How often are you so busy during the week with practices, meetings, and school events that you just swing through the drive-thru on the way home because you are exhausted, it’s late, and you simply don’t have the time left to prepare a mean? I hate, hate, hate taking my kids for fast food. This is partly because it is so unhealthy but also because I’m cheap… er, I mean frugal. Luckily, there are ways that you can save money on food on the go easily (plus cut out all of the unhealthy calories that come with eating out).
Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission. Read the full disclosure here.
Have Snacks Available
This is super simple. Always have snacks (like these cucumber chips) readily available. Right now, we keep snacks in the diaper bag since we always have to make sure we have it, but as kids get older a small lunch box or bag will work. Keep it full of non-perishable snacks like homemade granola bars, cracker sandwiches, or crunchy chickpeas. Check your snack supply on Friday to make sure you’re stocked up for all of the activities you have on the weekends. Make sure there are enough for the adults as well. Hungry parents are just a likely to make poor food and financial choices.
Another way to save money on food on the go is simply planning ahead. Invest in some plastic food containers (like these adorable divided lunch containers I bought at Michaels on sale for $1.50 each (recently they were even cheaper) or these ones on Amazon). This takes a little more forethought but it is so worth it.
If you know you are going to be gone a significant period of time, pack meals for your family. This works out perfectly for us when we have to go to a school function and then straight to Bible study on Wednesdays. The kids eat their meals in the car on our way between locations. Again, perfect! I have actually been doing this so long that one night when I offered to take them through a drive-thru as a treat they chose the meals I had packed for them instead. I was blown away! It was proof, though, that this is a great alternative to eating out.
Weekly Meal Prep
If you pack lunches for your kids, spouse, or self each week, take the time to packs a few extra meals. Then all you have to do is grab them when you know you aren’t going to make it home in time for dinner. The extra meals won’t add that much additional time to your weekly prep and the money it saves you will be well worth it.
Also don’t forget about utilizing freezer meals and/or your slow cooker! These chicken nuggets can be frozen for a quick meal later or you can put a roast in the slow cooker that cooks while you’re away so you don’t have to wait once you get home. This is just as quick as waiting in line at a fast food restaurant but it will save you a ton of money and be healthier for your family!
Don’t Forget to Pin It!