Simple and Affordable School Lunch Ideas

October 28, 2019

Culture, Opinion

Quinoa salad is another healthy and cheap alternative to common school lunch food. Photo by: Jasmyn Rangel

By Jasmyn Rangel

If you are running out of school lunch ideas or are just tired of the limited and expensive food options at ASKs food truck, here is a list of easy school lunches that are easy to make and cheap. 

The recipes will also include alternative ingredients for individuals who are vegan and vegetarian. The total cost for all the ingredients to make the meal are more expensive than the Ask food truck because it makes several servings but each serving is a significant amount cheaper. Each recipe also has a great variety of ingredients which are not present in meals at the ASKs food truck.  



Main Meal Original Version Vegetarian Version Vegan  Version Try….


-Makes about 2.5 servings

-Shredded chicken 8oz

-Bell pepper (sliced)

-Shredded cheese of your choice 

-Chopped Spinach 12oz 

-Sliced tomato 

-Vinaigrette of choice 

-Sliced avocado 

-Whole wheat or flour tortillas 

-Substitute chicken from grocery store or crispy baked tofu -Vegan cheese 

-Substitute chicken from grocery store or crispy baked tofu

-Vegan vinaigrette, ranch or sauce of choice

-Corn or blue corn tortillas

-Using your favorite ranch or sauce instead of vinaigrette

-Melting the cheese before putting into wrap

Avocado Sushi  -Makes about 3 servings 

-Shredded carrots 

-Japanese short grain rice 

-Sushi seaweed (nori) 

-Soy sauce 

-Avocado (sliced) 

-Cucumber (sliced)

-Bell pepper (sliced)

x x -Using different vegetables to make the sushi

-Eating with a side of chickpeas for protein 

Burrito  -Beans 


-Green or red chile or both 

-Ground beef



-Substitute meat crumblers from grocery store or tofu -Vegan cheese 

-Substitute meat crumblers from grocery store or tofu

-Frying the burrito
Bagel sandwich  -Everything bagel 


-Avocado, cream cheese or both

-Sliced bell pepper 

-Sliced tomato 

-Stripples veggie bacon -Stripples veggie bacon

-Vegan cream cheese with poppy seeds 

-Using or adding in different vegetables 
Basil Pesto Pasta


-Bow tie pasta 

-Basil pesto 

-Cheese of your choice 

-Cherry tomatoes 



-Slice veggie hot dogs or add in crispy tofu cubes flavored with garlic powder  -Vegan pesto sauce

-Vegan cheese 

-Slice veggie hot dogs or add in crispy tofu cubes flavored with garlic powder 

-Using another pesto

-Adding in other vegetables z

Avocado toast -Toast (whole grain bread with seeds)


x x -Adding in other vegetables such as bell peppers
Quinoa salad -Quinoa 

-Avocado (chopped)

-Bell peppers (chopped)

-Cucumber (chopped)

-Cherry tomatoes 

-Stripples veggie bacon or cubes of crispy tofu -Stripples veggie bacon or cubes of crispy tofu  -Using basmati rice instead of quinoa

-Using a vinaigrette 


Ask Food Truck prices (one serving)

Burritos $5.00

Frito Pie $4.00

Cheeseburger $4.00

Green Chile Cheeseburger $5.00

Bacon Cheeseburger $5.00

French Fries $3.00

Chile and Cheese fries $4.00

Fiesta fries $5.00

Grilled Cheese $3.00

Grilled cheese and ham $4.00

Grilled cheese and bacon $4.00

French toast $3.00

School lunch Ideas Estimated Prices (Prices vary for each ingredient) 

Chicken wrap (2.5 servings) $12 total $4.80 per serving

Avocado Sushi (3 servings) $10.57 total $3.50 per serving

Burrito (4 servings) $10.4 total $2.60 per serving 

Bagel sandwich (6 servings) $12.42 total $2.07 per serving 

Basil pesto pasta salad (6 servings) $11.62 total $1.90 per serving 

Quinoa salad (5 servings) $9.74 total $1.90 per serving

Vegan everything bagel sandwich with avocado, bell peppers and vegetarian bacon strips. Photo by: Jasmyn Rangel


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One Comment on “Simple and Affordable School Lunch Ideas”

  1. Marian Qiqieh Says:

    Love this idea! Especially since the food truck has kept getting more and more expensive, these are very yummy and healthy options!!


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