Five smart swaps to cut the cost of school lunches

Feeding the family has never been more expensive.

The new semester means packed lunches are back on the menu, and with supermarket prices soaring, it’s hard to keep costs down.

Feeding a family has never been more expensive

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Feeding a family has never been more expensivecredit: shutterstock

But a smart trade-off can mean spending less. . .

POP IT IN: A box of potato chips can now be considered a luxury good, with a tube of Pringles coming in at around £2 in some stores.

Alternatively, try a 500g bag of popcorn kernels, £1.30 at Sainsbury’s and make popcorn. You only need two tablespoons of grain per serving.

Be a friend of the fridgeA busy school morning can mean you’re running out of time for lunch and getting something expensive on your way to school. Instead, make sandwiches in advance and freeze them throughout the week—they will thaw by lunchtime. Did you know you can also freeze cake?

Skip the expensive chocolate bars and bake the loaf. When cool, chop the pieces and freeze to be ready to use for kids lunch. This works with homemade cakes, too.

light savings: Many parents complain on social media that their kids are too smart when Mom and Dad try to cut costs by downgrading the big brands. But it can work if you’re sneaky.

Instead of buying multiple packs of small packets of raisins, keep the old ones and repack them with larger bags of raisins. You can also refill Fruit Shoot bottles with squash and hope the kids won’t notice the difference.

portion control: Stop bringing home half-eaten apples by cutting them into two servings for different days.

Increase the vegetable content by chopping multicolored portions of cucumbers, peppers, and carrots into pots with a spoonful of chickpeas. Lidl’s 69p must go far.

Skip Sarneese: Lunch doesn’t have to mean sarnies. Cook some pasta and add a few chopped cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of cheese to make your own snack bowl.

Or get an eight-pack of Aldi tortillas, 89 cents, and cut them in half before making some rolls, to extend spending.

  • All prices on the page are correct at the time of going to print. Deals and offers are subject to availability.

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