Reprinted with permission from No-Debt Living, copyright 2000 No-Debt Living. Robert Frank is editor of No-Debt Living, www.nodebtnews.com, which provides financial, consumer and time-management news with a Christian perspective.

When it comes to packing lunches, single-serving food items are easy, convenient and cute. But they're also very expensive -- usually about 200% to 400% higher than a regular, family-sized item.
We've all seen them in the store: pocket-sized pizzas, peanut butter or cheese with crackers, fruit juice, pudding, soup, potato chips, etc.
A quick example: A pudding pack with six 1/2-cup individual servings currently costs approximately $2.39 at a major chain grocery store in the Pacific Northwest. If the same brand and quantity of pudding were made from a package mix at home, it would cost 75 cents. That's a 219% increase. Plus, many of these items include lots of saturated fats and complex preservatives that you're better off avoiding.
So, next time you're tempted, just say no and find a better alternativelike fresh vegetables and fruit. If you really want the puddings and juices, invest in a few lunch-sized containers, buy the economy-sized portions, and enjoy the savings.

For more money-saving ideas visit No-Debt Living, www.nodebtnews.com, where you can view more than 100 valuable articles and resources on financial, consumer and time-management news with a Christian perspective. Copyright 2000 No-Debt Living.