Sunday, September 9, 2012

School lunch vs Home lunch

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It's the old question every mother figures out each school year right?
Do I pay for school lunch or make sack lunches.
Now if you have a nasty school lunch it will be a no-brainer but what if your school lunch is one of the good ones. You know that still makes the rolls from scratch on site.
That makes your mouth water smelling the chocolate chip cookies baking around 10:00!
Well, we are lucky enough to have one of those school lunches. I occassionally will go have lunch with my boys and have always been pleased with what they had. It reminded me of my own yummy school lunch. Yes, mine was yummy and almost everyone ate it! We had the best head cook!!!
Anyway, back to today....
A few years ago I figured the cost of sending my boys with sack lunches. Now you have to realize that my boys don't just eat a PB&J and a bag of chips.
They need meat and cheese sandwiches.
And fruit.
And a vegi stick.
And a treat.
And any other goodie they can talk mom into.
Bottom boys eat more than the average school child.
With my frugal skills to the test I figured I could, coupons in hand, supply a nice, healthy and filling sack lunch for under $1.50. That became my guide. Anymore than that and it was a no go. In Idaho, we had sack lunches everyday.
But here we had a yummy hot meal each day that was only $1.60.
I made the decision to go with it.
Now the price went up $1.65 but more importantly my oldest is in Jr High. Apparently (I haven't eated there yet) they have much more to be desired than the elementary. It is also more money, $1.95. That meant fixing a lunch for dear hubby and 1 of 4 boys.
After making a trip to Costco, sans coupons this time, I sat down to re-figure my cost of lunches. Here is what I found out.
Generally I can fix a nice lunch for under $1. Not too bad!
I don't send juices, just a nice water bottle. Here is the breakdown for you....
Yogurts:          $0.46
Lunch meat:    $0.12
Cheese:           $0.18
Peanut Butter: $0.07
Bread              $0.17
Banana            $0.18
Pudding          $0.22
Mini Carrots   $0.24
1/2 peach        $0.34
Fruit cups       $0.42
Rice crispies   $0.20
Cummy Bears  $0.16
Goldfish          $0.15

I can my own jam from our berries so I didn't figure the cost of jam. This just gave me an estimate of how much lunches are costing us.
Each item that came bulk I packaged into snack size bag and placed in either a "side dish" bin or a "dessert" bin. The boys pick one from each, then add a couple of things from the fridge and they are good to go. It's great for the mornings mom has been up all night working and doesn't have the strength for anything.
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