budget helpers

Yesterday I complained, quite a bit I might say, about miscellaneous budget busters. Today I am in a different frame of mind and will write about budget helpers.

May I present:
Packing a lunch for school

I will use Benjamin as an example, simply because he is easy to please and I remember what I packed in his lunch sack this morning. If he were to purchase a hot lunch at school, we would spend $2.30. Not too bad, but multiply that by 5 days a week for 1 month .... not so cheap. Sure there is the convenience of not having to take time to pack the lunch, and our grocery bill would decrease some by not purchasing lunch food, but I am going to do the math to compare.

Ben's Lunch (In a store bought Star Wars insulated plastic lunch bag ......... he won that battle)
  • 1/2 Peanut butter & Jelly sandwich on wheat bread = $.14
  • Sliced Bell peppers (yellow only, please) = $.17
  • Homemade Jello (buy the box, make 3 servings) = $.17
  • Chips (purchased in a big bag and divided out into single servings) = $.09
  • Juice (Mix w/sugar & water, poured into a reusable bottle) = $.06
Grand Total of packed lunch = $.63

Now, I have 3 kiddos, remember? So, Hot lunch vs. Cold lunch?

Hot lunch for 3 kids/month (Maddi pays $2.40 at the Middle School) = $140
Cold lunch for 3 kids/month (rounding up cold lunch to $.70ea) = $42

Ellie and Maddi have the option to select 1 school lunch every 2 weeks, and they usually do. Ben refuses to get hot lunch at school because: "Mom, YOU make my lunch!." Yep, he is certainly a little man-in-training. I apologize now to his future wife.


Divine_Contemplative said...

That's a wonderful post! Truly, people can save money by cutting labor cost in food by making it themselves. It's amazing, really. Not to mention you get to watch your kids' health and start them off with good eating habits (and a story to share with their children about you!)

And let's not forget that they can brag at lunchtime about what Mom made for them.

I'd actually like to know how to make some of those things. If you'd care to share your secrets, please let me know (or make a post).

Amy said...

The photo is NOT what I make for lunches! I just put the image in for fun.

I am a simple Jane and keep the meals simple since the kids don't have much time to eat.

I do enjoy both the cost savings aspect of making the lunches, as well as knowing I have sent the kids off to school with something made by me.

Joy in making lunches ...... who knew?!