Lunch Series - Snacks and Drinks on the Cheap

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The kids are heading back to school after a 4 day weekend, so I thought I would share a few ideas to inspire you.

While I'm conscious of costs when it comes to lunches, good nutrition is my first priority. It's a constant balancing act between cost, nutritional value and what my kids will eat.

Although I have no complaints about picky eaters - my kids do eat really well.

One thing they all love to eat is seaweed snacks -  it's not my jam, but you would be surprised how excited my kids were when I bought a 10 pack from Costco! 

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So far, that's the cheapest place I have found to buy them. It works out to $1 a bag.

The hummus packs I bought when they were on sale a few weeks ago at Costco. Hummus is great to serve with veggies or crackers because it's so filling. 

 

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To keep snack costs down for lunches, I buy big bags of items like veggie straws(above pic) or tortilla chips and divide them into snack bags. When you buy snack items in individual servings, your getting a lot less food for your money.

We put together our own snack mixes using items like cereal, seeds, dried fruit and chocolate chips. If your kid's school allows nuts you can add almonds, pistachios or pecans. 

Even cooking up a batch of popcorn and dividing into bags is a very cheap & well liked option. 

 

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For drinks, I'm looking for 100% juice made with fruit and/or veggies. We like this President's Choice brand and it fits in my stock up price of $.20 cents a juice box.

Once your kids hit junior high, they're starting to take 2 or more juice boxes a day. I find cans to be a cheaper option. I wait for sales on Minute Maid or Dole juice. I stock up when I can get 12 cans for $3.99 or less. 

Water is the cheapest option, and my oldest prefers to take bottled water to school. He likes the fact that he can sip it all day. Juice cans can't be thrown back in the locker or backpack once they've been opened. 

My stock up price for water bottles is around $.10 cents a bottle. 

We have tried the re-usable water bottles - I lost count of all the bottles that were lost or forgotten somewhere. I also don't need MORE dishes to wash everyday! 

What are your favorite low cost, high nutrition snacks for your kid's lunches?