Reader Post: School Snack Prep and Family Routine

Here is a Fabulous break down of how our Reader Vera Preston prepares school snacks. Not only is it organized, simply for the kids and affordable, she involves the kids in all aspects of preparation as well. THANK YOU Vera for sharing your tips!
~ Ruth Ann

 We start our back to school routine at the store.  We shop for the best deals we can find and try to keep snacks under $0.25 per portion.  Now my kids are teens that is $0.50 per portion maximum.  When the kids were smaller this was done at store mostly by myself.   I try to stock a variety and keep enough in home for at least 3-4 weeks.  So if an emergency comes up i have loads on hand to keep going.(or scheduling conflict with no time for grocery shopping.)  Welcome to Football season in our house.
  My kids have been helping since they were 5.  Simple things as bagging a bigger bag of cookies into smaller packs of 2 in a snack bag.  As they get older they take on more of the responsibility and now help with finding the snack foods and figuring out the cost without asking me now.(which also helps with math and future budgeting)  They are learning without even knowing it.    We always treat it as a game to find the best buy.  Plus any money saved can be used for extra’s.  Kids love their cell phones.  So they see the need for saving money and getting rewarded for it.  We don’t save we don’t have extras.  Other ideas are movies, extra treats.  Everyone is rewarded for working together as a family.  The key is simplicity.
We start every Sunday simply by getting our containers ready.  I was lucky this year and found “plastic shoe boxes” at home depot packs of 2 for .87 with lids.  We also use empty sturdy cardboard boxes.  For fridge i went to dollar store and got some plastic ones for 1.50 that were tall to hold cheese strings and yogurt tubes.  We line them up on the counter.  Next we empty the fridge and cupboards and taking stock items and putting on table.  I include kids all the time since they are going to be eating it and that way they know what is available.  
 I also bake every two weeks and freeze into four containers with 24-36 cookies in each container so there is a variety in each box and we thaw and bag these as well.
Next we get out snack and sandwich bags out and start making packages and making rows of same snack…separating flavors since in our house we have an extremely picky eater. You can use reusable containers as well.  
Some examples are:
 (Teens will be top snack portion and smaller kids bottom snack for portion pricing)
Field cucumbers bought for 2/1.00  makes 6 bags…..equals $0.17 per snack(this is half a sandwich bag)
                                                                            12 bags…..equals $0.09 per snack(using snack bags)
Baby carrots     $0.87 per bag………..3 snack bags full per bag  equals $0.29
                                                             6 snack bags full per bag equals $0.15
Kraft Rancher’s choice…on sale for $1.25 smaller bottle. ( makes 20 small containers equals $0.06)

Cheese string at costco 30 for $5.99 equals $0.20 per snack

This is my most expensive snack….but a favorite.  This is usually cheaper when I buy the pepperoni in bulk packages.
We had a party and paid a little more than normal because of time constraint.  Also can be used as substitute for sandwich with addition of crackers.
Pepperoni package $3.90 sliced into 8 bags equals equals $0.48
Cheese $3.75(500g)  1/2 block of cheese in 8 bags equals $0.24
Mix 1/2 and 1/2 into sandwich bags….could divide these into smaller snack bags for smaller children and cut cost in half.
Crispy Mini’s(favorite in our house)
$0.87 at giant tiger…..divide into two sandwich bags equals $0.44 per bag
or divide into six snack bags equals $0.15 per baggie
This is one item I stock literally over 30-50 bags when on sale for this price….usually will get me through till after Christmas for January specials to come back on.  I never buy them for more than $1.00 per bag.
Nutri grain bars.….loveeeeed this years offer
$2.00 for 8 at superstore
$16.00 for 8 boxes equals 64 snacks equals $0.25 but don’t forget the $10.00 back in gas cards $0.10 per snack……doing happy dance.
Mini Ritz…
$5.99 for 30 personal pc offer of 800 pts per box is $5.19 which equals $0.34(my kids take two) 
or $0.17 per package
Choco max were on sale back in April $1.97 for 6
I had $1.00 off coupons and got them for $0.97  equals $0.16
(check these not all flavors were peanut free)
Kirkland granola bars 64 for $8.99(sometimes cheaper)
equals $0.15 and peanut free.
We had leftover bags of chips opened.  So we dumped those into sandwich baggies
for lunches.  
Pudding at costco on sale for $6.99 for 36
$0.19 per cup
Clementines in containers(peeled)
20 for $6.99 equals $0.35
Juice boxes….rougemont is on sale at costco for $6.99 for 40
even with deposit this works out to be $0.27 each.
I bough six cases. 

** I always put an extra 5-10.00 per pay in my savings account to do massive stock up in August/September.  This is the best time to stockpile for school.  
Ice tea is a favorite and costco had nestea ice tea mix on for $4.97 for 2.2kg…..bought 30 for the next year.  
Now i don’t pay $8-10 for a can of mix ever.  I have done the costco ice tea for the last six years.  Plus kids can refill containers with it for school or water.(they do both depending on how they feel) I make 11 liters at at time(bought container at costco for $18.97 and lasted for 5 years has the spout on it)
Thanks for listening.
Vera Preston
Any questions please ask and someone will always have an answer.  We are all here to save and help each other out.

3 thoughts on “Reader Post: School Snack Prep and Family Routine”

  1. Very impressive! ! Thanks for sharing your tips! I do something similar and I also do baggies of sunflower seeds (I mix one big bag of salted and mix with two unsalted bags..still very good but lower in sodium..then I divide in small snack baggies). I also do Pretzels bags that I buy at Dollarama or that i buy when on sale.. 🙂

  2. Thank you for such a comprehensive breakdown of your method for getting everything ready, and for the prices per serving! 🙂 I often wonder if it&#39;s worth getting a Costco Card (only 2 adults + 1 child in our house) and knowing some prices can help us make a decision. <br />I use a system similar to yours for snacks: we get them ready over the weekend for 1 to 2 week at a time, and I let her

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.