• Don’t buy individualized packages – Buy snack mixes and chips in bulk to put into containers. For fruit cups, buy the large cans of the fruit to put in a reusable container. Jell-O and pudding mixes can be made instead of purchasing the single servings to save more money. When your kids' favorite snacks go on sale, be sure to stock up because it will eventually be consumed.
• Reusable items – Purchase an insulated lunchbox instead of using brown bags every day. Instead of packing juice boxes and water bottles, purchase a reliable drink container that can keep your child hydrated throughout the day. Reusable plastic containers are limitless in their use and can hold a variety of snacks like cut-up fruit and vegetables. Even though reusable containers require more upkeep with having to wash them everyday, they cost less than buying Ziploc bags.
• Use leftovers – Leftovers can sit in the fridge for days untouched. However, sending the kids with leftovers from dinner can eliminate waste and let your kid have something a different meal. Purchase a thermos to keep foods like soup and casserole warm until lunchtime.
Kids get tired of the same snacks and the same sandwich. Get them involved with making their lunch so their meal has a little variety and is always satisfying.
Martina Geronimo is a journalist and freelance writer for meal planning site www.foodonthetable.com.