6 ways to save on your school lunch budget

With the price of vital necessities rising, there’s no better time to tighten the belt than now. School lunches take up a fraction of most South African household budgets. It is alarming how food prices have increased, placing much pressure on South African families. 

Most parents spend thousands of rands on food, which include school lunches. Many people think you can’t make a healthy lunch on a budget, but that could not be further from the truth. 

This article shares tips that can help you save money on school lunches. 

Leftover food makes the best school lunch the next day 

Using leftovers for school lunches is one of the best ways to cut the costs of school lunches. The night before, cook a little extra food so you can use it for your child’s lunch the next day.

If your child’s school allows food such as Pasta, you can pack this for nutritious school lunch. Chicken is also one of the most versatile proteins that go with everything; therefore, opting for chicken when grocery shopping is another way you can trim your school budget.

For example, if you make roasted chicken for dinner, you can turn the leftovers into sandwiches or wraps the next day. 

FNB Christian Hugo, Solution Strategist at FNB Management, adds the following tips. 

Use raw instead of prepackaged ingredients

Raw ingredients cost a lot less than prepackaged items. For example, a prepacked packet of butternut, spinach or sweet potatoes will cost you more than whole butternut or sweet potato. When grocery shopping, plan to give yourself enough time to prepare for what you require for your family. This will help to save you money as you will buy according to your budget instead of being an impulsive shopper. 

Try more affordable proteins

Not enough kids get exposed to lentils, beans and chickpeas. They are a lot cheaper to buy than meat, tuna and cheese.

Buy frozen fruit

The next time you are at your favourite supermarket, go and look at the price of frozen fruit; you might be surprised. If frozen fruits are too expensive, you can buy whole fruits, cut them up, and freeze them. Freezing your fruits can stretch your budget. 

Shop Around For School Lunch Deals

This might not be possible for all parents to do, but where you can try and make sure you get the best possible deal when shopping for school lunches. The internet has made it very easy to compare prices.

Buy School Snacks In Bulk

Buying things in bulk is one of the best ways to save money. When grocery shopping, purchase school snacks in bulk, saving you a fraction of the money you spend on school lunches. 

Opt to buy a large tub of the yoghurt than smaller prepacked yoghurt cups. You can put the yoghurt in small containers as a healthy snack for your kids when they go to school. 

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