Not only are homemade lunches healthier, they are also frugal. Use the tips below for ways to save money on packed lunches.
Pretty much everyone can benefit from owning a lunch box. Packing lunches can save you money whether you are a grade school child or a banker downtown. When I was in elementary school I carried a Brady Bunch lunchbox to school. In middle school, a brown paper bag did the trick. In high school and later at work, I carried a thermos and backpack with a sandwich inside. Now that I work out of my home, I don’t have to worry about it. If I was still working outside the house, however, I would be carrying my lunch.
7 Ways to Save Money on Packed Lunches:
1. Skip on individual packages
When you pack your lunch, don’t bother with those single serving individual packages that are so popular. Your kids will beg for them and you might mistake them for being convenient, but you will lose money on them. Instead, buy the full sized example and put them in single serving plastic bags for them. You will surely save cash by doing so.
2. Use coupons
Coupons are a part of any frugal lifestyle and that goes for lunch packing as well. Take the time to clip the weekly inserts and visit coupon websites to save even more. Coupons can literally drive your savings to new heights!
3. Make extras for dinner
If you are making dinner anyway, you might as well make enough for lunch the next day. This small adjustment in cooking can give you what feels like free lunches several times per week. Best of all, it reduces waste as well.
4. Work the circulars
Every single week, the circulars come out in the Sunday newspaper. Peruse them each week and find the best bargains that you can use for lunches that week. If you really want to save you can pair up the coupons with the sales ads. This can lead to massive savings and some websites out there do it for you!
5. Buy reusable containers
It is a good idea to invest in some sturdy reusable containers if you are packing lunches. They save money by preventing you from having to buy throw away items to serve the same purpose.
6. Buy in bulk
When you find a great sale on an item you eat regularly for lunch, buy it in bulk. There are tons of great deals out there every single week and you can take advantage of them. That leads us to the next suggestion…
If you find lunch meat, for example, at a great bargain, why not buy several and freeze them for future use? Many people pass on buying several of something because they think it might go bad. That is what we have freezers for people! Use it and save!
Packing lunches will save money in the long run for pretty much anyone. Simply challenge yourself to try it and stick to it for a month to find out for yourself. If you do, you will never look back.
More Back to School Savings Tips
This was originally published on June 14, 2015. It was updated on July 7, 2017.