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School lunches at £2 - but can you really do a healthy packed lunch any cheaper than this?

(18 Posts)
Podrick Sat 06-Sep-08 12:03:23

I am wondering if a healthy packed lunch costs more or less than school dinners?

jellybeans Sat 06-Sep-08 12:13:23

I think you can do it for less but it is more hassle!!

themildmanneredstalker Sat 06-Sep-08 12:15:29

of course you can!!!!

and while it might not be as convenient it is definitely preferable i think.[for my children anyway]

cheesesarnie Sat 06-Sep-08 12:16:47

£2 a day????????blimey.yes you can much cheaper!

Snaf Sat 06-Sep-08 12:19:09

Loads cheaper! I would never shell out £2 for the supposedly 'healthy' stuff they serve at ds's school when I can do it myself for less and ensure that it actually is nutritionally sound.

MaryBS Sat 06-Sep-08 12:20:59


An example lunchbox for us would be a sandwich, apple, carrot, fromage frais and a bottle of tap water. It really doesn't bother my kids there are no treats in there. Treats we keep for home.

FAQ Sat 06-Sep-08 12:22:13


DS1's "regular" lunch box consists of Sandwich, banana, cherry tomatoes, crisps (I buy the massive multipacks that work out at about 10p each), and sometimes some yoghurt raisins.

He drinks Tap water at school.

FAQ Sat 06-Sep-08 12:23:10

oh and it's no hassle - DS1 makes his himself grin

Snaf Sat 06-Sep-08 12:25:37

Ds gets e.g: sandwich (organic wholemeal bread hmm, ham/cheese/egg mayo with cucumber/tomato/lettuce)
bottle of water or pure fruit juice diluted with water,
piece of fruit,
something like a flapjack/yoghurt/fromage frais,
lump of cheese/olives/carrot sticks

I'm not saying I relish the thought of doing it everyday for the next gazillion years but... We are on a v tight budget but there's no way I would swap it for school lunches.

NoblesseOblige Sat 06-Sep-08 12:48:41

ok you do the math -

ds's packed lunch will contain:
1 x cucumber sandwich
few x cherry tomatos
1 x yogurt tubey thing
1 x homemade cake/biscuit/flapjack type thing
1 x carton juice

bread = less than 40p a loaf (economy sliced or homemade)

yogurt = 5 for 99p

tomatos and cucumber = approx 99p each will last for the week plus
1 x cake( guess about less than 20p each to make)

carton of juice = ecomony pure juice is about 45p for 3

cannae be arsed to do the math (plus am v v bad at math!) but am fairly certain that clocks in at less than £2 per day.


Clary Sat 06-Sep-08 12:53:54

£2 is quite a lot. Ours are £1.55.

I have costed out a typical packed lunch for my 9yo DS and it costs about £2.

But I am happy to accept he eats a lot - both in packed lunch and at school.

Typically it would be two w/meal rolls with (nice!) ham; cherry tomatoes, cucumber; apple, satsuma, grapes, strawberries; couple of flapjacks; bottle of water. Cost it out (eg cherry toms are £1/pack and he'll eat 30p's worth; a slice of decent (ie British) ham is about 50p) and it costs more than you think.

Then there's the hassle - not just making it but making sure the grub's in the house! We had this over holiday one week and it did my head in.

<reads thread> think my DS1 eats a lot!

FAQ Sat 06-Sep-08 12:57:00

clary how do you get him to eat all that at school - my DS1 has just eaten a lunch similar in size to that - as well as a huge breakfast - and will doubt eat more dinner than even I manage tonight - but he just doesn't seem to anything close to it at school hmm

NotDoingTheHousework Sat 06-Sep-08 13:02:39

Message withdrawn

Clary Sat 06-Sep-08 13:04:27

well FAQ he doesn't have packed lunch at school y'see.

That was for a school trip/holiday club.

But at school yesterday he tells me he had fishcake, tried some spicy chicken, bread, spaghetti hoops, chips, peas, plus tomato and cucumber from salad bar; then fruit salad and cream and orange juice.

He's a big boy (I mean tall) - he grew 2 inches this summer and never seems to stop eating! grin

compo Sat 06-Sep-08 13:22:56

ours is £1.90 at day - so £9.50 a week
I think it is expensivebut I think it makes my life easier <lazy>

zookeeper Sat 06-Sep-08 13:27:59

I have stopped doing packed lunches beasue I found that I was going to the supermarket more often and therefore spending more overall so for me school meals at £1.90 are cheaper

Clary Sun 07-Sep-08 22:02:19

aha zookeeper, very good point! That's me too blush

ecoworrier Mon 08-Sep-08 10:22:56

Packed lunches can definitely be cheaper, and healthier.

My 3 have mainly-organic packed lunches and they cost loads less than school meals.

Sandwiches - home-made bread made with organic flour (bread costs less than 10p per person)

sandwich filling - varies but would never be more than 80p even for premium organic meat. Many fillings are veggie which are much cheaper, and could cost as little as 10-20p. Today for example was peanut butter - a smear even of organic peanut butter is hardly expensive!

Sometimes it's not sandwiches but another savoury - e.g. home-made pizza, really cheap.

home-made small 'treat' (flapjack, muffin, cake etc) - anything from 10-50p. Again, mainly organic ingredients.

Fruit - 2 portions, costing probably 30p each for organic.

So, it could be anything from 90p-£2.00 depending on what combination of things they have. I would say it averages more like £1.30-1.50. Obviously, choosing non-organic would bring this down a lot, so someone on a really tight budget could do it for very little.

And it's no hassle at all - I can make up to 5 in 10 minutes!

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