Even though breakfast is considered to be an important meal, your lunch actually helps you to get through the day until it is time for dinner. If you have children in school, you are well aware that the cost of school lunches increase on a yearly basis. School lunches, as a matter of fact, most lunch menus are not considered to be nutritious. If you are on a frugal budget, below are some money saving tips that you can employ.

1.Pack a Lunch – Everyone in your household should take a lunch to school or to work. Even though you might be inclined to eat out with your work colleagues or your classmates, the cost of meals will certainly add up over a period of time.  Everyone probably remember those plastic containers that we had to use to carry lunch sometime ago and we had to put them in the fridge at work or use brown paper bags.  Nowadays, you can carry your hot or cold lunches in insulated bags that were designed for this purpose.  Some of those lunch bags are very attractive. Now you don’t have to use those paper bags anymore because there are so many options that are available to you. When you carry your own lunch, you can carry healthy meals and you don’t have to buy those unhealthy junk food that are available at the cafeteria.

2.Make Sandwiches – There are so many sandwich ideas nowadays, you don’t have to carry the old bland sandwich. Sandwiches can be made with wraps, pitas, buns or a variety of breads that are being sold today. The thing you need to do is not to use the same bread every day.  If you do this, you will change up the fillings. For example, you might want to use baked chicken and lettuce one day on a pita; or tuna and tomatoes on a bun or deli turkey in a wrap. Most children do not like the crust on bread so they usually eat the rest of the bread and leave the crust. So, making sandwiches in creative ways will sure get your children to eat them. It is perhaps a good idea to purchase condiments in packs that you can add to the lunches.

3.Bottled Water – Ever since there have been flavoring that you can add to water, water is not the same. Flavorings for water can be found at your local grocery or your drugstore for that matter and they contain very few calories. So, you can turn a plain bottle of water into a drink with very few calories without the sugar that plagues soda.

4.Dessert – Instead of buying candy bars from the vending machine or the drugstore or wherever, you might want to make some homemade treat that your family can take for lunch.  Another good idea is to take fresh fruit or even dried fruit.  I take an apple to work every day. It is quite okay to have a treat once in a while but this is not something that you want to do on a daily basis. You can make a batch of oatmeal cookies and take some for your after lunch snack.

5.Ice Packs – I am not sure if you have noticed but there are ice packs that you can purchase from your supermarket that you can freeze and pack with your lunch to keep it from spoiling. These are usually placed in your insulated bag to keep your food at a decent temperature to keep it from getting warm before your lunch time.

6.Vegatables- Another good lunch idea is chopped vegetables.  You can cut up vegetables like carrots or celery and take some salad dressing that you can use for a dip.

In summary, you can make lunches for you and your family rather than purchase junk food from the cafeteria.  You will be consuming  a healthier  lunch if you adopt some of these ideas for your frugal budget. Another added benefit is that you will save tons of money if you make lunch.

Filed under: How to Live Frugally

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