A study done by Mondelez International found that 71% of consumers snacked at least twice a day. The study also found that the average American spends $9.22 weekly on snacks, translating to $479.44 per year and approximately $28,766 for a lifetime.
It is no secret that snacks are expensive and take a considerable percentage of food costs.
But the bright side is that you can take the initiative and cut your snacking costs.
Well, there are two ways to do this. One way would be to cut down on snacks, and the other would be to make your snacks at home.
Just like cooking main meals, making your snacks at home can go a long way in helping save money.
Ready to get started? Try out these options.
1. Granola Bars
For a long time, granola bars have been one of the healthiest snacks. Unfortunately, store-bought ones now typically come with high sugar, calories, and artificial ingredients.
Preparing your granola bars is an excellent opportunity to watch the ingredients and save money while at it. Store-bought granola bars can be expensive.
Even more interesting is that there are endless possibilities for granola bar preparations.
You can use nuts, rolled oats, and sweeteners like honey or sugar for the basis. You could add some grains, dried fruit, seeds, spices, nut butter, and other grains. If you want more flavors, add some chocolates and syrups. Just be sure to watch out for the sugar content when trying out different granola bar recipes.
Do not buy prepackaged popcorn at the grocery store when you can make your own at home. One thing about popcorn is that it takes just a few minutes to prepare. You do not have to be the best at recipes to pull out popcorn.
Consider buying kernels in bulk and store in airtight containers. You can then pop them in an airtight container for your day-to-day snacks or movie nights at home.
Now, your popcorn does not have to be plain. You can choose to use food colors to give colors to your popcorn. Your kids will love the colored popcorn. You could also add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and caramel flavors.
Although popping popcorn takes a few minutes, you could still pop them in bulk, store them in an airtight container, and freeze them.
3. Vegetable Chips
Are you a massive fan of the store-bought chips? Consider replacing them with homemade chips. You will save money while at it and enhance healthy eating.
Store-bought potato chips are unhealthy and could result in different health issues, among them weight gain.
Try beet, kale, carrots, zucchini, and turnips chips. You could make them oil-free and still be as good, especially for savory snackers. Thinly slice a vegetable of your choice (you could use more than one type of vegetable), season as needed, and bake in the oven.
This would be a perfect snack for you if you crave something salty now and then.
Do you often buy hummus from the store? Consider making yours at home, and you will enjoy the benefits of homemade hummus.
Making hummus at home involves blending chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and olive oil until smooth. The good thing is that you can customize flavors with ingredients like roasted red pepper.
Other than being more economical than store-bought, homemade hummus gives you control over ingredients, avoiding preservatives and tailoring the taste to personal preferences. Homemade hummus is typically fresher, healthier, and offers a satisfying snacking moment.
5. Yogurt Parfait
Don’t we all love how delicious yogurt parfaits are? Unfortunately, buying them from the store can be expensive.
If you love yogurt parfaits, you will be glad to know that it is very simple to make them at home. Buying yogurt in bulk and layering it with homemade granola and fresh fruits is more cost-effective than purchasing pre-made yogurt parfaits.
Besides saving you some bucks while at it, you will love the customization possibilities of making your yogurt parfaits at home. You can choose precisely what fruits you want and just how much you want to put in.
It is also a great way to eat your fruits before they go bad.
If you are more keen about what you consume, you can make your yogurt from scratch and use fresh fruits and homemade granola bars. This is one great way to reduce the artificial preservatives added to foods.
6. Salsa and Guacamole
Looking for healthy snack options that will cost you less? Consider making salsa and guacamole from home.
Both can be easily prepared at home using fresh ingredients, costing less than store-bought varieties.
Making salsa at home involves combining diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. For guacamole, mash avocados and mix with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Personalizing spice levels and ingredient ratios is manageable.
Other than the customization, these homemade versions will be preservative-free. This makes them suitable for you and your kid’s health. Also, preparing salsa and guacamole can help you use over-ripen ingredients such as avocado.
Once an avocado ripens, it becomes a race against time. However, with guacamole, you can refrigerate it for 3-4 more days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Why buy expensive smoothies from shops and juice bars when you can make yours at home?
Use your blender to make smoothies using frozen fruits, yogurt, and a splash of juice or milk. It’s often more economical than purchasing bottled smoothies.
