5 Ways to Save Money While Making Healthy School Lunches With Chase Freedom Unlimited

Friday, November 22, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Chase Freedom Unlimited. All opinions are my own.
5 Ways to Save Money While Making Healthy School Lunches with Chase Freedom Unlimited

When you're a parent, saving money is always on the forefront of your mind. From sports leagues, to birthday parties, to making school lunches, you are trying to make every cent count. So, when I talk about making healthier choices for our kids' school lunches, money is definitely a factor. Fortunately, healthy lunches and saving money don't have to be an either-or decision. You can do both! After making school lunches for seven years, my family has picked up some tips along the way, and today we wanted to share them with you.

5 Ways to Save Money While Making Healthy School Lunches with Chase Freedom Unlimited

1. Buy in Bulk
This is one of the simplest things you can do, but so often it is overlooked. Small packaged foods are more convenient but can cost 3-5x more when everything is said and done. When you buy in bulk, not only do the savings add up, but many times you can pick out the best selection of fruits and vegetables!


5 Ways to Save Money While Making Healthy School Lunches with Chase Freedom Unlimited

2. Use Your Cash Back Credit Card to Get Rewards
We use our Chase Freedom Unlimited card to get cash back whenever we are at the grocery store. In fact, I get 1.5% cash back on EVERY purchase I make with it. If you are going to buy the supplies you need for healthy lunches anyway, you should get rewarded for it. That's what our Chase Freedom Unlimited cash back credit card does. We set a goal this year to travel and participate in more family activities so that we could make more memories together. This has been a priority and every time we buy healthy food for kid friendly recipes, we are always earning on every purchase, bringing us one step closer to our goal.
3. Shop the Sales (and the Apps)

People always talk about looking at ads, so this point isn't groundbreaking, but instead of looking at print ads (do those even exist anymore?), make sure to sign up for exclusive store emails, get texts, or download the store apps. For a local grocery store in our area, they give away something free almost every week through their app. At a local butcher shop, they have text only deals twice a week. The trick is to skip those nice deals for things that you would never buy anyway and instead focus on the sales for the groceries that you would normally pick up whether they were on sale or not. This is where you start to really see those savings add up!

5 Ways to Save Money While Making Healthy School Lunches with Chase Freedom Unlimited

4. Get A Few Reusable Lunchboxes

Many cheap lunchboxes get trashed by halfway through the school year. They get moldy and gross and you are ready to toss them by Winter Break. Sometimes it pays to invest in a better-quality reusable bento box. For example, we have had the box above for six years! Not only that, but because it is well built and stainless steel, it is still in great shape. However, there are other lunch boxes that are plastic that have lasted us for around two years and were worth the $15 we paid for them. Whichever way you go, don't necessarily buy the cheapest available. When you get a reusable bento style box, you are also able to skip the disposable bags that not only cost more money but aren't as good for the environment when used every day. Plus, this type of box makes for easier meal prep and it’s easy to see exactly what food you are packing so that you can make sure to include portions of fruits and vegetables!


5 Ways to Save Money While Making Healthy School Lunches with Chase Freedom Unlimited

5. Don't Make a Habit of Buying Hot Lunch or Fast Food
Hot lunch and fast food can seem very convenient when time has gotten away from you, and you are either exhausted at night, or trying every trick in the book to get out the door in the morning. However, when you plan ahead and skip hot lunch, it definitely pays off.

Here is an example:
.34¢ for two slices of bread
.25¢ for a slice of cheese
.80¢ for meat
.20¢ for crackers
.50¢ for an orange
Total= $2.09 for a packed lunch

This could change slightly based on where you live, where you shop, how you buy in bulk, and current sales. Regardless, the typical hot lunch where we live costs $3.25. That is a savings of $1.16 per lunch when you pack it at home. This might not seem like much. However, if you normally buy hot lunch just three times per week that works out to $3.48 per week, per child. For us that would be a savings of over $10 a week which works out to $40 per month! The typical school year is around 38 weeks. For the entire school year this saves us $380! As you can see every dollar adds up.


Hopefully these five tips can help you save some money during this school year. Just remember to buy in bulk, never forget your cash back credit card, shop those deals, get a reusable bento lunchbox, and pack lunches at home. These simple steps can help you reach your goals like they are helping us reach ours. We finish our family travel goal soon, so make sure to check back regularly to find out how we are using our Chase Freedom Unlimited rewards for our big trip of the year!

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