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.