March 23, 2016

Quick, Healthy & Cheap Snack Ideas

Snacking is an every-day thing in our house. If M2 had her way, she'd probably eat nothing else but the snacks all day. With my weight loss mission, snacking comes in handy for me to keep my metabolism up and stop myself from getting so hungry I binge. Baby B isn't one to turn down a snack, either, especially when he sees someone else nibbling on something yummy. To keep us all eating healthy, without spending so much the grocery budget is blown or having to spend hours making it, these are the snacks I make sure to stuff the fridge and pantry with.

As an added bonus, some of these you can make yourself beforehand when doing meal prep, or when you want an activity to do with the kids. That ups the health  factor and cuts down on cost even more. All the foods on the list are ones that are staples in our house. With plenty of delicious snacks to choose from on this list, there are sure to be a few that you'll want to incorporate into your own household.


1. Hand fruit

Peaches, nectarines, apples, pears, bananas, grapes, plums -- anything you can grab, wash and eat on the go without any fuss qualifies as a hand fruit. They're great to keep around for when you want something sweet. While oranges aren't a hand fruit, I like to keep a bunch of them in the house as well. Bananas are probably the cheapest fruit you can find, which is why we've always got a pile in our fruit bowl.

2. Peppers, celery, cucumbers and carrots

Chop them up and keep them handy for when you're craving something yummy. I keep a container of carrot sticks drenched in water to keep them fresh in the fridge. A few cucumbers are always floating around the fridge to peel and slice.

Make-it-yourself bonus: You can grow your own garden and buy veggies that aren't pre-cut to save even more.

3. Peanut butter and bread

A serving of natural peanut butter without fillers along with whole grain bread makes for a healthy, protein-packed snack to keep you full.

Make-it-yourself bonus: Honey wheat or buttermilk wheat bread goes great with peanut butter. Both are easy to make, too.

4. Protein bars

Pick up a big box of store-brand protein bars rather than going for the small boxes or singles of the fancy brands to save money. All protein bars aren't created equal, so check to see how much protein, sugar, calories and fat each really has. You don't want your snack to end up a meal!

5. Granola bars

This is another treat you can buy a big, store-brand box of to keep cost down. Like with the protein bars, check the nutritional label to be sure it's not just empty calories you're noshing on.

Make-it-yourself bonus: To know exactly what goes into your bars, throw together some of your own in the kitchen.

6. Cheese sticks or slices

At any given time, we have about three different kinds of cheeses in the fridge drawer. American cheese slices, Swiss, Munster, mozzarella sticks -- you name it, the kids love it (so do I). When they're hungry, we often reach for low-fat cheese as a healthy, filling protein boost to last until the next meal.

7. Humus

Humus comes in so many flavors! My favorites are traditional and ranch. Grab your favorite along with some pita chips, tortilla chips, crackers or pretzels to scoop up a yummy serving.

Make-it-yourself bonus:  If you're adventurous, you can make your own humus easily and even whip up pita and tortilla chips.

8. Air-popped popcorn

Pop up some kernels (you can get a big bag or container for a few dollars) for a fun snack. Leave off the salt and butter to keep it healthy.

9. Greek or regular yogurt

Like the protein and granola bars, check the labels on yogurt for calorie, fat, protein and sugar content. You want something that's balanced so you have a satisfying snack. M2 loves the yogurt tubes and I often reach for a cup of Greek yogurt for myself. I get big packages rather than singles so it does't cost as much. Sales and the local discount grocery store also help me keep from breaking the bank on yogurt.

Make-it-yourself bonus: If you're up for the challenge, try making your own yogurt.

10. Nuts

Pistachios, peanuts, almonds, cashews -- oh, my! So many choices that you can get in large containers so that otherwise pricey nuts aren't so shocking to your wallet. A small handful at a time is all you need for an afternoon (or evening) pick-me-up.

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28 comments:

  1. I like to have baggies of cut up veggies ready to go in the fridge. Cucumbers, bell pepper, carrots and broccoli is the go to.

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  2. I'll keep these in mind. I need to be healthier for my family.

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  3. This could literally be my shopping list. My kids are bonkers for everything on this list. Especially fruit and hummus. I'm a fan of raw almonds. I could eat a pound a day, but I stick to one ounce.

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  4. Elizabeth O.3/24/2016 2:05 AM

    Those are true indeed. I love the idea of having quick and cheap snacks especially when you're following a tight budget. And these are healthy as well, so there's nothing wrong with that at all!

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  5. These are all my favorite go to snacks! Airpopped popcorn is my favorite. With a bit of truffle salt.

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  6. We buy most of these things regularly! Cheese sticks are VERY popular in our house.

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  7. Love this snacks list, especially the idea of law fat cheeses because I am a huge fan of cheese! Eating healthy is essential!

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  8. My kids especially my daughter LOVES to munch apple. She loved the Gala the most. I bought it more especially when it is on sale. I also LOVES fruit and brings it with me for lunch at work.

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  9. We always have cheese sticks, almonds and granola bars in our pantry for snacks!

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  10. I love pecans, and popcorn!! We are always stocked in our house with those. Nice ideas! thanks for the share!

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  11. I need to stock my pantry with these great snack ideas!

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  12. Genius! I do all of these and especially love the string cheese, nuts and protein bars! :)

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  13. We like adding peanut butter to apples, celery, or bananas. It's healthy and my kids enjoy it.

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  14. I like nuts, that is my go to snack. I keep them with me all the time

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  15. My daughter is on a highs yogurt kick lately! I love it because it's healthy and not that expensive lol

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  16. These are great ideas. We are always looking for new yummy snacks. I'm going to add a few of these to my shopping list.

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  17. These are great! My little guy does love nuts, cheese and sometimes granola bars. For some reason he can't eat popcorn, he seems to cough everytime he does.

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  18. Great snack ideas! All of these we always have handy. My two year old could spend all day snacking too :)

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  19. Oh, I remember in my last trip in India, I would grab those complimentary fruits in our room and slip it inside my bag each time we out for a trek :)

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  20. Homemade hummus is a staple in this vegetarian household! Delicious, protein packed, and healthy... yes please!

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  21. Great tips! I often snack junk :-( But these are great suggestions to curb my hunger and to also have my kids snacking on better food. Thanks for sharing!

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  22. Great snack suggestions here! My kids love baby carrots and peppers! My current snack obsession is apples with almond butter! :)

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  23. I leave fruits and veggies open and within reach of the kids so that they can grab and keep going.

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  24. Love proteins bars! I always keep one with myself in my purse!

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  25. Cheese, hummus, and bread are my favorite snacks. I love love love cheese and hummus! I have yet to appreciate fruits and protein bars.

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  26. I have to admit I love popcorn - I can eat it without anything on, though my other half only eats it sweet for some reason. x

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  28. My kids pretty much only snack, but I figure they are responding to their body's cues to when they should eat, so I am OK with it - and wish I had that control! The popcorn and the almonds are big in our home!

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. As a busy mom, I'm not always able to respond to each one, though I read and appreciate them all.