Here are some ideas on how to save money on snack food from the ThriftyFun community. Share your own snack tips below.
I buy snacks at the dollar store. In addition to chips, pretzels, crackers, salsa and chip dip, I get dried fruit like apricots and pineapple, sunflower seeds, trail mix and craisins. Not all at once, of course.
When the boxes of cereal are sitting there with just a little bit in each one, I "clean" it up by mixing the cereal together and making them in squares like rice krispie squares. I just add them to marshmallows and sometimes I add nuts or raisins or other dried fruit that I have on hand. The kids eat them up and I don't have a pile of mostly empty boxes hanging around!
Instead of paying extra for the packaging, I buy the larger sizes of chips, raisins, applesauce and portion them out into individual servings. You can use sandwich baggies or get some small tupperware containers that you can reuse.
I'm a junior in college, so when I need to buy food for my room I always go to Sam's Club, where my parents have a discount card. It saves me a ton of money and I get about three or four times the amount of product for my hard-earned cash.
Make your own popcorn instead of buying expensive microwave bags. Growing up, this was our number one snack. I do mine on the stove but air poppers are easy and there are even ways to make your own microwave popcorn at home. It's even healthy if you go easy on the butter and salt.
Buy granola bars and other individually packaged snacks on sale, with coupons or at the dollar store. Then find a lunch box and put a couple of each kind inside. Store the lunch box in the car always. This way you do not waste money buying expensive snacks on the road! We have saved so much money doing this. We even keep water bottles in trunk for drinks or in case of a car problem.
By Starchild from Lamoille County, VT
Do your children beg for products emblazoned with their favorite characters? I know my children do, and it makes me crazy! The same yogurt can cost up to two dollars more because it has some kind of cartoon character on it. What I have taken to doing is going to my local Dollar store and buying several large package of stickers bearing my children's favorite characters. One dollar will usually garner me four sheets bearing about 15 stickers each.
I then will buy the lowest price brand of cereal, yogurt, body wash, shampoo, what have you, and place character stickers on the products. Voila, my sons are suddenly thrilled to be eating/ using the lower priced product! This probably wouldn't work for older kids, but it works usually for the preschool through early elementary set that whines/ begs for the "Scooby" yogurt, the "Shrek" yogurt, etc., anyway. Hope this helps!
Instead of buying the expensive pre-packaged diet snacks, I buy a large bag of good diet snacks and I measure the serving myself ahead of time and I put them in ziplock baggies. That way, I can just get them out and eat them or take them with me. Buying them by the big bag is much cheaper.
By Cindy Stout from Ohio
Stop buying candy out of the vending machines. Stock up on your favorite candy bars at the store when they go on sale for 3 for $1 or 4 for $1 - much cheaper than $.75 a piece in the vending machine.
Buy store brand crackers and cookies -they are usually about half the price with the same taste. Bake your own homemade cookies! Pick fruit in season and dry it yourself - or freeze it.
Keep a bowl of fruit on your table within easy reach for the children. Fruit is so much better for them to snack on that sugary candies, cakes, and cookies.
To make a simple sweet popcorn snack just sprinkle your freshly popped unbuttered popcorn with salt and sugar to taste. Kids love this and it is much easier to make than kettle corn or caramel corn.
Do you love the trail mix that you can purchase but don't love the price you have to pay? I make my own mixing walnut pieces, almonds, raw cashews, currants, raisins, small pieces of dried pineapple and sunflower seeds. Use your imagination and add or subtract what you like or don't like with my recipe. Every week I make a batch and have about 2 Tablespoons per day. Delicious, inexpensive and healthy too. Happy snacking.
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Feel free to post your ideas below.
Buy store brand crackers and cookies. They are usually about half the price with the same taste.
Bake your own homemade cookies!
Pick fruit in season and dry it yourself - or freeze it.
I buy a lot of my snacks in bulk at my local natural food store. This way I can buy just as much as I want and generally at a lower price. I actually buy a lot of my other dry foods this way as well. Saves me money and I get fresher, better quality foods.
Smoked Salmon for the WIN
I buy Smoked Salmon at Trader Joe's (not everywhere but getting there) for my son's school snacks.
At $13 a pound, an 8oz package is about $7. I cut it into about 10 slices, each of which goes in a ziplok snack bag, which keeps safely in his lunch bag and provides good "Brain food" for less than a dollar a day.
He also gets a Z-bar (by Clif Bar), 49 cents each at Whole Foods, string cheese from Costco, half an apple, and a tuna sandwich with plain yogurt instead of mayo. (he prefers the same lunch every day).
A small frozen bottle of water keeps it all cool and becomes a drink by afternoon.
PS. The salmon skin is a great treat for training the dog!
I've been dieting for almost a year (in June), and I have run out of ideals for snacks for the dieter. I am the mom, but, my son, who is 15, is also watching what he eats. We keep fruit and munchy crunchy "Go Lean Crunch" cereal to munch on. And , also, low fat popcorn. We really need some new ideals for snacks for the dieter! Help!
Check out the website of your favorite snack maker. You would be surprised at how often you can request a free sample or at least find a coupon.
I am a coupon clipper first of all. That always helps save. But instead of buying fruit cups or those little cookies with frosting to dip in I buy a box of teddy grahams and a tub of frosting. Not only do I get more for my money but I also save on trash since our school tries to have trash-less lunches.
I have small containers for dipping sauce from Tupperware. I cut up apples and fill a little cup with caramel syrup from the ice cream section. Cheaper then the dip! I buy a box of crackers and chez whiz. I still make pudding or jello and not buy pudding cups.
I made a lot of things today I made homemade smores, granola bars, and WOW were they ever good (ask me if you want the recipe). Also this is easier for me, there is no label reading in the store for peanuts since my child can not take anything with peanuts to school!
Oh yea, I buy canned diced fruit and put it in cups and still save money. Plus we like to buy fresh. I buy fresh veggies such as carrots and ranch dip or cucumbers. I spend a portion of the money the other moms spend on snacks for lunch, and all the kids want to trade Ha, ha, ha.
Plus as a huge perk it is fun for me and my 3 girls to do together. You can get all these things cheaper than prepackaged snacks and if you get coupons for them they are even cheaper.
Try shopping on double coupon days as well. They are still out there. If you look on cereal boxes you can get coupons too. Last week I had a coupon for $2 off rice krispie treats and at Walmart they are only 1.97 so they were free!
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