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With the start of school, it’s time to start thinking about how you will pack healthy lunches on a budget.

Parents want their kids to have nutritious meals that will keep them energized and focused throughout the day. But when money is tight, it can be challenging to make that happen.

Tips for packing healthy lunches

Here are some tips to help you pack healthy lunches while still saving money:

healthy lunches on a budget
A dad joke is sure to make them groan at the lunch table when they are unwrapping their sandwiches wrapped in an environmentally-conscious, reusable sandwich wrap. – Credit: Loren Lamoreaux
  • Shop in season. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables is not only better for your budget, but also for the environment. Produce that’s in season often costs less because it’s being harvested more abundantly. Knowing what’s in season can also make it easier to plan meals ahead of time.
  • Buy in bulk. Buying items like nuts, seeds and grains in bulk can help you save money while still providing healthy options for lunches. Look for sales on these items and stock up when the prices are low. You can also buy snacks in bulk and portion them out into smaller containers for lunchboxes.
  • Pack leftovers. Leftover meals are a great way to save money on lunches and can be just as tasty the second day around. If you have extra chili from dinner last night, pack it in a thermos and add some whole-grain crackers or bread on the side for a complete meal.
  • Reuse containers. Buying lunchboxes every year isn’t necessary. Instead, look for ways to reuse and repurpose the containers you already have. You can also save money by avoiding single-use plastic bags and opting for reusable sandwich pouches or cloth snack bags instead.
  • Make it fun. Creative lunches don’t have to be expensive. Use cookie cutters to make shapes out of sandwiches and veggies. Use stickers or write a daily dad joke or trivia fact for some intellectual nourishment.

By using a few smart shopping strategies and getting creative in the kitchen, parents can make sure their kids have healthy lunches on a budget. Make sure to shop in season, buy in bulk when it’s possible, and reuse containers to save money. Also, keep leftovers in mind and make lunches fun with cookie cutters and dad jokes. With a little bit of planning, you can ensure your kids have delicious and nutritious lunches without breaking the bank.

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