DIY After-School Snacks That Cost Less Than $2 Each

Jess Richardson | Jul 26, 2019 Food & Party
DIY After-School Snacks That Cost Less Than $2 Each
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DIY After-School Snacks That Cost Less Than $1 Each

Whenever we really sit down and do the math on prepackaged snacks, we're horrified that we ever go that route. And look, of course we do -- sometimes it's worth spending some extra pennies to have grab-and-go snacks that we can throw in our kids' lunch bags on busy days, or so our kids feel like they're "the same" as the other kids in class, and get snacks that are recognizable (kids are amazingly conformist, aren't they? They always want the same brand as the other kids!). But when we figure out the difference between buying, say, premade kale chips at the store -- even the Trader Joe's kind! -- and just making our own, which is as simple a recipe as "rip up kale, toss with oil and nutritional yeast, bake," we are pretty shocked that the premade version is about 10 times more expensive for the same amount of food (and it usually has a bunch of preservatives on it, too). 

So when we have a few extra minutes, it's worth it for our wallets, and it's also always healthier to just DIY up some options ourselves. If the family is heading out for the day, pack some portable on-the-go snacks, and if toddlers are part of the plan, pack some snacks especially for them. Moms are always concerned about nutrition, so healthy snacks for kids are likely a priority, and for those watching their calories, low-calorie snacks are a boon. If mom wants to get super scientific, try dietitian-approved healthy snacks that are also kid-approved. But for parents on a budget, these DIY snacks will help keep the kids satisfied while also keeping costs low.

Psst: If purchasing an item on this list, CafeMom may receive a small cut. Each item and price is up to date at the time of publication; however, an item may be sold out or the price may be different at a later date.

  • Strawberry Yogurt Bark 

    Strawberry Yogurt Bark

    This recipe for strawberry yogurt bark is delicious on its own, but throw a few handfuls of chopped nuts in for some extra flavor and nutrients. It stays good in the freezer for a long time and is healthy as well as inexpensive. 

  • Bear Face Toast

    Bear Face Toast

    Bear face toast is a great snack for kids and way easier to make than many cute snacks. Just make peanut butter toast and arrange three banana slices, topped with three raisins or chocolate chips. 

  • Baked Sweet Potatoes

    Baked Sweet Potatoes

    Baked sweet potatoes are wonderful as a snack -- they're filled with beta carotene and they're also a smart way to use up leftovers in the fridge. Top them with basically anything: leftover roasted broccoli and Parmesan cheese, chili, Greek yogurt, sour cream, cinnamon, guacamole... 

  • Peach 'Donuts'


    These frozen peach rings are glazed with yogurt, creating a look of peach "donuts" but that are much healthier (and last for a while in the freezer). They're also filled with vitamins and fiber, which everyone needs!

  • Deviled Eggs

    Deviled Egg

    Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein. Use this deviled egg recipe and it'll last in the fridge for a few days -- and two or three make for a tasty snack that still clocks in at under $1. Pair with some fresh fruit or carrot sticks to make it more well-rounded. 

  • Healthy Popcorn Trail Mix

    Healthy Popcorn Trail Mix

    This healthy popcorn trail mix makes use of popping corn, which is inexpensive, to make and a healthy whole grain if it's popped in an air popper, instead of popped in oil (or in expensive microwaveable popcorn bags). 

  • Babybel Cheese & Strawberries

    Babybel Cheese And Strawberries

    Babybel cheese and strawberries is an amazing after-school snack kids can put together themselves, and at $5 for 6, it comes in at just about $1 for a cheese and a couple of fresh strawberries. This is packed with both vitamin C and vitamin D.

    Laughing Cow Mini Babybel ($5 for 6, Amazon)

  • Homemade Magic Shell Chocolate-Covered Clementines

    Homemade Magic Shell Chocolate-Covered Clementines

    We love this recipe for homemade magic shell chocolate-covered clementines. Magic shell doesn't have to be bought from the store -- just melt chocolate with coconut oil to make a DIY version that's healthier, less expensive, and tastier. 

  • Apple & Banana Slices With Peanut Butter On Crackers

    Apple And Banana Slices With Peanut Butter On Crackers

    One kid-favorite after-school snack is apple and banana slices with peanut butter on crackers. It's full of fiber and vitamins, and a little peanut butter goes a long way -- plus, the jars at Trader Joe's are really inexpensive. 

  • 3 Ingredient Orange Creamsicle Recipe

    3 Ingredient Orange Creamsicle Recipe

    DIY popsicles are cheaper and much healthier than those bought in the store. Buying a reusable popsicle mold is a smart idea -- it'll last for years, and there are lots of great recipes for it, including this 3 ingredient orange creamsicle recipe.

  • DIY Kale Chips

    Kale Chips

    This recipe for kale chips is flavored with nutritional yeast, which has tons of vitamin B-12, and also imparts a lot of delicious, cheesy flavor. 

  • Spiced Peanut Snacks

    Spiced Peanut Snacks

    Peanuts are an inexpensive source of protein and healthy fats. This recipe for spiced peanut snacks adds a little kick, which is a hit with both parents and kids. Some parents may want to lower the spice level for kids, depending on their preferences. 

  • Turkey Cranberry Tortilla Pinwheels

    Turkey Cranberry Tortilla Pinwheels

    These turkey cranberry tortilla pinwheels are a healthy lunch when a whole tortilla's worth is used (with several pieces of turkey), but one or two slices are perfect for a light after-school snack -- and are inexpensive to make. 

  • Waffles


    Waffles are so incredibly inexpensive to make when they're done DIY, without a mix, and are much healthier -- they're literally 16 cents a waffle! Top with some fresh sliced fruit instead of syrup for less added sugar, and it's still under $1 for a snack.

  • Cranberry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

    Cranberry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

    This recipe for cranberry chocolate oatmeal cookies is absolutely delicious and also pretty darn healthy, given that it's made with oats and coconut oil -- not to mention, it's only 44 cents per serving of three cookies. That's a great value. 

  • Healthy Carrot Zucchini Bread

    Healthy Carrot Zucchini Bread

    This recipe for healthy carrot zucchini bread is super-delicious when sliced and served with cream cheese or topped with a little Greek yogurt. It's also about 30 cents a serving, which is a bargain. 

  • Baked Chickpea Snacks

    Baked Chickpea Snacks

    These baked chickpea snacks are crispy and totally delicious. A tasty and healthy alternative to crunchy-salty snacks, like chips, an entire can costs about $1.15, and a good serving size is about 1/3 cup. 

  • Pancakes


    Pancakes are so incredibly cheap to make. It's absolutely worth creating a DIY mix and storing it in a container because it's much cheaper than premade mixes. Top with peanut butter or almond butter instead of syrup for a snack that's lower in sugar. 

  • Bell Pepper & Hummus

    Half A Bell Pepper And Hummus

    Slice up half a bell pepper and serve it with a tablespoon or two of hummus. When the hummus is homemade, it's super cheap -- just throw a can of chickpeas, some tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice in a blender. 

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