Monday, September 1, 2008

The Price of Lunch

If you haven't been in America recently, you may not have noticed that food prices have gone up. Of course, most of us had noticed it, way before the media kindly pointed it out for us, but one thing that is really affected by it, of course, is school lunches.

I've already cut costs down food-wise by shopping once a week by a list, and only for meals and snacks. I hardly buy prepared foods, because they are expensive. My kids don't get junk food for snacks, because I want them to eat healthy. The benefit to that is I don't pay crazy high prices for food that's bad for you anyhow. I occasionally think it'd be nice to buy organic, but not so nice that I'll fork out the extra bucks for it.

But school lunches? Well, now I have another reason to continue making my kids lunches at home. First, you can buy hot lunch at school, but it adds up to about $2.25 a day for my daughter. That doesn't sound too bad, and it's not if you're only feeding one kid and they're not snacking out of the vending machines loaded with junk food (another post, for yet another day).

It's far cheaper to make lunches at home, and throw in the home-made snacks -- all brandless trail mixes, fruits, home-made muffins and bars and granola. I rarely do store-bought anything for snacks anymore, because of basic economics. For the price of a bag of granola, I can buy all the ingredients and make five bags of homemade, for the price of a dozen muffins, I can make a dozen dozen muffins, and so on. It's just economical to spend an hour on Sunday baking snacks for the week.

So have higher food prices affected what you eat/your kids eat for lunch? What do you do for your kids lunches and snacks?

1 comment:

Sanya said...

I have made some baby food, but I discovered that some things like carrots are a complete PITA in the blender. So we buy the store brand organics, and we've been waiting for 2 for 1 specials.

For the adults - we stopped buying cornbread (three dollars for six pieces). Jiffy corn muffin mix is fifty cents, plus one egg and a third cup of milk, making six muffins. Store brand cereal isn't always the same as the "real" cereal (Honey Graham Squares is not the same as Golden Grahams) but when it is (Honey O's/Honey Nut Cheerios), we spend two dollars on the store brand instead of five on the name brand.

Meat, I wait for a 2 for 1 special and pounce.

I've been getting the produce at the farm stand, because it's organic but at regular produce prices.

Almost done mucking out the side yard, though, in prep for that being a garden next year.

Man, what an economy.