Does your child's school offer optional purchased lunches & snacks?  Do you budget for your child to participate?

My children's school has optional $2/slice pizza every Tuesday and has a optional hot lunch once a month plus some other days of optional popcorn, hot chocolate, etc.  These are fundraisers for the school.  I do allow my son to purchase the pizza sometimes.  I find that the hot lunch days are very expensive at a minimum of $8 each, so he has never participated.  

The school also has a fruits, veggie & milk program run by the Agricultural Council that happens every 2 weeks & is free to all students in the school.  They get a piece of fruit or a veggie & a container of milk.  

Original Post

My younger son's school has lunch service done by a caterer, he is not interested and I briefly worked for the caterer and knowing how he prepared the food, didn't let my kids buy lunch.  $8 is very expensive. That is crazy!

If our school offered free fruit and milk, my son would take the fruit.

I pack my kids lunches, even my high schooler. They make their breakfast and lunch on the weekends, so are very capable. I rather they get a bit more sleep so I do pack their lunch, neither buy. I can send better quality food for a lower cost than hot lunch. So no budget other than the occasional bagel day purchase. 

Nicole posted:

Does your child's school offer optional purchased lunches & snacks?  Do you budget for your child to participate?

My children's school has optional $2/slice pizza every Tuesday and has a optional hot lunch once a month plus some other days of optional popcorn, hot chocolate, etc.  These are fundraisers for the school.  I do allow my son to purchase the pizza sometimes.  I find that the hot lunch days are very expensive at a minimum of $8 each, so he has never participated.  

The school also has a fruits, veggie & milk program run by the Agricultural Council that happens every 2 weeks & is free to all students in the school.  They get a piece of fruit or a veggie & a container of milk.  

I budget one meal per week for each child. They get the freedom to choose which day and it allows me to manage a budget for lunches. I send them to school 4 days a week with a packed lunch and portion controlled snack sizes to keep most snacks between 10 and 25 cents. Packing a lunch costs around $1 for us, which is a lot less than the $3+ for school lunch depending on the school. 

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