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Lynn James, 42, has revealed how she spends a mere £9.41 each week on school packed lunches for her three boys, working out on average at 62p per child per day.
Most parents understand the stress that goes into preparing school lunches; it’s often a struggle providing something that kids will like, let alone doing it on the cheap.
And, with the national average cost of school dinners at £2 per child per day, many parents are turning to homemade lunches to try and save money.
Lynn, an online financial expert who goes by the name Mrs Mummy Penny, is saving hundreds of pounds each year by following some very simple money saving hacks, which she recently shared on her personal finance and lifestyle blog.
Firstly, Lynn began saving money instantly when she switched supermarkets, ditching the ‘Big Four’ and shopping at Aldi.
She also swapped brand names for supermarket own labels and by doing this alone, has shaved a hefty £40 off of her weekly shopping bill.
She also recommends buying in bulk and stocking up on items when they’re on special offer.
A great way to get kids thinking more about their food is to include them in the making process, and Lynn makes sure that she gets her boys involved.
Dylan, 11, Josh, 9, and Jack, 6 regularly assist in the kitchen and love to help prepare their own meals.
She told The Sun: “My boys actually prefer packed lunches to school dinners, occasionally they get food they don’t like so would rather have the things they like in a lunchbox.
“They love being involved in the making process, particularly flapjacks. This makes them more likely to eat them.
“A batch of 15 flapjacks costs just 10p each and takes just 5 minutes to make and 30 minutes to bake – easy!”
Lynn’s 5 top tips for saving money on food:
1. Work out your budget
How much can you actually spend on food every month? Make a budget of your earnings and work out what percentage of that needs to be spent on food, as well as bills and other expenses.
2. Cook in bulk
This doesn’t just mean ingredients for packed lunches. Making breakfast and dinner in bulk can also save money, time and give you the chance to eat healthier.
3. Make money then save money
As well as being a personal finance expert, Lynn makes money in loads of different ways – from online surveys, clever credit card spending and even becoming a contestant on The Chase!
4. Look at where else you can save
This thrifty mum is a top money-saver when it comes to food. But she also advises looking elsewhere in your expenses to save money – such as installing a Smart Meter and shopping around for the best deals on gas, electricity and insurance providers.
5. Invest in reusable items
Lynn sends her kids to school with reusable water bottles and their food wrapped in bees wax wraps. This means she isn’t spending loads on juice boxes and cling film, while also saving the environment.