Convenient lunchbox snacks cost Aussie parents $3 billion a year, finds latest Mozo research

Tara McCabe

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Research from Mozo has found that Aussie parents could be spending a shocking $3 billion each year on prepackaged lunchbox snacks. 

Portioning out snacks into a lunchbox.

Mozo’s data experts found that, simply by buying snack food in bulk and portioning it out over the course of the week, Aussie parents could be saving $432 per child, per year on lunchbox snacks.

Back to school lunchbox savings

If you’re a parent, the end of January can be quite hectic. It’s back to school time, which means not only shuffling your - sometimes unwilling - little ones out the door, but also making sure they have everything they need. Do they have a 2B pencil? A hat? All the school books they need? Something to eat for lunch?

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Honestly it’s understandable that when it comes to lunchbox snack buying, you might be more inclined to put the most time saving option in your basket at the supermarket. But as Mozo’s research found, opting for convenience over food prep could be costing you dearly.

As Mozo Money Expert, Kirsty Lamont said, “Parents might be surprised by the accumulated cost of convenience, with packaged cheese and crackers costing $2 per serving, compared to just 51 cents when making at home from a packet of crackers and block of cheese. Dried fruit was also expensive when prepackaged, with sultanas costing 50 cents for an individual serve, rather than just 17 cents for a rational amount from a larger packet.”

In fact, by comparing the price of prepackaged snack multipacks with the price of the same volume of the same snack in bulk, Mozo’s data experts found that Aussie households could be saving, on average, $777 per year* on: cheese and crackers, sultanas, juice, popcorn and yoghurt.

Of all the everyday lunch snacks Mozo looked at, DIY cheese and crackers were by far the biggest savers. Prepackaged cheese and crackers could set parents back $300 per year, per lunchbox, while buying a block of cheese and a packet of crackers and portioning out an equal amount each day, could cost as little as $102 a year. That’s a saving of almost two thirds, just by avoiding the markups that come with expensive, albeit convenient, individually wrapped packets.

RELATED ARTICLE: How to boost your savings balance by $20,000 in 2020

Cost effective and educational

Taking the time to buy food in bulk and portion it out equally into your rugrats’ lunchboxes is a great way to save some much needed dollars over the course of the year, and it can also be educational and fun.

As Lamont put it, “Prepackaging snacks can also serve as a wonderful opportunity to involve your kids and make it a maths exercise. Using kitchen scales, ask them to measure out their snacks for the week and pack their lunchbox themselves.”

Plus, food prep can not only be a great way for kids to practice their basic maths skills, it can also teach them the value of money early on. And by making use of reusable containers, you can also reduce waste and teach kids how to be a little kinder to the environment.

The lunchbox economy

In the money-centred society we live in, it’s never too early to instil a sense of thriftiness in your children and make sure they know the value of money.

With this in mind, why not take a look at the children’s savings accounts below, if you want to start turning your little ones into mini-savers. Or alternatively, if you’d rather find a better place to stash your own cash, why not head to Mozo’s savings accounts comparison page to see what interest rates are on offer right now.

*Based on the average number of children per household, as stipulated in data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2018.

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