How to Save Hundreds a Year on Your Kid's School Lunch.

My son eats school lunch pretty much every day.

Even though he takes a home lunch every day.

Yes, that's right he eats two lunches a day.

Technically for free.

I know! (Monica voice)

So I'm sliding this $5 to you to keep quiet about this alright? Alright.

...

So the school lunch area has this table.

I call it the "free crap" table, My Boy says it's called the "share" table. Whatever.

It's for the stuff kids hate, that their parents make them eat (or not) and for the school lunches that other kids PAY for and don't want.

Daily I can imagine this table is covered with veggie sticks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets and fruit that us hopeless moms just fantasize our kids eating at school.

Newsflash: the only fruit 3rd graders eat is Fruit by the Foot.

What kid eats anything but Doritos and red Koolaid out of their sack anyway?

Oh, Koolaid is aging me, sorry...JUICE POUCH. Teeth rotters. Meal spoilers, you know what I mean.

So anyway, every day my son claims to finish his lunch and then stroll over to the leftover crap and have his 2nd helping.

One day he told me he ate FOUR cheeseburgers, and I asked, "at once??" and he replied, "no mom, I can only take one at a time!"

So he ate his bag lunch and then went back to the table 4 times.

I presume the lunch lady thinks the poor kid has a tape worm and just ignores it.

That's like $8 worth of school lunch, in one day!

Other days it's soft tacos, pudding, jello, corndogs.

We're literally saving hundreds of dollars all thanks to the dump table.

I'm proud of him for saving us money.

But if only he'd pick up some celery or salad sometime.

A mom can dream.

Luckily I found out those cheeseburgers are the mini-size so I don't have to worry about his hollow leg.

So I asked My Boy, do you ever leave anything at the table that you don't want, and he immediately shakes his head no, "I eat it all."

That's a lie. We find applesauce and peaches in his bag like twice a week. He doesn't leave it, he brings it back home. Brilliant.

14 supporters in group:

  1. Life in the mom lane said...

    Just wait till he's 16!!! The only "fruit" my son will eat is applesauce- forget raw fruits.. he just won't eat them- never has... veggies he's a little better-he'll eat a salad as long as there is nothing in it but lettuce & maybe some carrots- if you have french fries he's good. :)
    I think he is the king of picky eaters...

  2. Liz said...

    Wow! I wish our kids' schools had a sharing table!!

  3. Former Fat Chick said...

    WTF? I want a share table at work! I was voted BIGGEST MOOCH of my high school! hahahaaaaa

  4. SkippyMom said...

    What a cool idea - they wouldn't do it here tho' for the fear of the cross peanut contamination.

    One day I noticed my high schooler's lunch was double what she can normally eat and I asked her if she got that hungry. She said no it was just that someone always seemed to forget their lunch everyday and she was getting tired of sharing half of her normal lunch so they wouldn't starve. And it is one group of about five kids. Drives me bananas - how come we can make sure our kids always have lunch - but others can't?

    I finally had to ask her to stop because it was costing me big bucks.

  5. Jenni Jiggety said...

    That is kind of a neat idea! So much at school gets thrown away!

  6. Leah said...

    I've filled in as a lunch lady at my son's school. "the lady who walks around and opens ketchup and keeps kids quiet" I was always so disgusted at the waste that I witnessed! What a great idea to have the kids "donate" their food!!

  7. Michelle said...

    Wish my kids school did this! I hate when they throw stuff away. I would at least feel better if someone ate it!

  8. Patois said...

    A "share" table?! That is pure genius. The morons at our school try to make the parents who do "yard duty" at lunch -- something I do twice a week -- STOP sharing from going on. I find the anti-sharing forces absolutely ridiculous. The kids toss so much stuff into the garbage cans each and every day.

    I am so going to start advocating for the share table.

  9. Amy Amy Bo Bamey said...

    WOW, That's Cool! I bet my boy would be doing the same thing if his school had that option. We got to Mickey D's and my 8 yr. old son orders a Big Mac devours it and tells me he's still hungry after munching on the fries too. Boys.......are gonna cost us a lot of money on food!

  10. Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

    OMG, I need to suggest this to our school here! That's fabulous!

    BTW, respect knuckles to your son and his hollow leg. I'm sooo there with my 10 year old myself...

  11. Sadie at heyMamas said...

    That is totally funny!

    Sadie at heyMamas

  12. Meredith said...

    Ah, my ten year old kept raving about her school's salad bar...we never had a salad bar when I was in school...and I've never seen her willingly eat lettuce...turns out the big 'fad' wasn't salad. It was croutons dipped in ranch dressing. Bummer, I was so hoping something green was being consumed...BTW, how do you get a free crap table, anyway???? LOL

  13. Tiffany said...

    Sadly, legal liability issues probably prevent a lot of schools from taking this risk, however helpful it might be for the kids.

    @skippymom: Lots of reasons. For instance: they're that broke; they're single mothers working two jobs and lucky to squeeze in a few hours of sleep at night; they make lunches but have already left for work in the morning and aren't around to make sure that they get out the door (just to toss out a few). I'd be mighty proud of your daughter for recognizing that not everyone has the mom she does and trying to help take up that slack.

  14. Anonymous said...

    I would not want my child eating the food other children didn't want. I think it's more important to find some compromise about what to send for lunch so that they actually eat it. Fortunately, our son's preschool teacher (it's easier then) makes sure they all eat the healthful foods before their snacks, even things like goldfish. I really appreciate that they do that.

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