Illinois mother of 5 reveals the secrets of cost-friendly lunches

With inflation hitting every American, making lunch for the kids will most likely be pricey this school year.

Illinois mother of five and YouTuber Meghan Birch joined “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday to share her best tips and tricks for trimming down on back-to-school grocery bills while also staying organized and efficient.

Birch’s first tip for today’s parents is to plan out lunch ingredients in advance — before hitting the supermarket.

The mother showed an example of a grocery list split into a table that separates each food item, such as fruits, vegetables and snacks.

Second, she recommended involving the kids in the shopping process, to ensure parents and guardians are spending money on food that won’t go to waste.

“Ask them what they like, so you’re buying things that they actually will eat,” she said.

Birch also suggested parents invest in reusable items such as lunchboxes, plastic containers and thermoses.

“You don’t have to buy plastic bags that are going to be thrown away,” she said.

“Especially if you have multiple children — that can really add up over time.”

Meghan Birch prepping her grocery list before going to the supermarket.
Fox News

Tip no. 3 is to consider buying food in bulk, since bulk items cost less per ounce or serving, Birch said.

Another way to save — her fourth tip — is to buy store brand items instead of name brand, which can save consumers money, according to Birch.

“The other day, I bought a bag of pretzels for nearly $2 less than the name brand sitting right next to it,” she said.

Meghan Birch's third tip to save money at the supermarket is to buy items in bulk.
Birch’s third tip to save money at the supermarket is to consider buying items in bulk.
Fox News

Birch’s fifth tip is to skip convenience foods such as pre-bagged, individual snack packs.

“You’re going to get more. You’re going to save more,” she said.

For her sixth tip, the mom encouraged parents to think outside the box when packing lunches.

This could mean packing leftovers in a thermos to keep the food warm, throwing in healthy pairings such as apples and peanut butter or carrots and hummus — or freezing baked goods and allowing them to defrost on the way to school.

Another easy way to save?

Meghan Birch tells parents to stop buying pre-packaged snacks and be creative when packing lunches.
Birch tells parents to be creative with packing lunches for their children.
Fox News

Send the kids to school with water in a reusable bottle — instead of juice or other beverages.

“Super cost-effective and you don’t need to worry about spills with milk and juice,” she said.

Birch’s final tip is to review what your kids are eating or not eating — to avoid wasting food in the future.

“Food waste is always going to be money waste,” she said.

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