While summer is winding down, grocery prices continue to soar making back-to-school meal planning more challenging than ever. Finding ways to reduce food expenses while still sending the kiddos off with tasty, healthy meals can be a struggle. Here are some tips to help you start the school year off right!
Don’t forget to repurpose leftovers.
There are tons of possibilities all of which save you money and prevent food waste. Leftover pasta can be turned into a pasta salad. Leftover chicken can be sliced or shredded for wraps. Soup is a wonderful way to use leftovers and create a healthy, delicious meal for later that week. Check out our favourite soup recipes here.
Make your own Lunchables.
Crackers, meat, and cheese can be sent in a container so that kids can put them together as they would the store-bought kind. Choose your child’s favourites so that they feel it is made special just for them, better than the packaged ones.
Let the kids wrap it up.
Kids love “creating” their own lunches and putting lunch components in containers rather than building sandwiches saves time. Include small tortillas and fillings your kids like (such as ham and cheese, chicken and veggies, or cheese and salsa). They can assemble the wraps once it’s time to eat.
Prepare your own fresh fruit.
Want to get your kids to eat more fruit while cutting costs? Slash your spending by looking out for fresh fruit on sale, buying what’s in season and freezing any surplus. Here is a fun tip – instead of buying expensive little bags of pre-cut apples – slice and core your own, then put them back together as a whole and tie it with an elastic band. This discourages browning and keeps the pieces juicy!
Buy in bulk.
Visit the local Bulk Barn or any grocery where you can weigh your own and buy bulk. Dried fruit, mini pretzels, nut-free granola and other snacks can be stored in jars at home and put into food containers for lunches. You will save by not buying overpriced, individually wrapped snack bags.
Research cost friendly recipes and fun lunch ideas online.
There are a ton of great lunch ideas at your fingertips. Check out our favourite budget-friendly lunch recipes here.