Learn some delicious, inexpensive tricks for making your kids' lunches from Deana Ricks, the author of Cheap Talk with the Frugal Friends.
Prepackaged lunches have only about 2.5 ounces of food, plus they are high in calories, low in nutrition, and cost $16 per pound. Try some of these ideas instead:
- Yogurt: Buy a large container and spoon a serving into a smaller container that fits into the lunchbox. To make it fun, add some blue food coloring (now you have ocean-blue yogurt), and pack with fish-shaped crackers. Try green food coloring to simulate alien slime.
- Cheese: Cut into various shapes to make it fun and interesting. Use tools such as a melon baller, lemon zester or crinkle cutter. Also, buy it by the block to save money.
- PB&J: To make this all-American favorite more exciting, turn the sandwich into a spider. Use a large glass to cut a circle shape from the already-made sandwich. Add eight pretzel-stick legs and two chocolate chips for the eye. Sprinkle around a couple of chocolate-covered raisins to look like "flies," and draw a spider web on the napkin.
- Drinks: Fill a small plastic recycled water bottle about 1/3 full with water, and freeze overnight. Add fruit-juice concentrate in the morning, and it will mix with the water as it thaws. It will keep the food cold in the lunchbox, and be ready to drink by lunchtime.