February 11, 2012

Robbing Peter to pay Paul, or something like that

At the beginning of each month, Andrew sits down with the new school lunch schedule and circles the ones he wants to eat and crosses out the ones he doesn't. Those big X marks translate to the desire for a sack lunch.

School lunch is $2.25, and while I know that I can prepare him a sandwich, fruit and yogurt from home for less, I have to admit that when we encounter a week with multiple X marks across the lunch calendar a part of me winces. School lunch is easier - for me - than packing a lunch. And, at my core, I'm pretty lazy. Most mornings the prospect of spending $2.25 for him to eat a hot lunch and drink a little carton of milk seems like a good trade.  

When his lunch account balance dips below $4.50, the school district sends me a little love note reminding me that it's time to add money to his card. I got that call this week and when I logged in to make a deposit, I noticed that his balance available seemed like an odd amount. I went ahead and added what should be approximately three months worth of lunch money and then, just on a whim, went to look at his transaction history.

Imagine my surprise to see that there has been hardly a day in the last two months when his lunch transaction DIDN'T include either an extra side, typically in the form of an extra roll with butter, or an extra milk. I can get on board with a roll and butter and it's hard to argue with the extra milk. However, the extra ENTREE he's been adding to his tab? Well, now; those are adding up with their alarming frequency. 

This probably explains why his pants are all too short. Looks like it's time to do more early-morning lunch packing so we can save our pennies for new clothes.


Maria said...

An extra main dish...I'm guessing that's on chicken nugget day!!

Rosemary said...

That's truly a classic! No doubt he's more aware now that his mom is one savvy lady.

Amber said...

This blog makes me laugh, it is so funny how many similar situations we encounter as parents! Every time Connor asks to take his lunch, I try very hard to talk him out of it. Why? I have no idea. I mean really, it takes a couple of seconds to make his lunch, but the task seems so incredibly daunting. Most times Brad will make it for him anyway, so I really do not have much of an excuse. I guess with all the other bazillion things that we have going on, paying for school lunch just seems to be the best option.

I would love to see a breakdown of Connor's purchases. We too get "low balance" statements and I really don't pay attention to how much and how often I am sending lunch money with him (I probably should!) We always send $40 (a number that we have randomly established) with him for lunch money and every so often it seems that this happens pretty close together. A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from the lunch admin saying that Connor was -$10.00. I was pretty confused because the previous week I had sent a check with him. Upon further investigation, we found out that he had put the check in the front pocket of his backpack and forgot to turn it in. He did not even mention that he was eating sunflower butter sandwiches, cheese, and milk for lunch (what they give kids when they are neg. in lunch money.) I guess it did not bother him...gross! Needless to say, we now pay online!