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Save hundreds on lunchbox snacks every year
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By MyBudget Editor

Kids in several states returned to the classroom last week. And you know what that means—parents across the country are back to making school lunches. Noooooo! As parents ourselves, we feel your pain! Aside from being time consuming, lunchbox snacks can be expensive too. But comparison site Mozo has crunched the numbers and worked out how you can save hundreds on school snacks every year.

When you’re a parent or carer, life can be pretty hectic. Especially when you’re raising a young family—it can feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Understandably, it makes sense to cut a few corners.

One of those corners might be that you buy pre-packaged lunchbox snacks, such as cheese and crackers, mini sultana boxes and yoghurt multipacks to keep your kids fueled throughout the day. 

We all want to enjoy an easier, hassle-free life, but did you know that opting for these conveniently, pre-packaged lunchbox snacks could be costing hundreds every year?

The cost of convenience

Research carried out by Mozo.com.au in January, revealed that Aussie parents could be spending an unnecessary $3 billion annually on conveniently pre-packaged snacks for kids’ lunchboxes. 

The report showed that the average household could save $777 per year, simply by buying larger quantities and taking the time to portion out snacks by hand.

Mozo did the math

Mozo compared the cost of pre-packaged versus DIY snacks for cheese and crackers, sultanas, apple juice, popcorn and yoghurt. The accumulated savings may be surprising to many, with individually packaged cheese and crackers costing around $2 per serving, compared with a mere 51 cents for the same amount portioned out at home, from a block of cheese and a larger packet of crackers. 

That’s an extra $183.15 every year you could be offloading into a savings account, simply by using a chopping board and a cheese knife.

A popular snack for kids’ lunchboxes, dried fruit, was another food with a high markup for convenience. While a pre-packaged single serve of sultanas will set you back about 50 cents, buying a larger bag and portioning out the same amount could cost as little as 17 cents. 

By using your own tupperware and DYI-ing your kids’ daily sultana snacks, you could be saving as much as $61.05 over the course of a year.

When buying in bulk, just beware of the trap of buying more than you can consume before the expiration date. Buying an enormous tub of yoghurt, only to throw half of it away because it went off, isn’t going to be good for your wallet either!

Make it educational

You don’t have to treat DIY snack making as yet another task to add to an already epic ‘to do’ list. A great idea is to turn it into a fun activity that your kids can do on their own (or with a little supervision!) 

Bust out the kitchen scales and turn the endeavour into an enjoyable way to practice doing mathematical equations. You could even practice making a budget together. Budgeting is not just great saving money, it’s also the key to achieving your financial goals faster while reducing the mental load of money.

Next steps

Now that you have all of these savings tips in the bag—or the lunchbox for that matter—you might want to think about other ways you can save. You could use this newfound approach as an excuse to teach your kids about money and how to save.

The possibilities are endless and, in the meantime, you could put your lunchbox savings towards the cost of a fun, family outing!


About our guest blogger

Kirsty Lamont is a money expert and director at financial comparison website mozo.com.au. You might also know her from regular TV spots where she provides commentary on all areas of personal finance. She is passionate about helping Australians make more informed money decisions, from blasting debt to building their savings.

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