Frugal Lunch Box Ideas

Okay, we are into October now, long past the time when back to school lunches were new, and I could get away with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Plus, my son is starting to talk about some of the cool snacks that some of the other kids bring.

I want to be able to keep my son happy, while providing a nutritious lunch and snacks, and also saving money. On a recent trip to Target, I asked him to point out some snacks and lunch food that he would love to see make it to his lunch box. Mind you, I did have to warn him that we weren’t actually going to purchase much, if anything, but that I wanted to see what his interests are so I could plan some things that would be less expensive.

Here are the items he picked, along with my solution.

Yogurt tubes

My son’s appetite rivals a teenagers, and he is only eight (and before you ask he inherited his dad’s thin, eat-all-you-want build). I would probably have to pack two or three of those tubes. Instead, we decided to go for a regular full cups of yogurt, and he was happy to pick the flavors. The store brand was fine, so we saved a bunch there.

Brownie Bites and Blueberry Muffin Bites

Talk about price! A box of these bites might not see as though they cost much, but again, there is hardly any product in each bag. Three little bites cost a fortune. Instead, I can use my mini-muffin tin to bake homemade brownies and muffins, and then package them myself.


Pizza day is always a hit, and I almost gave in to this one until my son said he prefers not to wait in line in the cafeteria. There are two ways to make pizza. One is as a “lunchables” sort of kit, providing the raw ingredients (toast pita bread or flour tortillas then cut out in circles with a cookie cutter), or as an inside out pizza, using sauce, cheese and two flour tortillas.

This outing was really fun for us and got our creative juices going, so I am looking forward to doing it again soon.

You can read more blog posts by Mary Ann Romans here!

Related Articles:

20 Ways to save $1 or More Today

Cutting Down on the Cost of Eating Out

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog