Budget preschool class snack?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by ptlycloudy, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. ptlycloudy

    ptlycloudy Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    232
    Any ideas for budget friendly preschool class snacks? I need to bring enough for 21 kids, no food with nuts or nut warnings of any kind. They want healthy snacks. I also have to bring a beverage, as well as all cups, plates , etc. needed for the snack.

    I have to do this once or twice a month, so I need to find out some good budget ideas. The cost of preschool already stretches us to the limit, so adding this to my grocery budget is tricky.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. virginiamama

    virginiamama DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    915
    Cheese and crackers, they can be served on napkins rather than plates. (Cheese cut in slices versus cubes - choking hazard.) You could cut the cheese as thin as you like and really stretch it. Make juice from concentrate and add more water than what is called for.

    Or... consider using heavier duty plates/cups and washing them. I have come across individual cups or sets of cups at Walmart or Walgreens that were extremely inexpensively priced. (Now would be a great time to check Walmart since they are clearancing out a lot of summer stuff.) That way you could just make that initial investment since this appears to be something you will be participating in often. Just bring along a small plastic tub or bag to place the "dirties" in to take home and wash. You could also use that container for storage at home. You'd have plates/cups to use for kids parties at home also.
     
  4. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,677
    Celery sticks with cream cheese (use napkins for plates)
    cheese and cherry tomato on a toothpick (if you have basil in your garden add a piece of that)
    pretzel sticks



    2% milk (small paper cups)
    orange juice from concentrate
     
  5. sunshine1178

    sunshine1178 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    551
    Pretzels
    Raisins
    Apple slices
    Goldfish crackers (do you have a Pepperidge Farm outlet nearby? very cheap)
    Mixed fruit salad

    I think the only way to provide drinks cheaply is by pouring individual cups from a big container. Would the kids go for "lemon water?" My 3 year old loves it. I add Simply Lemon to a 16 oz. bottle for him, but a few packets in a big pitcher would probably make it fun for the kids, unless you live where citrus is cheap, and you can use the real thing.
     
  6. StitchandPooh'sMom

    StitchandPooh'sMom <font color=magenta>Now if only I could think of s

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    6,650
    bananas - 69 cents a pound here

    string cheese- pretty cheap at Costco or if you can get a B1G1 sale at the grocery store

    small boxes of raisins - Sunmaid has 14 small boxes per bag for about $2-3

    Gogurt - about $2.50 for 8 tubes

    mini bagels with cream cheese - 10 pack of Thomas' for about $3, but you would need 3 packs unless someone was absent, $2 for cream cheese

    cheese cubes on pretzel sticks - "cheese popsicles" - Walmart has two pounds of cheese cubes for about $5

    When DD5 was in preschool last year, they had water or lemonade (like Country Time) for snack. When I brought snack, I'd bring one starchy or dairy food (Goldfish, Cheez-its, pretzels, yogurt) and one fruit.
     
  7. ceecee

    ceecee DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2001
    Messages:
    10,220
    Individual fruit cups (cut up fruit in disposible cups) then for a cheap fast and easy drink, Capri Sun or juice boxes. With pre-school I wouldn't use cups because it's too easy for spills to happen. Cut up cheese and crackers served on napkins or you can buy the Austin cheese crackers for $1.19 for 10 packs, most kids like those.
     
  8. VanessasMom

    VanessasMom Disney Bound!

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    790
    Please just be sure to bring enough for all the students. My daughter is in a preschool where we bring snack once a month and pay $225 per month for school. We do not have to bring cups/plates or napkins. They ask for donations of those items when/if you can. That being said, it irritates me to no end when I see a parent bring a tiny bag of goldfish to feed 25 kids. Come on. I spend roughly $10 per month on the snack and that includes one gallon of juice, healthy snack, and either cups or plates. I always bring enough snack for 2 days because I know they need extras for those days when parents don't bring enough. And, it's always the ones pulling up in the Mercedes who don't give an adequate snack. Drives me crazy. Sorry to digress.

    Anyways, I would reccommend mini muffins, fruit, mini bagels/cream cheese, gogurts, carrot sticks with dip, cheese and crackers, chex mix, string cheese, and dried fruit. If you are allowed to bake, the kids always love banana or zuchini bread. Also we are only allowed to do 100% juice already made in the jug or milk. Milk is usually cheaper.
     
  9. MommaSnowwhite

    MommaSnowwhite DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,023
    Popcorn with a fruit side like raisins
    grapes
    watermelon
    trail mix with cheerios, dried fruit (raisins, crasins, ect.) and kix
     
  10. SLDL

    SLDL DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    902
    Have you checked out the deal at Target this week? You could buy 4 boxes of Rice Crispie Treats (8 in a box) for $9 & then get a $5 Target gift card. That's what I'm doing for DD3 preschool snack next week. Boxes of Cheese-Its are also part of the same sale. There is a thread on here somewhere about it. Really, at $1 a box, you can't beat it. And if you don't need snack for a while, these things still last (that is if you can hide them from your family until you need them at school!)
     
  11. StillPinballFamily

    StillPinballFamily Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    431
    Boy, we've been there too! Aren't some people amazing? :sad2:

    Anyway, we sometimes took pudding when it was our turn and that was always a bit hit! The boxes of instant frequently go on sale and I gobble them up when they are 4/$1. Add your own milk (can even do powdered) and you can just spoon it into Dixie cups to serve.

