Did you ever calculate the cost of the school lunches you send with your kids?
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  1. #1
    Registered User Daisygirl's Avatar
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    Question Did you ever calculate the cost of the school lunches you send with your kids?

    Just for a strange little experiment, I decided to calculate how much I am spending on school lunches (some prices are rough estimates,) Despite the fact that I get some of the convenience items on sale these things are adding up! Here are the totals of three lunches I sent this past week:

    #1
    1/2 can of pasta 25 cents
    1 pudding cup 25 cents
    homemade cookie 3 cents
    veggies 15 cents
    juice box 12 cents
    crackers 8 cents
    TOTAL 88 cents

    #2
    Bologna sandwich 17 cents
    Fruit rollup 33 cents
    pepper strips 18 cents
    juice box 12 cents
    strawberries 38 cents
    TOTAL $1.18

    #3
    Mr. Noodle 20 cents
    Homemade cookie 3 cents
    apple 17 cents
    pretzels 5 cents
    yogurt 25 cents
    TOTAL 70 cents

    When I look at these calculations I see how these convenience foods are adding up. Yikes.

    How much do the rest of y'all spend on school lunches? I am thinking there should be no way I am spending over a dollar, and I should be keeping it under 75 cents.

  2. #2
    Registered User Lady_V's Avatar
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    I send lunch for DD 4 times a week (she gets pizza on Fridays) and snack 5 times a week. She pretty much eats the same thing everyday, (creature of habit) and according to her "Momma, no one eats from a thermos at my God School" (God School is what she calls the Catholic school she goes to) so I will list what we get.

    Snacks-
    air-popped popcorn (maybe .10 for the week)
    flavored water box (.20 each - 1.00 for the week)
    subtotal - $1.10

    Lunch-
    loaf of whole wheat bread (1.19)
    cheese (.12 each - .48 for the week)
    turkey or chicken (maybe .16? - .64 for the week)
    carrots cut in to sticks (.04 each - .49/bag lasts 2 weeks)
    ranch dressing (.06 - $1 bottle lasts a month)
    apple (.22 each) -or- clementine (.33 each)
    granola bar (.16 each)
    subtotal - $4.23 - $4.67 (depends on the fruit)

    She buys milk (.50 each - $2.00 for the week)
    Pizza on Friday is $1.50
    subtotal - $3.50

    Total for snack, home lunch & school lunch -$8.83 - $9.27

    That's all that is purchased separate from the 'family food'. I will put in something from the house from time to time, like tortilla chips and salsa instead of the carrots/dressing, or another fruit if we have it.

    It may not be fillet mignon with a cobb salad but I know she will eat it. The pizza is a treat, she is on a special diet and can't normally have the school lunches. Her teacher and I have had a sit down and agreed she can have the pizza on Fridays if she does well Mon-Thurs.

  3. #3
    Registered User YankeeMom's Avatar
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    I did, on my Frugal Food blog (which sadly needs to be updated lol). You can find mine here: http://frugalfood.wordpress.com/2005/05/20/bag-lunches/

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  5. #4
    Registered User Momto2Boyz's Avatar
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    I've tracked DS's lately and found I am spending about .43 per day on him.

  6. #5
    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    Our school doesn't provide lunches. They can get milk for .50, which we don't do after too many incidents of soured milk. They do a treat of the month, which is usually about $3.50. We do it sometimes, not everytime.

    I haven't calculated if officially, but let me try.



    Tuna sandwich: .17/.12
    container of water: .0
    apple:.25
    orange: .10(sale at .38/lb)
    carrots: .10 (1./lb)
    dip:.03
    hard cheese: .15

    Total: .80 or or .75

    I think i might be high on my bread, I have no idea how many slices. We go to McGavins bread basket and get multigrain breads for.79/loaf is you buy 10. (usual cost is over $4 in the grocery).

    We don't do alot of cookies etc in their lunches, but there is often sweet breads from pumpkin in the fall, zucchini, and apples. Banana bread occurs quite often as well. But that was what the kids were having last week. We do lots of fruit and veggies. I think I'm high on my pricing here. I don't know how much cheese is per cut..lol. I get it on sale and freeze it.

    Anyway, sometimes they take leftovers too. Home made soups, etc. So the cost is lower on those days.

  7. #6
    Registered User Daisygirl's Avatar
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    Wow - how are you getting it down to 43 cents? Can you post some lunches that you have sent?

    Heather - I love your blog - I spent quite a while reading it. Get to work girl, I want to read more!

  8. #7
    toile
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    I did that once based on Aldi food and man was it cheap!!!!!!

    At that time my daughter took cream cheese bagels, pretzels, apple, carrots, and a water I think?

    Now she takes a more varied meal but when she was stuck on bagels it was cheap!

    My kids wont touch school food with a 10 foot pole so I have always had to pack their lunch.

    School lunches seem so fatty?
    Seems like they would be low fat but now that costs more $$$.

  9. #8
    Registered User Neeley's Avatar
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    DD & DS are taught by private tutors at their church and no lunch is provided so we have to send her lunch everyday.

    So in their lunch bags they always have:

    Roast beef/turkey or ham and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread:
    ~Meat cost: $0.12 per sandwich
    ~Cheese cost: $0.10 per slice
    ~Bread cost: $0.06 per slice/$0.12 per sandwich
    ~Mayo cost: $0.02 per sandwich.
    _____________________________________________________________
    Sandwich cost: $0.30
    _____________________________________________________________

    Snack # 1
    Banana for DD: $0.14
    Orange for DS: $0.50
    _____________________________________________________________

    Snack # 2
    Organic baby carrots: $0.45
    _____________________________________________________________

    Morning snack:
    Granola bar: $0.02
    _____________________________________________________________

    Afternoon snack:
    Whales(Wal-Mart generic for Goldfish): $0.15
    _____________________________________________________________

    Drink:
    2 bottled waters each: $0.12/each - $0.24 per lunch
    1 Crystal Light singles mix per child:$0.18


    Total for DS's lunch on average: $1.84
    Total for DD's lunch on average: $1.48



    But.....I also send an extra sandwich everyday in DD's lunch for a friend of hers who never brings a sandwich, so that is an additional $0.30 in DD's lunch. Bringing her total to: $1.78.

    The kids have an afternoon and morning break since they are being taught from 8:00 until at least 4:00 everyday and sometimes 5:00. That is why they each are given 4 snacks instead of just two.
    ________________________________________________________________
    DH get the same sandwich as the kids ($0.30). But he gets a box of raisins ($0.19), an apple ($0.80) a granola bar ($0.02). He takes a case of Sam's brand diet sodas and keep them in his office ($0.18 per can). Cost of lunch (including two sodas) $1.67 per day.

  10. #9
    Registered User joyofsix's Avatar
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    Hmm, I'll have to guestimate.

    2 pc bread- $.12
    pb - $.05
    homemade jelly- $.02

    fruit- ~$.20
    That would be it for the under 10 crowd. My boys would probably add
    salty snack
    (aldi's) ~$.20

    They take water in a bottle from home to drink. Other possibilities

    Homemade cookies ~$.10
    leftovers ~$.50? casserole or something from dinner
    ramen noodles ~$.10
    crackers ~$.15
    cheese ~$.20
    So it seems to be between $.40 cheapest and maybe a $1.00 for one of my hungry boys. Much cheaper than $2.00 the school charge for yucky food.

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