My Costco Kid's Lunchbox Snack Ideas – $0.25 or less per serving!

Do you have a price point per item in your kids lunchbox? We TRY to stick to $0.25 per item (fruit, granola bar, sandwich, cheese stick, etc). Our goal is to beat the $2.50 hot lunch price. I shared this on Facebook yesterday and today I’m sharing some specifics of what our kid’s lunchboxes look like day by day.

Kleen KanteenFor starters we bought a decent water bottle that for the most part doesn’t leak – so instead of a juice box they get water every day.  A friend of mine suggested the Kleen Kanteen and they are amazing, only leak if they weren’t closed – duh!  They come in many colors too which our kids like.  They’re on sale right now for $11.99.

I decided to go with Costco as a price point.  When coupons and deals are scarce, Costco is our go-to for kid’s lunch items.  Here are several items that are on our rotation, and almost all of them are well below the $0.25 per serving price.  We typically send them with either a PB&J / Honey Sandwich or a Bagel.  Then we’ll add in 3-4 of the following items…

Philadelphia Single Serve, 1 oz Cream Cheese – $0.23
Nutri-Grain Bars – $0.27 each
1 ounce almonds – $0.27 (23 almonds)
2 ounces Kirkland Organic Salsa – $0.20
Treetop Apple Sauce, large 4pk containers $0.20 per 1/2 cup
Treetop Single Serve – $0.29 each 1/2 cup or 4 oz
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish – 55 pieces $0.15
Honey Maid Graham Crackers 2 full sheets – $0.15
Ritz Crackers & Cheese – $0.28 each
Annie Fruit Snacks – $0.32 each
Yoplait Go-Gurt – $0.24 each
Precious Cheese Sticks – $0.20 each
Hoodys Roasted in Shell Peanuts 1/2 cup – $0.11
Special K Chocolatey Pretzel Bars (current rebate item) $0.19 each
Nature Valley Granola Bars, crunchy 2pk – $0.26 each
Nature Valley Sweet & Salty – $0.26 each
Quaker Chewy Granola Bars (current rebate item) – $0.13 each
Frito Lay Single Serve Bagged Chips – $0.23 each
Kirkland Tortilla Chips  -$0.06 per ounce or 7 chips
Tree Top Fruit Snacks $0.13 each
Stretch Island Fruit Strips -$0.22 each
Shultz Pretzels – $0.06 per ounce

It seems that many of you send leftovers with your kids for lunch, I’m not sure why but we rarely have leftovers and if we do if wouldn’t be good served cold.  I’m curious to know what kind of leftovers you send?  I’d love to hear if you have a price point for kid’s lunches/snacks?

Here are a few other Costco posts that you might find helpful…

How to find Clearance items at Costco

(Updated List!) Items I WILL buy at Costco…

(Updated List!) Items I would NEVER buy at Costco…


  1. Dianne says

    I send leftovers with my daughter, and they are hot! I must say up front that she likes things luke warm. I put the leftovers into a microwavable Tupperware bowl and nuke it in the morning. The first time I also wrapped the bowl in foil for added warmth. I put it in her insolated lunch bag (no cooler bag) with a spoon and she was set to go! I put her juice pouch in the outside part of the lunch bag. She loves it! Especially when we’ve had pasta.

  2. Anonymous says

    I almost ALWAYS send left overs, most of the time I make sure to make an extra serving so we have left overs. Sometimes I will even pull out the lunch before I serve the dinner. Granted, we only have 1 daughter… who was spoiled by her old school in Lafayette Ca which had an AMAZINGLY wonderful hot lunch program. She is not a sandwich eater, doesn’t like jelly, and well, kinda like whole meals… So left overs is the way to go for our family. I found these thermos’s at Target

    I send hot food in them every day, and it is always still warm at lunch time. Soups, spaghetti. I’ll warm up the pasta, put the meat on top and it has a wide mouth, so you can easily put a fork in and pull it out. She decorated it with vinyl stickers, and it’s still going strong midway through its 3rd school year!

    I also got one of these, at target

    and I put milk in it the night before (store it in fridge), and it stays cold well through lunch.

    She carries it all to school in this… also from target,

    Neither of the containers have ever leaked.. and I just throw them in the dishwasher when she gets home and they are ready to pack up in the morning…

  3. gina says

    My kids are in Preschool so they still heat their lunches – so I do usually send in leftovers. Its also a nut-free school so that limits us as well.
    As far as dinner stuff that doesnt have to be reheated : pizza, chicken nuggets, ham

  4. Jo says

    My child’s favorite is a pancake dinner with leftover pancakes in his lunch!! He has had taco soup (mostly drained so it was the chunks), pasta with cottage cheese & sausage, hamburgers, bratwurst, chunks of chicken, whatever the cooked veggie of the previous night was (beans, carrots, corn, mixed veggies, salad etc!)

    He does enjoy a simple peanut butter sandwich too! Or other “go to” lunches are chunks of cheese with crackers, homemade trail mix (nuts, granola, raisins, dry cereal, etc)

  5. Tracy says

    Something to try a little out of your price point is the kirkland freeze dried fruit. It is crunchy like a chip and low calorie but tastes great. The box is 11.00 or 12.00 I think for around 30. It has apples, apple cinn, and a bannana/strawberry mix. ( I personally dislike all of these fruits conventionally dried) These are a great price compared to anything similar in the grocery store, and it’s just produce.


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