Sacrifices can be made to lower this high monthly expense. In some cases, items can be eliminated or instead, purchase generic brands.

 

Enjoy Savings

There are ways around shopping and the opportunity to enjoy savings. Couponing could the answer for many Americans. There are four coupon levels, starting from the casual shopper to the extreme. Most people indulge in both level 1 and level 2. However, level 3 and level 4 are trending in many American homes. This is where couponing becomes the extreme strategy to shop. Let’s explore all four levels.

 

Level 1

This level is for the person that uses coupons casually, filling up an entire shopping cart and only using a few coupons (less than ten). Of course, the person will save a few dollars, but not as much as the extreme coupon shopper. This person is probably busy or too lazy to sit and cut out coupons.

 

Level 2

This level consists of a person who prefers to buy generic brands. This is where they think most of the savings are, shopping for generic brands only – without having to clip coupons. In level 2, this person believes that they can enjoy up to $300 savings on generic brand purchases. This could be true in certain situations and for specific products.

 

Level 3

Level 3 consists of the person that looks for the best shopping deal in sales and discounts, capitalizing on the opportunity each time sale items are advertised. In most cases, a person in level 3 will not buy anything that is not on sale and will likely combine sale items with available manufacturer coupons. You have to make an effort to save at this level by being patient and spending up to three hours a week in organizing the manufacturer’s coupons. You could save up to 95% for your efforts at drug stores and grocery stores.

 

Level 4

Level 4 is where it gets extreme and really requires your time and patience. You probably were not aware that you could use a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon to buy the same item in a store. If you did not know, now you know. Did you also know that if you were interested in a buy one, get one deal, two coupons can be used on the one sale item? If you did not know, now you know. Extreme coupon deals are usually combined deals where you can get double the savings and access to multiple deals.

 

Conclusion

It is not odd to have an extreme coupon shopper to have more than one Sunday paper delivered to their house. Now you are aware of the different levels of coupon shopping, what level do you fall in? Is it really worth the time? For many coupon shoppers, it is.

 

How To Recover Your Credit After The Holidays

We all know what it’s like to get carried away with holiday shopping, and if getting that January credit card statement is getting you nervous, you’re not alone. The good news is that provided you didn’t buy something truly major, like a sports car or a whole new house, your credit won’t have to suffer under the weight of your statement for long. Here are three easy ways to help you perk up your credit when the holidays have it looking a bit down.

Start Paying

This might seem obvious, but there’s a trick here. If for financial or personal reasons you want to pay everything off right away then go ahead. But if you’re looking for a credit boost, don’t pay everything down all at once. Instead, start making payments, but do it above your monthly minimum required payment. If you’re able, break the balance up into a few manageable blocks and pay those out monthly. The reason for this is a simple not-too-secret secret when it comes to credit cards and how they impact your score.

A lower balance improves your debt to income ratio, and a lower debt to income ratio raises your credit score. For that reason, the sooner you can pay down your debt, the better. Breaking it down into a couple blocks gives you a tiny boost in another area of your credit score, though – payment history. A large portion of your credit score is based on whether you’ve paid bills on time and in full. It won’t be an automatic raise in score on its own, but building a few reliable payments into your budget helps better your score in the long run, too.

Look For Suspicious Information

Check your credit score with a free, reliable resource like CreditKarma.com – and be sure to really research a site before you give it any personal or financial information. Take a look at your credit score and see if things look right. If something doesn’t add up and you’ve got questions, pull your actual credit reports from all three credit bureaus.

Go over them with a close eye and look for anything suspicious – anything questionable. Some fraud is more subtle than trying to drain your accounts or rack up charges on all your cards, so make sure to look carefully. If you see anything suspicious, dispute it right away. Don’t wait for the matter to get worse. Get in contact with both the credit bureau and any other companies involved to get the matter straightened out right away.

The holidays are a time ripe with fraud, and the best way to ensure you’re not subject to it is to look closely for any indicators before real harm can be done.

Start Saving

Once you’ve got this year’s debt all squared away, it’s time to turn attention to warding off a repeat performance next year. Start saving well in advance for next year’s holiday shopping spree, and you’ll be one step ahead and far less likely to reach for your credit card at the register next year, helping to keep that shiny new credit score as immaculate as possible.

