The school my girls go to offers a milk program. For $2 a day you can get a serving of milk to go with your lunch, in one of those wee personal-sized cardboard cartons. They offer both chocolate and white milk, though my eldest daughter confided in me that no one ever takes the white milk.
I’ve been sending my daughter to school with milk in a bottle since kindergarten, and over the past four years we have experimented with several different types of bottles. Some didn’t keep the milk cold enough, and it spoiled. Others kept things cold but were too hard for her to open, or were difficult to clean when it came time to wash them out.
If I were to buy milk for both girls through the school I would be putting out $4 a day, a.k.a. $20 a week, for milk. Presumably chocolate milk, and I would be hoping they drink the whole thing because it’s not like they would be bringing home leftovers. I know that chocolate milk is just as good for you, but I always feel like if they are drinking the chocolate milk they will end up developing a preference for sweeter tasting things. So I prefer to keep chocolate milk for a sometimes treat, versus an everyday beverage. But despite all of that, I was tempted to give in and buy milk through the school this year because we had yet to find a milk bottle that we really loved.
Then Thermos sent us some Funtainer bottles to test out. I figured worse case scenario these would be the girls new water bottles (I’ve been sending my kids to school with one bottle of water and one bottle of milk each day). But of course I was also excited to test these Thermos bottles out for milk, and three weeks into our new school year I’m here to tell you they passed the test with flying colours.
Now instead of spending $4 a day on milk, I’m sending the girls to school with Thermos Funtainer bottles. Each bottle holds about 350ml of milk. Most days they finish it at school, but if they don’t they can finish it off at home with their after school snack. The Thermos Funtainer bottles do an awesome job of keeping the milk cold. Thermos claims the bottles will keep drinks cold for 12 hours. The milk is definitely still cold and totally drinkable when the girls bring them home, which is about eight hours after we pack their lunch sacks in the morning.
I’m actually ridiculously excited about having found bottles that the girls love, which stay cold, and which come clean when I wash them. Instead of spending $4 a day on milk I’m spending about $4 for three bags of milk, which lasts me the week. Instead of getting wee 250ml cardboard containers from the school, the girls are getting Thermos bottles full of 350ml of cold milk. Yay!
What about you folks? How are you saving money when it comes to packing lunches? Have any of you given the Thermos Funtainers a try?
I need to take back the dollar amounts part of this post. My daughter just brought home the school newsletter today and it says milk is $1. I don’t know if it was actually $2 last year, like I thought it was. Or if I had the wrong amount in my head all along. But it would cost $10, not $20, a week to buy my girls milk through school. Which is much more reasonable. However, we’ll still be sticking with our Thermos bottles, since the girls like this set up and I like not having to worry about sending cash to school with them.