School lunches: What’s the price tag of convenience?

Photo: Bigstock Photo


NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– With the kids back in school, your grocery store cart is likely getting filled up with snack packs and lunchables for the kids. You’ve likely heard there’s a “price on convenience” for these items.

You’ve always been told it’s cheaper to buy in bulk than individual snack packs because there’s a price for convenience, but what it the price tag on convenience? We decided to buy these items and put it to the test.

“Buy in bulk” they say it’ll save you money. How much money? Well, that’s what we’re going to find out. Goldfish and peanut butter Ritz sandwiches are popular back-to-school snacks so we bought bulk and individual packs to find out what’s a better deal and by how much!

Related: Save $10 a week on school lunches this year

We set up shop at News 8, counted out the Goldfish that come in the snack packs and divided up the bulk to make our own. Same for the Ritz snacks. We just make our own out of a jar of peanut butter and crackers. Took about 20 minutes to get them all divided … then we had our results.

We spent $8.00 on bulk Goldfish and $5.50 on the individual snack packs. After dividing them up we found you’ll get more than 3 times the number of fish packs if you buy in bulk. You’d have to spend $16.50 to get the same number of Goldfish in pre-packaged snack packs as you get in the bulk that we spent $8.00 on. Convenience in this case is more than double the price!

As for our peanut butter crackers, the pre-made sandwiches were on sale for $2.50. We spent about $5.00 on a big box of crackers and peanut butter. In this case, the price of convenience is not as clear. We made 12 more sandwiches, still had half a jar of peanut butter left over and the sandwiches are a bit bigger but the real savings would come when you buy another box of crackers and finish the remaining peanut butter!

Doing it yourself can ultimately save some money every week which adds up over the course of a school year. We’re thinking, probably in a weeks’ time, $5-$10 a week. But in a months’ time that can add up and in a years’ time that will definitely add up.

And if you know of another creative way to save, let me know about it so I can pass it on to other moms.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s