Frugal Lunch Time Style

School is going to start in our area in two weeks. So I, the novice mother of a soon to be kindergartener, just went school shopping last night with my daughter for the first time. I was amazed with how picked over the school supplies were! I guess next year I'll go a little earlier... but the one thing I was really surprised about was the lunch boxes! They were not "green" and were either a thinly veiled advertisement or too expensive. Since I want to send a healthy lunch to school for my daughter on a daily basis I know she will need a nice one that will last. While I would LOVE to get a Laptop Bento style lunch box, I just don't have the funds to buy one right now. So what is a frugal mom to do?

Break out the sewing machine! Actually... Before I powered up the sewing machine I did my homework. I googled "lunch bag patterns" and found a variety of free patterns online. There are lots of really unique ones out there. As fun as it would have been to sew a really funky one for her, she is only 5 yrs old and it will be taken to school. So I wanted something a little more functional and durable. I ended up taking a basic lunch sack pattern and tweaking it by adding handles, snap closure and a vinyl liner. My daughter had a choice between 4 different fabric scraps.

Letting her make some of the choices and help sew it really helped her to take some ownership in the bag and ultimately really like it.

Now that she is outfitted with her "cool bag she helped make" she is excited about taking a healthy lunch to school in style and I'm happy it only cost me a little bit of time and talent.

Here is the finished product. Next is reusable bags and wraps... After I mend the pile of school uniforms I received for a quarter each because they needed some repairs (almost all buttons). Ahhh, the money you save when you can sew.


beachgirl said...

Kudos on making your daughter's lunch bag.:) I'm thinking of doing that for my 2 school age kids once the ones they've been using the last 2-3 years become beyond repair. It amazes me how many parents buy brand new book bags and lunch bags each year for their kids then throw them out at the end of the school year. We bought a LL Bean backpack for my daughter 4 years ago and it's still going strong.

Mrs. (not) the Jet Set said...

I'm also amazed with the wastefulness of some people when it comes to school. When my daughter was looking at backpacks this year I would not let her get any with what I call an "ad" on it or anything else I thought that she would not like in a couple years. We ended up get her a nicer Hanna Andersson one that will last many years.

I've often wondered the thought process of some parents when they say that they teach their kids to live green but then their kids have 6 backpacks and a dozen lunch boxes. What is that teaching them? Hmmm... Maybe this rant should be saved for a new post!

Thanks Beach Girl!

Funny about Money said...

Good for you! What a smart and clever idea.

I remember being shocked at the cost of cheesy lunchboxes whose main purpose apparently was to carry advertising messages into the grade schools. Worse, my son's classmates competed to carry the MOST current ad for this, that, or the other movie or television show, so if I gave him his lunch in a paper bag, he put up a fuss.

Mrs. (not) the Jet Set said...

It's sad how our kids are used and marketed to in so many ways. I don't think that most parents even see it. I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone in my stance against the marketing on lunch boxes!

Thanks for sharing Funny about Money!

GreenStyleMom said...

cute, cute bag! i might have to give it a try!

Gotcha for the MIFS blog carnival tomorrow. Would love a link! Thanks!

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