Brown Bag Lunches for Less than $1

Our school does not serve “hot” lunch daily plus, my son has food allergies so I’m very careful about what he eats. By sending my kids with their own lunch, I can control the food and the cost. That’s a good thing. Need a few ideas on a budget? Check out these below (obviously, these are just the starting point, you can add as much as you’d like):


Make Your Own Lunchable (Meat and Cheese using the top of a milk carton to cut into circles) .35

Homemade muffins .08

Apple or orange $.25 (Aldi – $.25/each)

Juice Box $.15

Total $.83


Cheese Shapes $.30

Whole Wheat Crackers  $.10

Veggies w/ ranch  $.20

Milk in a thermos  $.20

Total $.80


Peanut butter and jelly (Of course, in our family we use SunButter) $.25 (Make it look like an uncrustable with a cookie cutter)

Yogurt (dairy or soy) $.40

Homemade Granola .20

Water in a sports bottle $.00

Total $.85


Mac & Cheese with Broccoli .40

Celery with Cream Cheese .20 (add a few raisins if you want)

Grapes $.15

Capri Sun  $.10

Total $.85


Cheese stick wrapped in lunch meat $.30

Apple slices w/peanut butter (or Sunbutter) $.30

Juice in a sports cup $.10

Total $.70

Now, let’s crunch some numbers… Say you spend $1 a day for brown bagging it versus $3 a day in the cafeteria. Over a month, you are spending $20 and for a year that adds up to $240. Compare that to buying a cafeteria lunch and spending $60 a month or $720 a year. Those are big savings! You can change up the lunches above all you want and add different snacks like homemade granola bars or popcorn, any way you slice it, you’re still saving BIG with the brown bag!


Categories: Money Saving Queen