Ok, technically....$14.25. Any guesses to what that is? No, it isn't a pony. Or what we spend on coffee. Or any other frivolous spending. It is what we spend on buying school lunches PER WEEK. Say what???? I know! I was as surprised as you were!
The kids have the lunch calendar, and on Sunday night they write which days they would like to buy lunch (which is $2.25) and on the other days they bring a packed lunch and buy milk ($0.50). In an average week, they each will buy lunch 2-3 times. On a rare occasion, Bossy will buy 4. Sassy is much more picky, and can usually be counted on to buy on Friday (Pizza day), but is inconsistent how many times she buys. She really is more of a PB&J girl.
Typically I would write a check out for lunch tickets for the kids each week (we have to buy tickets for the week). Because writing ONE check confuses them, I would write two checks. Usually one check is $7.75 (3 hot lunch, 2 milk), and the other varies. I never really thought about it much. Maybe because each check was small. Maybe because it was just routine. But I just did it each week.
One of my goals this year is to use less checks. So I took out $20 last week when I deposited my paycheck, and we broke it into small bills. This morning I put the cash in each child's lunch money envelope, and the remainder in a third envelope to roll over to next week. And I only had $5 left!!!! WHAT??!!!!
This was an eye-opener to me. We have never limited how many times the kids buy lunch because 1) for K, 1st, and 2nd, it was only Sassy who bought lunch, 2) we are working on oral eating with Bossy, so if he wanted to buy lunch and would EAT it, we were all for it, and 3) it was easier for us in terms on having to prepare lunch for them.
If we limit them to 2 hot lunch a week (plus 3 milk), that is $6.00 a week per child. Forty weeks of school....so we are up to $240 for the year, per child.....or $480 for both. Almost $500 just for lunch! And that is if we limit them!!!! If you use the $14.25 we spent this week....we are up to $570.
Holy cow!!!! Granted, if you add up the ingredients for home-packed lunch (sandwich for her, turkey for him; chips; fruit; other snack item for "snack") I am not sure how much we are spending on that. I am pretty sure it is less than what we are spending on buying lunch.
I am a little torn, mostly because of Bossy. I want him to EAT. So I would rather not limit his buying. Sassy buys less than him, but I would hate to limit her even further just to to balance out his purchases.
Anyone else ever sat down and figure this stuff out??? How much are school lunches by you? Suggestions for me??
ETA: We have been paying this all along, so I am not worried about cutting it back. It was more of a surprise when I actually looked at the numbers. And I was curious if we were typical. And in case you were wondering, no....we don't qualify for reduced lunch.