My daughter just started back to school this week and it made me think that taking your lunch to school or work would make for a good frugal topic.

My daughter is now a junior and has been taking her lunch since elementary school.

Packing a lunch is not only more economical, it can be healthier.

Most schools rely heavily on processed foods and making a lunch can be as processed or as fresh as you want to make it.

If I had to pay for my daughter to eat at school, it would cost me almost $3 a day.
Packing a lunch doesn’t cost much of anything depending on what you choose to send.
The cost of the groceries can be absorbed into the food budget and you may not notice a difference.

You do have your start up costs.
You should have a lunch box or bag.
You need some containers for food and drink, as well as a wide mouth thermos for anything that needs kept cold or very hot.
An ice pack is also a good idea.

I like to send leftovers.
Heat them up.
Before you put them in the food thermos, heat the thermos with boiling hot water for about 10-15 minutes.

Make up a big batch of pudding that you divide into containers to last the week.

You can do a lot of prep the night before so it doesn’t take much.
Finish it up while they are eating breakfast.

I even saw an idea once for sending a hotdog to school.
Fill a big thermos with boiling water and add the hotdog.
Pack a bun separately.
At lunch, the child can take the hotdog out the the thermos and put in the bun.

If you have a garden, send some fresh veggies.
Green pepper slices or cherry tomatoes or even carrots.
If you don’t have a garden, check out the farmer’s market in your area.

I also like to send popcorn sometimes.

Have a great Friday!