The good thing about this is you can customize it to suit different needs. Want something that fills you up? You need to find the right ingredients for that. Want a smoothie for your weight loss routine? You can easily make it at home.
Another thing you will love about homemade smoothies is that you can easily find cost-friendly fruits and vegetables. For instance, vegetables and fruits in season would always cost way less. You can also buy the “unaesthetic” fruits that nobody else wants to buy and make your snack at home.
8. Muffins or Banana Bread
Looking for a perfect replacement for store-bought cakes and pastries? If you have a sweet tooth, muffins and banana bread would be the ideal choice.
Making your muffins and banana bread at home is usually more cost-effective as you can make them in bulk and snack on them over time. They are also a good snack for the kids to bring to school.
Just like the many others on this list, making your banana bread at home lets you take complete control of the ingredients.
9. Roasted Chickpeas
Are you looking for a protein-packed snack you could munch on when craving something savory? You may want to try making roasted chickpeas.
So many seasoning possibilities come with roasting your own chickpeas at home. For some people, the store-bought options are expensive and have a spacing level that is either too little or too much for their liking.
Making yours at home will not only save you money, but you can choose whether you want to add or omit spices such as paprika, olive oil, garlic powder, sea salt, cayenne pepper, coriander, or cumin. The choice is all yours.
You can also make this in bulk and store it in airtight containers. This way, you can have something to munch on for a couple more days.
10. Rice Cakes With Toppings
If you are on a budget, rice is one of the things you can easily fall back on. For starters, buying rice in bulk almost always saves money. Besides, there are endless ways to cook rice and repurpose leftover rice.
If you’re the kind that hates eating the same meal in a row, you may want to turn your leftover rice into rice cakes with toppings.
There are so many ingredients and spicing options you can add, such as mint, zucchini, black pepper, basil, and eggs. You could make it as spicier as you want. For toppings, add ingredients such as cinnamon, fruit slices, and almond butter.
This is a snack that widely caters to individual preferences while maintaining a frugal edge.
11. DIY Fruit Leather
Making your fruit leather involves blending and baking fruit pulp, offering an affordable alternative to store-bought fruit strips.
This process sidesteps added sugars and artificial ingredients, creating an economical and healthier snack.
Fruit leathers are typically a healthier snack option than other conventional snack options. You could use different fruits such as mangoes, apricots, tamarind, bananas, and citrus. You could also mix two or more fruits for different tastes.
12. Homemade Beef Jerky
Beef jerky has become a popular snack with the rise of Paleo and Keto diets. Unfortunately, buying beef jerky in the store is not cost-friendly.
The high cost should not stop you from enjoying the rich nutrients beef jerky comes with. You can prepare your own at home and snack on it as needed. Besides cost, you get to dictate the marinade, salt levels, and spice composition, creating jerky that caters precisely to your taste.
You will also love that beef jerky is easy to make and requires no specialized cooking equipment. With a standard oven, you are good to go.
Just be sure to use lean meat to make your beef jerky. Fatty parts do not exactly dry up, speeding up the spoilage process.
13. DIY Ice Pops
Looking for the perfect summertime snack for yourself and your kids? Make your ice pops at home.
Create different ice pops from blended juice and freeze them for when the sugar craving and the summer heat hits.
Experimentation with diverse fruit combinations could transform ice pop-making into an exploration of flavors that suit your preferences.
You also want to stick with in-season fruits to save money while at it. If you want to save even more from this, get your fruits from the farmers’ market.
14. DIY Nut Butter
Making nut butter, peanuts, almonds, or cashews goes beyond cost efficiency. By utilizing a food processor to blend roasted nuts, you save money and exercise control over ingredients, steering clear of added sugars and preservatives found in commercial options.
Furthermore, you have the chance to create the butter into your desired consistency. This personalization is difficult to find in store nut butter.
Lastly, your peanut butter could go beyond snacking. You could use it to develop more recipes, such as baked goodies.
15. Homemade Baked Goods
Baking cookies, brownies, or bars is a thrifty thing to try if you want to save money. The thing about brownies is that you can try so many simple recipes. And many of them are beginner-friendly, including those you could pull off in your microwave.
Often, such homemade treats are much better regarding taste and quality control. So, while at it, you will save money and enjoy a superior flavor.