Satisfy Your Cravings With These Easy Money-Saving Snacks

trail mixHere's a dilemma I hate: I'm hungry for a snack. I don't like what's in the vending machine because it's mostly junk food and I'm trying to be skinny. So I go out -- and that's when my choices start getting expensive. Six dollars for a smoothie, three dollars for a bag of nuts, two dollars for a freakin' granola bar?

Feh! If I just plan ahead a little I could really save some dough.

We grabbed some great tips from FitSugar for homemade snacks that can save us dough (and that won't show up around our waistlines). Then came up with a few of our own. Have you ever made these?


Cheese sticks. Okay, you can buy a pack of string cheese and it's still going to save you money. But you could also buy a larger block of cheese and just cut out and pack your own sticks. I like a sharp cheddar myself.

Nut butter. Did you know you could make your own in a food processor? Yup. Buy your nuts -- any combo -- and keep grinding past the sandy stage. You'll see what I mean. You might want to pour a little peanut oil in there to keep it nice and smooth.

Trail mix. Don't pay someone else to put this together for you -- just raid the bulk aisles and make your own custom blends of dried fruit and nuts. Psst, no one will know if you sneak a few chocolate chips in there!

Popcorn. Apparently there's crazy chemical action in those microwaveable popcorn bags, did you know? But you can pop your own on the stove with just a little bit of oil and some kernels. Just keep a lid on it and shake the pot! Then toss with whatever -- olive oil, butter, a little bit of salt, your favorite spices. Let cool and pack into individual baggies.

Cottage cheese with mix-ins. FitSugar suggests divvying up a big tub of yogurt into individual servings. You could do the same thing with cottage cheese! Add in whatever you like: Chunks of pineapple or other fresh fruit, honey, or anything else.

Veggies with dressing. Pack some baby carrots or cherry tomatoes with a little cup of your favorite salad dressing.

Edamame. This trendy snack is catching on. These are actually soybeans by a fancy name. You can boil them in their own pods, salt them, and then pop them out with your teeth -- which is how kids love them. But I'm also seeing shelled edamame in the freezer section. That might be easier! Boil, salt, and pack into individual servings. Try and find a brand that's non-GMO.

No dis' on fruit, which also makes a great snack (hello, banana), but sometimes you need a FILLING snack. That's what I like about these ideas.

Do you have any great DIY snack tips?


Image via Mary Thompson


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