Lunch-time Math

Lunch-time Math - 1

Having this blog has made me curious enough to do something I never thought I would do … I bought a pre-made, child-marketed, “lunch”. I had some questions I wanted to answer:

What is the big deal?
Why aren’t people making it themselves?
How much more expensive is it to buy it pre-made?

I visited a No Frills and found that both brands – Lunchmate & Lunchables – were on sale for $1.97 (regularly nearer to $3.00). I decided to purchase the Schneider’s Summer Sausage Lunchmate with mozzarella, crackers, and a treat.

Lunch-time Math - 2

This was what I bought:
Summer Sausage – Schneider’s – $4.77/175g
Mozzarella – Black Diamond – $2.97/270g
Crackers – Ritz – $1.88/200g
Treat – KitKat – $2.88/210g

I did my best to get products that were as similar as possible while also being cost savvy. The total cost for the four items was $12.50.

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To accurately compare my home-assembly version against the store-bought version, I weighed out each item in the Lunchmate. I did a little bit of math and calculated the amount I would need out of my bulk buy to make one equivalent Lunchmate.

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My home-prepared version cost me $1.67 for what you see on the plate. The Summer Sausage package I purchased had 4 Lunchmate size servings plus 1 slice leftover. This means I could have 4 lunches for $6.54.

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I still had food leftover!

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For less than $1/serving, I have 6 snacks like this:

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Now, I calculated this based on the sale price of the Lunchmate at $1.97. At this cost, considering the labour, you are probably better off buying the Lunchmate if you have a craving for one. At the regular cost of $2.97, it is much better to purchase the ingredients and make your own.

However, I would get really bored, really fast if I was given the same combination each day. This would work best with a family with 2+ children if these ingredients were only used for this purpose.

Personally, I would use the mozzarella in a homemade pizza, give the hubby a summer sausage sandwich on whole wheat bread and save the leftover Ritz crackers and KitKat for treats. I don’t understand the thrill of the pre-prepared kid-friendly lunchbox. My daughter will be going off to school with her PlanetBox and with healthier fare.

Nutrition Reminder: This is not health food; it is a convenience food even when you assemble it yourself at home. This lunch is high in salt and lacks fibre from whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.

In the comments, please share articles that you read this week that helped you SPROUT some BALANCE! And remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance – or on Facebook!

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