    Popcorn was another cheap alternative. Kraft now sells their mac & cheese "cheese" in small canisters for about $1.69 to shake onto popcorn - the kids might like that.

    My last suggestion is for animal crackers with vanilla yogurt for dipping into. My kids devour this!
     
  12. ptlycloudy

    ptlycloudy Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    232
    Thanks for all of the ideas! I don't know why I just drew a blank at what to bring. I always bring more than enough food. I feel there is nothing worse than hungry kids!

    I will have to check and see if we can bake our own that would make mini muffins and quick breads a good idea. I have done the target deal but that is for at home only. There is a no sweets policy and rice krispies would fall into that.

    My dd likes the ideas given , I think I will have her help me choose what to bring each time.

    Thank you everyone!
     
  13. wickywinn

    wickywinn wicky

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    265
    Graham crackers are good as well or, even better, teddy grahams.

    Raisins, not so much guys. These are preschoolers we're talking about. Everytime I've sent raisin packs for the preschool classes all but maybe two have come back to me untouched. Even the teacher said "I can't blame them...I hate raisins too.".

    Has anyone seen tha packages of canadian bacon by the pepperoni packs in the cheese section? Those are great with ritz crackers and cheese as well. They're perfectly round and fit beautifully.
     
  14. kristilew

    kristilew DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,951
    Back in the day, dd's class loved sliced hard boiled egg for snack.

    Also, cheerios mixed with oatmeal square cereal. (Actually, she still takes that for snack in 5th grade!)
     
  15. Crystal0608

    Crystal0608 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Messages:
    969
    Probably some duplications here but here are some my kids like are mostly budget/healthy: cinnamon applesauce, jello w/ gummy worm in middle, pudding w/ cool whip, apples (since they are in season) cut up with caramel apple dip, grapes or other fruit w/ strawberry yogurt to dip, raisins, goldfish crackers, mickey shaped cheese, animal crackers w/ honey to dip, edible necklaces (like with cheerios or fruit loops), mini strawberry jelly/cream cheese sandwiches, popcorn, WW ice cream sandwiches- 1/4 graham cracker w/ ff cool whip frozen til set (my old bosses fav), mini rice cakes (I use pb with these, maybe flavored cream cheese or soybutter?), canned fruit drained in dixie cup, and 2 packs muffin mix prepared in 9x13 pan & cut in squares. My son likes to dip stuff, so you can omit if needed :). Some kids (like my dd) have texture issues, so maybe bring 2 options for the pickier eaters?

    I've never had to bring anything to school except to parties & everything has to be packaged/ no homemade items, but I love bringing stuff. If you have the same rule, maybe you could bring a big container of whatever to school & prep in class (like pouring applesauce in cups). Like a previous poster mentioned, use the little dixie cups. They are cheap & you can use for snacks & drinks. I use a tray (like a lunch tray) & line up the cups, then pour in the jello or pudding & let it set in the cups, then put in the fridge. If you have a cupcake tupperware thing, the cups would probably fit in there, maybe put empty cups to fill up space if needed for taking to school.

    I like the idea of bringing reusable plates since you will have to do on a monthly basis (if you have a dishwasher), CVS has cute summer themed plates 75% clearance right now. Cute little tea party plates might work too.
     
  16. StitchandPooh'sMom

    StitchandPooh'sMom <font color=magenta>Now if only I could think of s

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    6,650
    That's so funny you say that. My DD5 loves raisins and would request them in her lunch - maybe she is just unusual, but I never got any leftover raisins back in all the years I sent snacks for both kids. I did always make sure they were recently bought, since old raisins can be hard and gross. My older DD would have loved Canadian bacon, but DD5 would definitely not touch it. That's why it's nice to send at least two things - all kids have different tastes. :goodvibes
     
  17. sunshine1178

    sunshine1178 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    551
     
  18. pinkyinhere

    pinkyinhere Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Cheese and crackers
    homemade pudding
    homemade cookies
    Raisins
     
  19. wickywinn

    wickywinn wicky

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    265
    h

    Yep, I'm going on my 4th year sending snacks for preschoolers (two years with DS and now 2nd year with DS4) and everytime I send raisin packs most come back untouched. Most kids just don't like raisins (I know I'll hear from a couple now who swear their child loves them but we're not talking about one child, we're talking about a snack for the masses). My two youngest love them. Go figure. So I gave up on that since 2 out of 14-15 kids isn't practical. I'm also the room mother in ds4 and ds6 classes and have been since ds6 was in pre-K 3 year olds and it's the same every party or function. Certain things just sit on the plates uneaten. I'm on my 6th school year now and nothing's changed. Different kids, same picky tastes...They'll eat grapes though!

    4 year olds can be picky!
     
  20. wickywinn

    wickywinn wicky

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    265
     
  21. 2Blue1Pink

    2Blue1Pink Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    72
    I am going on my fifth year of sending in healthy snacks for preschoolers! Our nursery school requests that we don't send in the most frequent choking hazards which unfortunately include raisins, popcorn and even carrots. BOO!! :) One budget item I have used is canned pineapple served with toothpicks in the winter when fruit is expensive. The kids love the novelty of eating off toothpicks I think & it's easy enough to stock up on when there is a sale. This week Dollar Tree had family sized BOXES (not bags) of brand name Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Goldfish so I did stock up on those and brought them yesterday when it was our turn.
     

Share This Page