How to Save Money on a Tight Budget

Saving money is quite a challenge that most people fail to accomplish in their daily lives. Not because many of them are just blowing excess cash flow on nonsense, but because they simply do not make enough money to pay themselves every paycheck. Before their paycheck is printed up, the money is spent on bills. There are some habits that need to be exercised by those people who cannot afford to save money. In today’s economical climate, employers are taking advantage of employees by hiring those willing to work for half the pay rate and demand twice the work from them. Let’s take a quick look at how saving little by little can result ultimately in a healthy savings account.

 

How to cut spending painlessly:

 

– A tight record of your savings should be evaluated by the end of every month. This activity will give you an idea of how much extra money you just spend on your trips to restaurants over fancy foods. These little saving budgets can make a huge change in the figures of your saving account, if you develop an efficient Budget Worksheet.

– Always look for necessary purchase only. It would be better to take a list of required items, whenever you visit grocery stores. This will help you to not to buy unnecessary items. Spending money on important things such as, restaurant, food and insurance should be your first priority.

– Usually, people carelessly spend lot money on the occasions such as, Christmas, birthdays, and holidays etc. for gift exchange purposes. It would be wise to only purchase few well-chosen gifts falling in your budget scheme, rather than going for costly pile gifts without second thoughts.

– Looking for online sales and coupons information in your local newspapers is also an efficient idea. Purchase of low-price products benefits you in every way.

– Always stay strict to the pre-fixed figure, for your savings account on weekly/monthly basis.

 

Reduce high cost debts:

 

– Payday loans and high-interest credit cards must be avoided if you want to increase your savings account. A credit card charges you with an interest rate of 25%, whereas payday loans charges 500% of interest rate. Avoiding these two can save you hundreds and thousands of dollars, surprisingly.

 

Save for Emergence:

– Always ask your credit union or bank to directly transfer money in your account. This little saving of 10 to 15 dollars results in 120 to 180 dollars, yearly.

– Generally, people don’t value loose change. However, adding loose change in your savings account could give you up to $100 over a year.

– Always pre-plan your emergency fund to be occupied in critical situation, rather than going for bigger loans. Although, such funds are being kept in sharing accounts, but on the other hand they pay you enough when in needy situations.

Take free money and save it:

 

– Participation in Investment Development Account (IDA) programs could be advantageous for you. Attending such financial activity programs and contributing in saving a home, education or business could save you approximately $900 yearly. Just receiving a $2 for every $1 makes your savings account happy.

– There are few employers who tend to match up to 100% of your contributions. If you come across such employers and they perfectly match your retirement savings, then let yourself to endure 100% advantage of such opportunity.

 

Being on a tight budget sucks big time! But there are new habits that have to be worked into your way of life in order to survive being financially challenged. There is nothing attractive about poverty. Though many hate that they fall into the poverty category, the truth is most of the country now falls in this dismal status. Before Reaganomics, many Americans got over with a $35K salary, purchasing their first home, car, and putting money away for a rainy day. When President Reagan took office, job security no longer existed and the country has never recovered. Many across the country do not have a savings account. They are working to keep their checking account from overdraft fees. Learning new spending habits and sacrificing can make all the difference.

 

What a mom shouldn’t miss to give healthy meals on a budget

What a mom shouldn’t miss to give healthy meals on a budget

Sticking to the budget and giving healthy foods to the little one at the same time are challenging. Toddlers are very fussy with their food habits. Most of the times, they waste the whole meal and demand snacks just a little later to fulfill their hunger. This made a mom little confuse while budgeting is an another issue to take into the account. Don’t worry! There are many ways to save on your food bill while giving nutritious foods to your growing toddler.

1. Shop wisely and healthy

If you want your toddler to eat healthy, then you must shop healthy items. Remember, buying healthy doesn’t have to bust your budget. It just needs your little bit concentration while shopping. With a little planning, you can buy healthy items to serve healthy meals! Here you go!

  • There are many other places to buy food instead of the conventional grocery store. Search and visit to the stores in your area for comparison shopping. This way you’ll save a lot of money.
  • Consider discount store like Costco, Sam’s to get a bargain price. Get seasonal products with lower price there.
  • You must buy a smaller size and plan carefully to balance both nutrition and food waste. This will help you to manage the portion size as well.

