Nearly everything comes in convenient snack pack sizes these days. While their size may be small, their price is certainly not. When I reviewed our grocery budget and realized we were spending $100 or more each month just on snacks, I realized I needed to take some action and start making our own. With just a little bit of advance planning we have fun snacks but not at the expense of destroying our food budget. Here are some ways I save money on snacks:
1. Make the baked goods from scratch.
I bake nearly all my muffins, cupcakes, cookies, and bread from scratch. When baking any item, I double the recipe and freeze them for use later in the week (or at another time). If I find a ready made mix on sale I will buy that since it will usually be cheaper (and quicker) than homemade.
2. Buy full size fruits and veggies and cut them into smaller sizes.
I usually purchase an assortment of fruits and vegetables like celery, carrots, broccoli, etc. at the store and then do all the prep work as soon I get home. (I learned that tip from Rachael Ray of 30 Minute Meals). The fruits and vegetables are all washed, cut up, and put into baggies so they are ready to go when the snacking urge hits.
3. Buy the large size bags of chips and pretzels and divide them into single size servings.
I place the appropriate serving size into a small baggie (snack bags work well for this because they get filled to the top)! Stick pretzels are 42 sticks each, chips are 13 chips per serving, and Cheerios are 1-1/2 cups per bag. If I don’t do this, my children think that “half the bag” is a serving size.
4. Purchase cheese in wedges and cut them into cubes.
I place each serving into a single size container, and place it in the fridge. This is much cheaper than the string cheese packages.
5. Watch for “buy one get one free” sales on snack food items.
I regularly look for the special sales at my local grocery stores on snacks in the larger sizes. When I find those on sale like different brands of chips, crackers, or pretzels, I stock up! I especially look for opportunities to combine these sales with coupons so I can really maximize my savings.