If your child is headed back to school in a few months’ time, you have to begin shopping and planning for the school year.
Whether your child attends public or private school, making sure they have everything they need is an important role of a parent. Close to the top of your list may be your child’s nutrition.
In other climes, many students have access to free and reduced price meals that will help with the family budget and ensure that the child’s nutritional needs are being met.
But if you do not have access to these programmes or If you have been denied on an application, don’t give up. You may submit an application at any time during the school year as your situation may change. For example, if you become unemployed, your child may qualify.
However, if you will be providing lunch for your child, it may help to make some changes now that will help you survive the busy school year ahead. The following tips can help you get started.
Create a spending plan
Determine your household income. Track your monthly expenses. Discuss your goals, needs and wants, then write out a list of expenses that you know you pay every month (like a housing payment) and expenses that you have estimated based on your tracking.
Don’t forget to include the cost of school lunches. Then subtract what you plan to spend from your estimated monthly income. If you get a negative amount, you need to make some adjustments.
Plan your meals
One of the adjustments you can make to your monthly spending plan is saving money on food by preparing your meals. If you find that you are eating out too much, try making a meal plan of simple recipes for the week, then make a shopping list and head to the store. Try not to buy on impulse, if you are able, stick to the list.
Stay away from prepackaged meals
Another adjustment to your spending plan can be made if you discover that you are buying a lot of prepackaged, unhealthy foods for your child’s lunches.
This may be convenient, but you may be paying a higher price for the preparation and a potential health cost by serving less