Fresh, Frugal, Back to School Lunch Ideas

By ERIN TURNER

Are you ready to dust off the lunch box as your kids head back to school this week?  I’m never ready but I accept the reality of this time of year and start to gear up for school.  We’ve checked the school lists and have shopped our own stock pile of school supplies and filled in the rest at Staples using some of their terrific pre-season specials a few weeks ago.

A lot of parents nail the frugal school supply list but fail when it comes to frugal lunches.  If your child takes a cold lunch, you can save a bundle of money, but you have to put in a little planning and effort to reap the benefits.  School lunches can be expensive for older kids or if you don’t qualify for the Free and Reduced Program.  If you don’t know if you qualify, check with your school secretary and at least fill out the paperwork.  The more kids who qualify the more help/resources/programs your school could qualify for–it benefits both the family and the school if you qualify.

Fresh healthy and frugal lunch ideas for kidsOver the last few weeks, I’ve stumbled over some great websites and blogs which give some super inspiring ideas for lunches.  Forget a PB&J everyday, these sites blow that old staple out of the water and give you some new, fresh, frugal and healthy ideas that will save you time and money!  They also give tips on packing and ideas on necessary gear for storinglunches.

Check out these great links for some Lunchbox revamping!

I’ve taken the work out of it for you.  All you have to do now is take some time this week to peruse these links.  I really think you’ll be inspired by all the wonderful ideas, tips and recipes.  I’ve tried to give you a variety of links to cover a lot of various situations: picky eaters, whole food eaters, teenagers and tweens, penny pinchers and more!

Picture7I know my kids will be enjoying some great lunch ideas this year because of all these great ideas I’ve read here!  No more boring PB&Js!  There are so many more creative and healthy ideas out there!  But I don’t think I’ll be cutting their cheese into butterflies or making lady bugs out of their cherry tomatoes.  Sounds like fun, but my boys would kill me (imagine my Freshman in High school opening that lunch up at the cafeteria! Yikes!) plus I honestly don’t have time to make things that cute!  They’ll just get a slice of cheese and a bag of cherry tomatoes along with whatever else I pack that day but at least I’ll know they are eating well and that I’m savingmoney!

Please share some of your ideas for packing frugal and healthy lunches!!

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 Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive. And Check out our new Coupon section.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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