2. Consider Farmer’s Markets to get fresh veggies at a lower price

Sometimes local farmers bring their items to sell. You can get fresh vegetable directly from them. However, generic brands are good as well. So, you can consider generic brands instead of those brand names.

3. Guide your toddler to eat healthily

You have to serve healthy, balanced diet for toddlers so that they meet all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. But, don’t shout or make noise if they seem to be picky with their foods. Picky eating is quite a normal thing in toddlers. Just build some positive eating habits that will work in the long run.

4. Follow an ideal meal plan

A toddler needs to be meet proper nutrients at this stage. They seem to be busy all the day so you must provide proper meal to your toddler. Try to offer three meals and two to three small snacks to your toddler. Remember, snacks play a vital role to fulfill the hunger of a toddler. They usually feel less interest to eat the big meal. They love to eat yummy snacks that fits with their small time and take the little time to finish. Proper snack will produce energy to keep your toddler busy all day long. Offer water to your toddler in between meals and snacks. You can even offer milk and juice that don’t contain sugar. Remember, too much juice can spoil your child’s teeth. Serve small portions each time and let your child finish it first and then repeat if required.

5. Don’t buy processed items for your toddler

If you really want your toddler to eat healthy things, then say “NO” to the processed items. Snacks attract toddlers, but you shouldn’t offer processed items as they contain harmful ingredients and artificial colors. Give fresh fruits, fruit, yogurt smoothie and thinly sliced vegetable sticks instead of giving processed snacks to your toddler.

6. Follow some tricks

  • Use some tricks to make simple food into an interesting one. For instance:
  • Add more colorful veggies and fruits to the meals and snacks eg, small pieces of strawberries in yogurt, corn, green herbs, carrots as and when required to make the dishes more colorful.
  • Go for grilled instead of frying.
  • Serve corn bread, crackers, whole wheat tortillas.
  • Consider some DIY food arts to attract your toddler.

7. Consider homemade food as much as possible

Less eating out allows to provide healthier options for your toddler. How? Having homemade food saves a lot of money, which give more chance to pick healthier foods for your child. There are many easy and simple recipes available. Search on the Internet and pick the best one that goes perfectly for your kids as well as for the whole family

8. Make mealtime peaceful


Toddlers are fussy eaters and they have constantly refused food at this time. If you face the same scenario, then don’t make the situation worse by making noise. You must take it normal and make a calm environment when your toddler is eating. Thus, you’ll be able to build a positive eating experience in your toddler that helps to reduce food waste in the long run.

9. Low-cost snacks and drink ideas

  • Some easy to made and low-cost snacks and drink ideas as follows:
  • Figs, raisins are a good snack for your older sweet-toothed toddler.
  • For a younger toddler, use raw and well-boiled vegetables and finger foods such as boiled and slickly cut carrot, beans, and so on.
  • Offer cracker with cheese at the snack time.
  • Homemade soup, cheese and fruit sticks are also good options.

Final thoughts

Feeding healthy to the toddler doesn’t have to cost most. Smart shopping for veggies, fruits, meats, proper meal planning can do the magic. If you experience frequent power struggle time while feeding your toddler and your kid sleeps less than usual, then seek pediatric consult for help.

5 Budget-Friendly Tips on How to Throw a Fun Halloween Party

5 Budget-Friendly Tips on How to Throw a Fun Halloween Party

With Halloween fast approaching, the preparations are at full speed. Halloween is a great time to let your imagination run wild and throw a spooky party. Don’t panic if you haven’t figured out all the details yet. There is still time to organize a fun and budget-friendly Halloween party for your kids that will be talked about for a long time. These amusing and multifunctional Halloween stickers will help you out in that venture.

  1. Create an Invitation

After you’ve set the time and place of the party, the next step is sending the invitations. Making an invitation is a piece of cake with these Halloween stickers. Choose the design you think is the most appropriate for an invitation format and include information about where and at what time the party is taking place. It’s plain and simple.

  1. Plan a Spookalicious Menu

Instead of buying expensive Halloween-decorated meals, you can create them at home. Depending on the number of guests, just make a plan which ingredients you need and in what quantities. You can then cook any regular party food you like preparing and give the dishes creepy names. Cut out a few stickers and write down invented food names. Be creative! You can easily make believe chicken wings are bat wings or punch is mummy’s blood. You can also freeze water in a plastic glove and put it in the punch. The icy hand floating in the punch bowl will surely elevate the party mood. Voila! You have the perfect Halloween feast.

