April 7, 2014

Healthy, Quick, Money-Saving Snacks

If you're like me, when you want a snack you want it quick. You don't want to have to put something together, especially when the baby/toddler/kid is liable to get into SOMETHING while you do it. Whatever you see first is liable to be what you grab. If you go the pre-made snack route, many of the ones you can buy are expensive and not even that healthy.

Veggies and fruit
We keep containers of carrot sticks, fruit and/or other veggies in the fridge. I change it up depending on what we have at the time. Right now, we have the carrots and grapes. Last week, we had strawberries instead. You can also do orange slices, mandarin oranges, apple slices (dipped in lemon juice to keep them fresh for a few days), cucumber, snap peas--whatever you like. This helps to sneak in extra servings of fruits and veggies as well.

Carrot sticks are really cheap when you avoid the trap of baby carrot bags. At Walmart, I can get two pounds of carrots for $1.52 vs $1 for 12 oz. of the baby carrots. I simply peel and slice them, then stick them in a container full of water in the fridge. It takes 15 minutes, tops, to fit a large bucket. They're the first thing we see when opening the fridge. Tasty, healthy and easily accessible. I reuse large yogurt and butter containers for further savings. The carrot scraps can be put into a compost pile.

For fruit, I find something that's on sale, wash and/or cut it up and put it in a reused container in the fridge. That's all there is too it! Be sure to keep the containers up front in the fridge so they don't get lost and forgotten about.

A loves carrots, so a large butter tub of them lasts about a week. I refresh the containers (including hand washing them) when they get empty.

Another plus? This technique is very helpful for weight loss as well. Instead of being tempted by the granola bars, bread or other easy-grab items, I can nab a handful of these babies. Mmm.

Another quick snack, albeit it does take a few minutes to put together,  is air-popped popcorn. I've read so many studies that say the microwave bags are just plain bad for you, plus they're pricey and you can't control the butter and salt content. Instead, we keep a popper (it was $20 tops at Walmart, cheaper around Black Friday) and a bag of kernels on hand. It's easy to dump in the kernels after the popper has heated up for a moment, stick a bowl under the popper to collect it, melt a bit of butter and then drizzle it on top. If you want, you can add salt or cinnamon and sugar. Be careful, the more butter and toppings you add the less healthy this one gets. This is great for afternoons, rainy days, during movies--whenever! We even have a popcorn bowl for big batches. M2 is a big fan.

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  1. The popcorn with cinnamon and sugar sounds interesting. May have to try that one.

  2. The popcorn with cinnamon and sugar sounds good. May have to try that sometime.


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