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I am looking for cheap snack ideas for kids and adults. I went through my food budget over the weekend and was shocked to find that store-bought snacks are eating up a big chunk of it. My husband is always hungry and would raid the pantry for bags of cheese curls and cookies. I also have three young picky eaters who know exactly what they want for snacks and won't eat anything other than skittles and M&Ms. What are some delicious and simple snacks that I can make at home and don't require too many expensive ingredients?  – Claudette, Birmingham.



5 Unbelievably Cheap Snack Ideas


Hi Claudette,

I couldn't agree with you more. Store-bought snacks can indeed blow up your food budget, especially if you don't stick to a grocery list and overspend on impulse purchases.

Recently I found out that I don't spend as much money on snacks when I grocery shop without my kids. Why? Because they would whine, cry, scream and beg for something that's not on the list. If you want to take your children with you, my suggestion is feed them first. Candies and chocolate will appear much less attractive to kids when they are not hungry.

Here are some easy-to-prepare, fun-to-eat homemade snacks that my family enjoy. We've many more wallet-friendly healthy snack ideas such as apple chips, potato chips, and crispy roasted spicy chickpeas (garbanzo beans) on this website. So browse through our collection of snack recipes and whip up something yummy for your family!


What Are Cheap Snacks to Make for Picky Kids and Adults?

1. I remember my mom used to make dozens of ants on a log for my sisters and I when we were little, and they are still one of my very favorite snacks after all these years. This simple snack idea takes only minutes to make and taste irresistibly delicious. It's also a great way to get your kids excited about noshing on raw veggies and fruits.

Spread celery sticks with cream cheese, pistachio nut butter or peanut butter. Sprinkle raisins or dried cranberries over the top. Use low fat or reduced fat varieties if you want to keep your waistline trim.



2. Peanut butter and jelly sushi rolls are also great when you want a quick snack to keep energy up throughout the day. These yummy nibbles also make terrific road trip snacks for kids so there's no excuse to stop for unhealthy fast food like chicken nuggets and French fries.

Take a slice of wholemeal bread, remove bread crust and flatten bread using a rolling pin or a large soup can. Spread peanut butter and jelly or jam of your choice. Roll up tightly and cut into bite-sized pieces. Insert a pretzel stick into each piece and dip in low fat yogurt, if desired.



3. Popcorns are an all time favorite with many families, and those at the grocery stores are crazy expensive. Making your own popcorn at home is so much cheaper and you can get really creative with different seasonings or toppings. The kids in my family like theirs sweet and crunchy.

Place ½ cup popping corn in a microwave safe dish and microwave for high for 4 minutes. Remove and let stand for a minute or so. Stir in a mixture of chopped dried fruits and nuts (about 1 cup). You can add raisins, apricots, pineapple, or mango. Chopped up nuts like macadamia nuts, cashews, almonds or pecans are great additions.

Sticky dried fruits can be quite tricky to chop so lightly coat the blade of your knife with cooking spray. Feel free to tinker around with these proportions.



4. Another really cheap snack idea is eggs. I am so fond of them because they can be served in a variety of ways and can go very far. Eggs are especially good for the "always hungry" husband since the high-quality protein and fats in them takes longer to digest than unhealthy carbs found in chips and cookies, so your man will feel full and satisfied for an extended period of time.

You can serve plain hard boiled eggs with ketchup, Tabasco sauce or just a dash of seasoned salt and pepper. Alternatively, mix hard-boiled eggs (coarsely chopped) with fresh lemon juice, a splash of olive oil, some leeks and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve your economical, high protein snack with rice crackers.



5. Next time your children ask for candies, wow them over with fresh fruit kebabs. They're packed to the brim with nutritional goodness and so easy to make, even the kids can help out.

In our family, we love a medley of different colors, flavors, and textures. Thread halved strawberries, kiwifruit, pineapple and marshmallow on bamboo skewers, alternating colors and flavors – 1 strawberry half, 1 kiwifruit slice, 1 pineapple chunk, and 1 marshmallow on each.  Enjoy fruit kebabs with chocolate dipping sauce, or honey yogurt dip sprinkled with flaxseeds for an extra healthy bonus and a bit of nutty flavor.

You can use whatever fruit is in season (think cheap) and in any combination. Apple (lightly coated with lemon juice to prevent browning), banana, and peach slices are oh-so-deliciously-sweet. Try starfruit, dragon fruit and mango for an exotic delight.

And, if you're looking for an inexpensive guiltless sweet treat that's not crammed with added sugar and fat, try some fresh fruits with low fat cottage cheese, or vanilla yogurt. Or, dip banana pieces in yogurt (or honey), and roll in toasted coconut flakes, or crushed salted peanuts. Creamy, salty, crunchy and satisfying! Yum!





By Diane Hanson


cheap healthy snacks to make at home

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