Inexpensive lunch ideas: Back to school edition

April 11, 2023 (Last Updated: July 25, 2023)

Back to school season is in full force and soon schools will reopen and it isn’t just a drag for kids but for parents as well. Packing lunches for the kids can be time consuming which often involves planning and therefore makes it tempting to send kids off to school with lunch money instead.

However, packing a lunch can save money and boost nutrition. Here are a few easy and cheap school lunches — and a few for lunches at home as well. Some are cooked in advance (leftovers are your best friend for packing lunches), so be sure to refrigerate them overnight.

Peanut butter sandwiches


Peanut butter sandwiches are the most inexpensive lunch idea, as you only require bread and peanut butter. Not only is it less costly, but it is also the quickest sandwich to make. Add healthy snacks such as fresh fruit and a min juice to go along with it.

But before we continue, are you looking for a new school for your child? If that’s so, get an idea of the cost with this list of the most expensive schools in South Africa.

 Pasta with meatballs


Leftover food is also a good source of lunch for kids as they are inexpensive, easy and less time consuming to prepare and saves you time in the morning. For example leftover pasta with meatballs while dishing up dinner. Leftover food is a great way to save costs on your child’s lunch box, as the food is already available.


Chicken sandwiches 


Leftover chicken is great for making school lunches. There’s a lot you can do with leftover chicken. You can make toasted chicken mayo sandwiches. All you require is brown bread, mayonnaise and chicken.


Chicken bread rolls or wraps 


All that is required is lettuce, tomatoes and brown bread rolls.  Again, always add healthy snacks such as fruits.

Be sure to check out Top 15 Boarding Schools in Gauteng.

ALSO SEE: Colourful lunch box ideas for work

Colourful lunch box ideas for work

Written by Johana Mukandila for Bona.

Feature image: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc via Getty Images

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