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Monday, October 2, 2023   

Liberate $400 from than Lunchbox!
by Tawara Kellam
Tawra Kellam is the editor of LivingOnADime.com. Tawra and her husband paid off $20,000 debt in 5 years on $22,000 a year income.
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Tawara Kellam

The average school lunch cost $3/day or $540 per year and what mother hasn’t wondered if those lunches actually get eaten? In her book Not Just Beans, frugal cooking expert Tawra Kellam provides solutions to jazz up those lunches and save up to $400 in the process. Here are some sack lunch tips that help guarantee you will be able to retire the "starving kids in Ethiopia" lecture for good.

Those snack sized bags of munchies cost a lot! Make your own by:

~Pre-packaging chips, pretzels, animal crackers, vegetables etc. into sandwich bags at the beginning of the week. (Have the kids help on the weekends.) Keep them in a big container/basket and simply throw them in the lunch box in the morning.

~Let the kids create their own pizza lunch kits- Toast bread and cut out little circles with a biscuit cutter. Add a small container of pizza sauce, cheese and other toppings.

~Make fruit gelatin and pudding and put in small plastic containers for the week. Make a large batch of granola bars, cookies, pumpkin bread, banana bread or muffins. Divide and put them into individual sandwich bags. Freeze and use as needed.

~If you don’t have time to bake, buy cookies on sale and re-package them for the week.

~Brownie bites are simple to make. Bake brownie mix in mini-muffin pans and put three "brownie bites" in a sandwich bag for each child's lunch. They freeze well too!

~Fill a thermos (not glass) half full of juice the night before and freeze. In the morning, remove from the freezer and fill the rest of the way. The juice will be cold when they are ready to drink it and the thermos keeps their food cold too.

~Purchase cheese in blocks, cut into cubes and put in sandwich bags.

~Save the extra napkins, catsup and mustard packets you get from take-out. Use in lunches.

Before you make another peanut butter and jelly sandwich, check out www.livingonadime.com for more recipe ideas.



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