A couple years ago, my two kids ate school lunch most days. It was convenient. I admit it. When they stopped, we knew we were saving money, but I never calculated the actual cost until this morning. For two lunches and two milks every day, it's $8.00. That's $40.00 a week. Over the course of the 180-day school year, that is equivalent to $1440.00! Over 12 years of school, that's $17,280 assuming prices remain the same.
When we made the transition to home lunches, my husband and I made their lunches, but that soon changed. The kids weren't eating everything we packed and so much was going to waste. They now prefer to make their own lunch and appreciate the effort it takes. Plus, they choose what they eat each day. (That part still requires some parental oversight from time to time.) As a result of the change, we contribute more to their 529 plans, the kids eat healthier meals and learn valuable lessons about meal planning and finances, and they like home lunches more.
It was a small change that is making a huge difference.