6 ways parents can save money on school meals

Georgia Brown

As the end of summer approaches and the new school term approaches, you may be wondering how the rising cost of living will impact your family.

READ: 8 ultimate tips for cutting school uniform costs

Last month, staggering inflation data Office of National Statistics (ONS) found that rising grocery prices accounted for almost half (44%) of inflation from June to July. We have already shared how go green in the kitchen can help keep bills at bay, as well as how to cut your food waste by £720 a yearbut how to save money on school meals for your children?

With help from online supermarket manager Richard Price Britsuperstorewe’ve rounded up six easy ways to cut the costs of your kids’ packed lunches, without compromising on taste or nutritional value.

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Plan your school lunches and meal preparation

Buying in bulk is an easy way to cut costs at your next supermarket. While fresh ingredients tend to disappear quickly, staples like pasta, rice, snacks, cookies, rice cakes and dried fruits have a much longer shelf life and can be bought in abundance. to save money.

If planning your kids’ lunches for the next month is too overwhelming, try thinking about the next fortnight in packed lunches, taking advantage of multi-pack discounts and savings on bulk purchases.

LOOK: 28 best lunch boxes, flasks and water bottles for kids that parents will love too

Use Cheap Stores for Lunch Boxes

Stores like Home Bargains and B&M are great for new lunch boxes and value-for-money water bottles, helping to keep your child’s lunch fresh during the day and prevent it from going to waste. . We also love this versatile lunch box with separate compartments available on Amazon, just pop it in the dishwasher at the end of the day.

BIBURY Lunch Box, £11.99, Amazon


Use up any leftovers

To help save time and money on extra lunch ingredients, always use up all your food and create leftover meals that kids will enjoy for their lunches throughout the week. Sunday roast dinner? Save the meat to make delicious sandwiches or save extra veggies to make veggie burger patties for the week.

Avoid pre-prepared foods

While it can be tempting to cut a meal deal, evidence suggests that buying ingredients and cooking from scratch can often save you money. Sure, there’s a time and place where a ready-made meal calls, but choosing savings over convenience is always a no-brainer.

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Consider buying a pre-cut 300g jar of melon (around £2.85). Although quick and easy, it’s probably a lot more expensive than buying a whole melon (around £1.40), giving you a lot more bang for your buck.

Bake and freeze in batches

Batch cooking your kids’ lunches can save you time and money while ensuring your kids have a nutritious lunch on multiple days of the week. Pasta dishes are easy to make in bulk and can be frozen safely, as are banana muffins, mini quiches, chicken pastry grinders and more.

Banana muffins make a great on-the-go school snack

“To save even more money, try batch cooking with meat alternatives, as foods like beans, lentils or chickpeas are often cheaper than protein sources. Not only is it good for your wallet, but it’s also good for the environment,” Richard adds.

Don’t Forget Non-Branded Products

Are branded products always better? You might prefer to be picky about your labels, but your kids certainly won’t care! Supermarket value labels and ranges can save you hundreds of dollars every year.

In 2021, which one? revealed Aldi as the cheapest supermarket of the year, with a basket of 22 branded and unbranded products costing £24.03. It’s 38% cheaper than Waitrose, at £33.06.

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