In the real world, we don’t all agree on everything. Sometimes, you think you’re right and actually, someone comes along and shares their point of view with you and you start to think that they have a point. So, once a month I’m going to post my opinion on a particular issue and ask another blogger to share their differing views.
As we’re in back to school mode right now, we’re kicking off with the packed lunch vs school dinners vote and I’ve asked the very lovely Jen from Mum in the Madhouse to share her thoughts too. You can find her post here.
This year I’m going to have children at two different schools for the first time – one will be on school dinners and the other on packed lunches.
Miss Frugal is going to be on school dinners at her new secondary school at a cost of around £2.20 a day. I say around £2.20 a day because it’s a case of loading up a card daily / weekly and then her choosing what she wants to eat every day. The average cost of a meal including a drink is £2.20 and she’s asked to go on school dinners rather than packed lunches as that’s what ‘most kids’ will be doing apparently.
Whilst I like the idea of not having to make a packed lunch for her, it’s so much cheaper to send her off with a packed lunch!
I wouldn’t consider packed lunches for Master Frugal because again, at £2.20 a day, I know I can do it cheaper myself by sending him with a packed lunch.
It’s not just the cost issue though although that’s a big factor for me!
Master Frugal is a fussy eater and on the two occasions when he has forgotten his packed lunch in the last few months (yes, twice) he hasn’t really liked what was on offer so has hardly eaten hardly anything and been starving when he got home.
I don’t like the way the dinner ladies tell him he has to try things but he really doesn’t want to as that puts him off trying things with us at home although I do appreciate that they can’t let a child have an empty tray. A packed lunch means that we don’t have to worry about that.
I much prefer him taking a packed lunch to school because I know exactly what he’s eating and I can vary it so he has different foods each day and I can use up leftovers in his packed lunch which makes it even cheaper.
When I’m feeling particularly organised, we bake packed lunch cake and cheese straws on a Sunday to last us for the first part of the week at least and if I’m cooking pasta for tea, I usually save a little bit to use for packed lunches the next day.
I think a packed lunch takes a little bit more organisation but it’s worth it to save so much money and to know your child is taking a lunch that they will eat and more importantly, enjoy!
If you’re still undecided, here’s last years packed lunch vs school dinners post including a costing of how cheaply you can make a healthy nutritious packed lunch and if you do decide on packed lunches you might find this post helpful as it includes 50 nutritious and frugal packed lunch ideas.
Are you a packed lunch or a school dinners family?
Don’t forget to add your posts to the Back to school linky over at Jen’s blog while you’re there!