Back-to-School Lunch Without Breaking the Bank

As we close out July and transition into August, many of us are starting to shop and make plans for back-to-school. And with grocery prices higher than ever, it can seem stressful to think about the burden of packing nutritious lunches for your kids. Many people think that eating healthy is too expensive, but the truth is, you can make lunch healthy and delicious without breaking the bank. Here are some budget friendly options so that you can get a nutrition bang for your buck at the grocery store!

Canned Tuna + Crackers

Canned fish is cost effective, requires little to no prep, and provides us with heart healthy omega-3s. Look for those that are packed in water, and watch for sodium content on pre-flavored packages. Pair tuna salad with whole grain crackers and veggies, a side of fruit, and a string cheese, and you have an easy, relatively cheap and well-balanced lunch option ready to go.

DIY Hummus

Buying pre-made hummus can be expensive. But the good news is, you can easily make hummus at home to pinch a few pennies! Plus, you can customize the ingredients to your (or your kids) preferred taste. All you need is canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans, tahini (which can be optional), lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and whatever seasonings you prefer! Serve it with pita bread and fresh veggies, such as carrots, celery, or sweet mini bell peppers.

Boiled Eggs + Peanut Butter Toast

Eggs and toast don’t have to be only for breakfast! Boiled eggs are an excellent high-quality protein source, are inexpensive, and easy to pack for lunch or snack time. Pair with whole grain toast filled with peanut butter and banana!

DIY Lunchables

You can easily make your kids lunchables at home to save some money. Purchase lunch meat from the deli counter and a block of cheese to cut into cubes. Pair it with whole grain crackers, and whatever fruits and vegetables you have already around the house.


Not only do most kids love quesadillas, but they’re easy to make and can be nutritious. Start with a whole grain tortilla, cheese of your choice, protein, and add in some refried or mashed black beans for added protein and fiber. Pair with a side of salsa or guacamole (which can also be homemade!). Bonus points if you sneak in a few veggies, like peppers or onions!