Save $400 on school lunch a year

Those snack bags of munchies cost a lot! Make your own by pre-packaging chips, pretzels, animal crackers and other snack items into sandwich bags on the weekends. (Have the kids help!) Store them in a big container or basket and just throw them in the lunch box in the morning.

Let the kids create their own pizza lunch kits- Toast bread and cutout little circles with a biscuit cutter. Add small containers of pizza sauce, cheese, and other toppings.

Make fruit gelatin and pudding and put in small plastic containers for the week. Make a large batch of granola bars, cookies, pumpkin bread, banana bread or muffins. Divide them into zip top sandwich bags and freeze so that you can grab one or two when needed.

Brownie bites are simple to make.  Bake brownie mix in mini-muffin pans and put three “brownie bites” in a sandwich bag for each child’s lunch. They freeze well too!

Fill thermos (not glass) half full with juice the night before and freeze. In the morning, remove from freezer and fill the rest of the way. The juice will be cold when the kids are ready to drink it and it keeps their food cold too.

Clean vegetables, slice into pieces and bag. Preparing a week’s worth of veggies at a time for lunches and snacks saves money and time.

Purchase cheese in blocks. Cut it into pieces and put in sandwich bags.

Save napkins, catsup and mustard packets you get from take-out. Use in lunches.

Before you make another peanut butter and jelly sandwich, check out www.LivingOnADime.com for more recipe ideas.

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