Shopping for groceries can be expensive, especially when you are shopping on an empty stomach, for example. Studies show that when people shop for groceries on an empty stomach, they make more impulse purchases and spend more money on groceries, not to mention buy more high calorie snacks. We all know the simple tips at the grocery store, like shopping at the perimeter of the store rather than in the middle since the fresh fruits and fresh foods are at the perimeter, and the more expensive and unhealthy processed foods are in the centre.
When I grocery shop, I am fully aware that the snack foods that I buy constitute the bulk of my grocery bill. Fruits, vegetables, milk, and bread don't really cost that much if you think about it. Snack foods like chips are $3 a bag, a box of cookies can be $4, and even expensive crackers like Raincoast Crisps (which are delicious by the way) can be $7 for a small box.
If you don't want to spend so much money of your grocery bill on snack foods, here are some tips on how to save money on snack foods if you must have them (I know I can't just eat three square meals a day, I need my snacks!). All in moderation, right?
I recently made Kale chips and was astounded at how easy they were to make. They took very little time and tasted great. It was great knowing that I was eating one of the most nutritious green vegetables out there as a snack! Kale is rich in calcium and has about 100mg of elemental calcium per cup.
Here is the recipe:
- Kale (use the small leafy areas, cut into bite sized pieces)
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Put on a pan and bake for 350F for 15 minutes or until the kale chips are slightly browned at the edges
Some people add other seasoning to it to make them even tastier.
Another tried and true recipe I go to is making pita chips. These satisfy the "crunch" factor if you are a snacker who needs his or her crunch. It is a very easy recipe and the pita chips stay crunchy for at least a week, if you keep them well sealed. I usually buy some Baba Ganouj, or egg plant dip to go with the pita chips. They also taste pretty good on their own.
- Pita bread
- Garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- Cut the pita bread into little triangles (like a pizza!)
- Can use 3 loaves of pita
- mince the garlic (use about 3-6 cloves, depending on how much garlic you like)
- Drizzle olive oil over this in a pan
- Bake at 425F for 15 minutes or until slightly browned at the edges
Don't Buy The Mini-Sized Snack Foods
Sure, the 100 calorie mini sized snack foods may be better for your waistline if you have difficulty with portion size, but these options are expensive, cause a lot of waste, and people (well I know I do) end up eating a few packages anyway, which negates the whole purpose of buying small, individually sized 100 calorie snack foods. Fitsugar suggests nixing the store bought snack packs.
Instead, buy the regular sized foods and portion them out yourself if needed into reusable containers or reusable snack bags. If you want to make your own reuseable snack bags in under ten minutes, check out this do it yourself tutorial using oil cloth and velcro from Brit + co.
Don't Buy Individually Sized Yogurt
Just like with the "convenient" sized snack foods, don't buy individually sized yogurt. The individual sized cups are wasteful and not great for the environment. Instead, buy a larger tub and just scoop out the yogurt you need for the day in a small glass container with a lid. I often find that the greek yogurt (my favourite) tastes better in the larger tub rather than in the small individually sized plastic containers, anyway.
If you want to be really innovative, you can try making your own yogurt in a slow cooker with this recipe.
Apples, carrots, cucumber sticks, oranges, and berries. All of these are good for you and good for the wallet too!
Bargainmoosers, do you have other snack ideas that won't harm the budget?
(banner image credit: Melissa)