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September 2009 Issue
Back to School Lunch Essentials
by Shelly Hill
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Every year when it's time to send our children back to school, one of the many items we need to purchase are back to school lunch supplies. If you are looking to save money through out the year, consider investing in non-disposable products.

Here is a list of products you will need for those school lunches.

  1. A good lunch bag or box. I don't recommend metal lunch boxes as they are hard to clean and can get rusty and dented over time. Invest in a fabric insulated bag that can be washed or a plastic lunchbox that can be hand washed.

    You can purchase a nice bag or box for under $20 at most stores. This is more earth friendly and more economical than using disposable paper bags.

  2. Consider purchasing plastic sandwich keepers that are reusable and will keep the sandwich protected. There is nothing worse than a squished sandwich. This sandwich keeper will pay for itself within 8 weeks compared to using plastic baggies.

  3. You will need some plastic snack cups or side dishes with airtight and liquid tight seals. You can pack applesauce, mini salads, fruit snacks and side dishes in these containers. I recommend picking up four of these styled containers.

  4. Purchase a package of reusable forks and spoons. You can pick these up for less than $5.00 at most stores. Have your child bring them home every day so that they can be washed and reused.

  5. You will need to purchase a reusable ice pack for each child that will be packing his or her lunch. I like to keep several ice packs in my freezer at all times, that way when one ice pack is freezing, the other one can be in use.

  6. I recommend purchasing a small beverage bottle with a liquid-tight lid. I like the ones that are designed like a small sports bottle with a drinking spout. You can then send your child to school with homemade beverages or fruit juices that you make yourself or purchase in bulk.
By investing in quality reusable plastic lunch products, you will be saving money and our planet. Make your list and take your child with you when you go out shopping for these products, let them participate in selecting the fun colors that they enjoy.



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