School lunchbox prep - What is convenience costing you?

Ceyda Erem

Thursday 01 February 2018

While parents across the country are preparing to kick up their heels and farewell their kids to another school year, they’ll still have to face the dreaded morning hustle of getting everyone out the door on time.

School lunchbox prep - What is convenience costing you?

But with this rush comes the reliance on convenient, pre-packaged snacks thrown into school lunch boxes, which are subtly burning holes in the wallets of Aussie parents.

Mozo crunched the numbers on popular pre-packaged snacks at supermarkets, aside the same snacks prepared at home and found a price difference of up to 278% with potential savings of more than $1,000 - proving that a little DIY can go a long way.

RELATED: Mozo research discovers the real cost of getting fit in 2018

Cheese and crackers were the most expensive snack, setting Aussies back around $2.21 per ‘pack’, followed by flavoured yoghurt at $1.04 per ‘pack’.

And while this may seem like a few measly dollars, over the school year, if parents were to prepare these snacks themselves, they’d be saving $453 and $213, respectively.

“Over the course of a school year the savings really start to add up, with $146 saved by spooning fruit salad into a leak proof container and $213 saved portioning out yoghurt yourself, rather than reaching for yoghurt pouches at the supermarket,” said Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont.

Pre-packaged snack price premiums 

For parents looking to further plump up their savings, Lamont encourages Aussies to consider investing in containers and plastic bottles, which can last well over the lifetime of a typical school year.

“There are now plenty of affordable reusable containers, lunch boxes and bottles to choose from, including reusable easy to clean pouches for liquid substances like yoghurt. Dry items like crackers and sultanas can be easily popped into a small container or snaplock bag that can be reused each day.”

RELATED: The 2018 New Year’s Resolutions that could help Aussies save $30,000

Lunchbox tips from the pros to the newbies

If you’re a parent sending your child off to the school for the first time, staying on top of school lunches can be a daunting task. So we thought it might be a good idea to have a quick chat to some of the experts about how they tackle school lunches every morning.

Lynn James, Founder of mrsmummypenny.co.uk

“I started giving my three boys packed lunches this school year rather than school canteen lunches, this immediately saved me £15 ($26AUD) per week - £25 ($43AUD) school canteen lunches cost versus £10 ($17AUD) packed lunch).”

“I don’t go crazy with the amount of food in the packed lunch box, there will always be a sandwich, two pieces of fruit or veg and a small treat. I buy “Super 6” which costs around 49p (86 cents) for a bag of fruit and veg from Aldi and big multi-packs of crisps or treats to keep the costs down.”

Clare Curran, Founder of budgetmums.com

“Buying family sized packs of goodies and dividing them up myself helps me save a bundle in the long run. I also stock up when my child’s favourite snacks are on special, but make sure to check the used by date. It’s not really saving money if they won’t all be eaten before they go bad.”  

Need to get the most out of your savings to get through the school year? Check out our high interest savings account tool!

Compare today's top savings accounts

Back to top