  1. Decorate the House

Decorating is pretty much the most important thing for getting into the Halloween spirit. After you already spiced up the Halloween table with some scary party food, next step is to decorate the whole house. You can use the stickers to make banners with scary messages. You will only need a handful of printed stickers and a rope. Attach cut-out stickers to the rope and see how easily the hanged banner can make your house resemble a scary castle. Covering the furniture with sheets and fake spiders can also contribute to creating a creepy atmosphere without spending too much.

  1. Plan Halloween Games

It’s a good idea to plan out games and activities for the kids on time. There are so many interesting games you can prepare for very little money. Mummy wrapping, for example, is one of the many great games for Halloween. You will only need toilet paper or white crepe paper and many happy kids wrapping each other from head to toes. You can even use the stickers to devise a Halloween treasure hunting game. Write down the location of the clues on each label and let the kids look for the treasure. If you need help with activity organization, you can always ask other parents to join you or maybe some of the older children. There is no need to pay someone to additionally entertain your kids.

  1. Make Halloween Treats

Halloween isn’t Halloween without trick-or-treating. Therefore, it’s really important to have great treats waiting for the kids. Making cookies in the shape of spiders, bats or skulls is always a good idea. You can then pack them in bags and apply scary-looking stickers with appropriate messages on them. You may even use them as a reward for the winners of a costume contest that you can organize.

Hopefully, these tips will help you organize an unforgettable Halloween party and not spend too much money. And don’t forget to have fun. Happy Halloween!

Save Your money and make lunches for your kids

Want a logical way to keep your kids’ lunches healthy while saving yourself some money?  It’s simple: make their lunch.  Sure, it takes time and a bit of organization, but if you follow these easy tips, it will become part of your weekly routine (that’s right—weekly) in no time.

Step One- What Does Your Healthy Look Like?

Everyone has a different definition of what healthy is.  For some, only freshly made, organic foods make the cut, while others are okay with giving their kids the occasional prepackaged treat.  You have to figure out what works best for you and your kids—after all, you wouldn’t want to make them a lunch they didn’t even eat, as that would be a waste of money.  You also need to determine how  much your budget will allow you to spend—the bigger the budget, the more you can spend on organic items if that’s something that’s important to you.

Step Two-Gear Up

While simply brown-bagging it is fine, a lot of healthy foods will be fresh and will need better storage to keep them that way until they’re consumed.  Think about spending some money upfront and getting a good insulated lunch bag, some BPA free Tupperware, and a lunch box size ice-pack.  These items will last you a long time and save you from having to buy plastic sandwich bags—a win for the environment as well.

Step Three- Buy and Bag

Now that you have all you need to get started, it’s time to buy your food items.  Buy in bulk dry foods if you can and fresh fruit and vegetables that will last through the week.  Right when you get back from your shopping, separate your lunch provisions into individual servings.  It will take some time, but when you’re finished you’ll have a stock pile to grab from and throw into your lunch box.  Why is this important?  Because it cuts down on the “things getting in the way” factor.  Things like being tired, stressed out, having errands to run, or just simply forgetting.  Putting lunches together will take just a minute of your time because you already got the hard part out of the way.

Step Four-Weekly Preparation

Each week you’ll just need to make sure you have enough items to get through the week and you’ll need to set time aside to get your lunch supplies up.  Don’t forget that you can freeze items that will thaw out before lunch—think about making 10 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Sunday and freezing them, then just grabbing one or two out of the freezer when you need it for a lunch.  You can freeze all kinds of things—yogurt, applesauce pouches, even fresh fruit.

Step Five-Just Do It

The last part is just remembering to make your children’s lunches each day.  It’s easiest to do right when you get home in the evening—just grab from your pre-made supplies, add in some fresh fruit and veggies, and you’ll have a healthy, balanced lunch for your child in no time—while making sure you’re keeping in budget.

Making your child’s lunch to save money isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel, but some people don’t do it because they can’t figure out how to get themselves organized enough to make it cost effective.  Well, now you do—so get started today.