Cheap Lunch Ideas for Kids

Tuna salad is inexpensive when you make it yourself.
Tuna salad is inexpensive when you make it yourself. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

With the rising price of food and just about everything else, it’s no wonder more and more moms are searching for cheap lunch ideas. Contrary to what some may think about a cheap lunch, an inexpensive lunch can be just as nutritious as an expensive lunch. If you would like to save money, examine some cheap lunch ideas your kids can enjoy.

Peanut Butter Sandwich

For years, kids have enjoyed the taste of peanut butter. To this day the peanut butter sandwich is a popular kid’s lunch. A peanut butter sandwich costs little to make since you don’t need much of this high protein, high calorie food to make a nutritious sandwich. You can spread peanut butter on whole wheat bread and lay banana slices on the sandwich for added flavor and nutrition. Buy bread on sale, or from a bread outlet, to make the price of this lunch even lower.

Bagel and Cream Cheese

Bagels can be purchased hot out of the oven from a bagel store, prepackaged from a supermarket or frozen. You may find that some bagel stores sell their bagels for a reduced price after a certain hour, so look for this type of special to save money. A bagel spread with an ounce of cream cheese is an excellent cheap lunch idea many kids love. For sweetness, top the cream cheese with a tablespoon of strawberry or grape jelly.

Tuna and Chicken Salad

Tuna fish salad is a cheap lunch kids can have on top of torn lettuce leaves, or on bread. Buy canned tuna and lettuce when these foods are on sale. Canned tuna can also be mixed with elbow macaroni and mayonnaise. Chicken salad is cheap when made with chicken on sale. Include a fresh apple or an orange with this lunch. Shop around for apples and oranges on sale and compare the price of bagged apples and oranges to the price of loose apples and oranges.

Beans and French Fries

Baked beans are a cheap lunch idea that can easily be made by combining 3 cups of small white beans with 1/4 cup ketchup and 2 tbsp. brown sugar. Place tin foil over the beans and bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven until you see the sauce bubble. Cut a few potatoes into French fries, toss them with 1 tbsp. vegetable oil and bake them in the oven while the beans are baking. Serve with fruit cocktail bought on sale.


Eggs are cheap and versatile. For an omelet, beat one egg and fry in a pan with a slice of cream cheese added to it. You can also make egg salad by boiling the eggs, chopping them into small pieces and adding mayonnaise to the eggs. Serve on bread or with fresh cut vegetables. Serve sliced apples for dessert.

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