I touched on this a bit the other day when I mentioned how I want to learn to make crackers. Many snack foods aren’t very cheap compared to other nutritionally similar or superior foods. For instance, crackers cost more than bread, especially if you make the bread yourself, granola bars cost more than oatmeal or oatmeal bread, potato chips cost more than potatoes(and many other fruits and vegetables), Chex Mix is more expensive than Chex cereal, and so on.
My kids ADORE what they call “snacky stuff”, and would eat tons of it all the time if I let them(which I don’t, both for the sake of their health and the health of my grocery budget!) I do buy a few snack foods for them:
-sunflower seeds. They’re quite nutritious, and about the cheapest nut-like food out there.
-raisins. These can be had very cheaply at Costco. Even organic ones at Trader Joe’s are quite reasonable.
-generic graham crackers. These aren’t terribly nutritious, but they’re super cheap…I can get a box for about $1.
-generic saltines. See above…not too nutritious, but available for $1.
-Goldfish. These are pretty expensive in the little bags, but a large box at Costco(or at Walmart) sells for a decent price.
Aside from those things, we usually eat homemade bread(since I bake so often, there’s usually some sort of bread or another leftover from last night’s dinner) or fruit for snacks, and at lunch, which is when my kids would dearly love to make a meal of snack foods, we eat yogurt/fruit smoothies and homemade bread.
I do send some snacks in my husband’s lunch, and to keep the cost down on those, I buy full-size containers/bags(on sale, of course!) and reportion them into plastic bags or reusable containers. This is much cheaper than buying individually packaged snacks, and it doesn’t take very much time.
So, my snack strategy is to avoid eating them as much as possible(and eat other foods instead…raw fruits and vegetables, homemade breads, and leftovers), to make some from scratch, and, when I do buy them, to buy generics or buy on sale, in full-size containers.
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