Kids School Lunch Ideas for Under $1 a Day

by contentwriter

Author: Alicia Carl

The beginning of the school year is often filled with unexpected bills. From paying for club memberships, to getting new clothes, and buying back-to-school items all over again.

These expenses can add up much faster than we expect, and stretch your budget thin leaving you in an undesirable financial situation. 

Luckily, you can save money during the school year to help alleviate the burden of these costs. 

There are lots of under $1 lunch plans for you to pack for your kids. In this post, we will be sharing five of these one-dollar lunch ideas you can use starting today.

Let’s get started!

5 Cheap School Lunch Recipes for Under $1 a Day

Pasta with sides – $0.69 per serving

  • 1/2 c. cooked pasta and red sauce – 0.30
  • 1/4 medium or large apple – $0.17
  • 1 oz. turkey slices – $0.12
  • 1/2 medium carrot- $0.10

You are probably thinking: Who would think to cook pasta in the morning for their kid’s lunch? I do – but that’s also why I recommend you pack this meal with some leftover pasta from dinner, or simply top it with your kid’s favorite pasta sauce.

Heat the pasta in the morning and keep it in a thermos flask to preserve its heat till lunchtime. Also, you can tune the veggies and fruits to your kid’s preference, just be sure to include a healthy amount of greens.

Egg salad/egg salad sandwich – $0.50 per serving


  • 2 eggs (Scrambled) – $0.20
  • 2 eggs (Hard-boiled) – $0.20
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise – $0.10

Hard-boil your old eggs right before they expire, and stir up a quick egg salad for a cheap and cheerful lunch. Mix the salad, the diced hard-boiled eggs, mayo, pepper, and salt to taste.

This lunch isn’t just tasty, it’s packed with protein, which supports healthy growth and brain development in children.

Eggs and toast – $0.93 per serving


  • A slice of toast – $0.21
  • 2 scrambled eggs, – $0.20
  • 1/4 strawberries – $0.25
  • 1/3 c yogurt – $0.27

This recipe is more of a think-it-yourself recipe. All you have to do is cook the eggs in whatever style appeals to your kid, then serve the strawberries and yogurt on the side.

Homemade Mini Pizza – $0.80 per serving.


  • 1 English bagel or muffin – $0.28
  • 1 oz. grated or cheese of your choice – $0.19
  • 2 tbsp. red sauce – $0.08
  • 1 clementine – $0.25

Cut your bagel or muffin in half, top it with cheese and red sauce, then leave to broil for almost two minutes to get the perfect homemade mini pizza.

You can also spice this traditional recipe by replacing the bagel or muffin with French bread, pita, or whatever bread you like. 

Quesadilla and beans – $.69 per serving


  • 1 tortilla – $0.17
  • 1 oz. cheese – $0.18
  • 1/4 c canned beans – $0.17
  • 1/4 of a cucumber – $0.17

Fill a large tortilla with cheese and cook it on a stovetop or inside the microwave. When your tortilla is ready, slice it into smaller bits to make eating it easier. 

You may dish it with beans or whatever sits well with you. Feel free to add veggies as you like, I’d recommend cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, and avocados. 

Also, don’t forget to wait till the quesadilla cools before packaging it. With that, it won’t soak and get all soggy from the condensation.


Finally, we’ve gotten to the end of the post. We hope you find each of these alternative lunch plans helpful.

Feel free to tweak the recipes a bit and use the ingredients you find appealing. But remember to ensure your kid gets the right amount of carbs, protein, and essential vitamins.

Bonus Tip: The next time you eat out, save the leftovers and bring them home. You’ll find that these make for excellent lunches, as it is what your kid ordered at the diner.

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