How to: Save money on healthy school lunches
You do realize a small bag of chips costs way more than a big bag of carrots, right? And in America, with (too much) information, it’s not like we don’t know what’s good for us and bad for us. Yet we continue to buy junk food — and worse, give it to our kids.
This year, send your kids back to school with proper nutrition to fuel their brains and bodies.
Here are some easy and cheap ways to pack healthy school lunches for your kids.
One website, an advocate for “clean eating,” makes it easy for parents to make a dietary change. The Gracious Pantry offers clean-eating tips, shopping lists and tons of easy (seriously easy!) and inexpensive recipes. The Gracious Pantry even has a special section for kids snacks and food.
On a budget?
The Gracious Pantry offers some recommendations for how to eat clean on the cheap. Among the suggestions:
- Buy food from the bulk section, not the packaged section. Bulk food is cheaper because its price doesn’t have to offset packaging. This includes, flours and quinoa.
- Don’t buy things in boxes or cans. They cost more.
- If you can’t afford to buy all organic produce, at least buy the “dirty dozen” in organic. Click here for the list of the most important fruits and veggies to buy organic, because otherwise they tend to have a lot of pesticides.
- Make food from scratch. It’s cheaper. Homemade bread costs less than 99 cents per loaf. Whereas taco seasoning (filled with mysterious ingredients, often with MSG) can cost $1 to $2 in a package, the natural seasoning made up of a few different spices costs pennies.
- Have healthy food delivered right to your door.
- Invest in some good Tupperware and always save and use leftovers. Cook in bulk and put half of it in the freezer, to pull out and defrost on that day that you don’t want to cook (or really need to save money). We love this mega Rubbermaid storage set at Walmart for under $20.
- Save money on Rubbermaid purchases by using these coupons (plus 3 percent Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com).
- Save money on Walmart purchases (including your produce) — you can find more than 35 coupons, plus 2 percent Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com.
Healthy recipe ideas that your kids will actually eat:
- Chocolate “Oreo” cookies, made with almonds, unsweetened cocoa powder, honey, coconut oil, an egg and vanilla extract.
- Zucchini noodles, instead of empty-carb pasta.
- Baked zucchini sticks — much better for you than cheese sticks.
- Pizza roll-ups, packed with finely chopped veggies.
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