Snacking is where I always go wrong with losing weight. I tend to grab whatever is easy and appealing now. This leads me to emotional eating and that is NEVER a good thing. In my quest to keep my weight gain at a minimum during my pregnancy and to be as frugal as possible, I went to Pinterest. I was only looking for 14 recipes that I loved, this way I know exactly what is being made and I don’t have to think about what to make. I have variety without going overboard. Here are the new 14 Frugal Healthy Snacks that Fit in Your Budget that I found to share with you.
I don’t snack.
This was my famous staying as well. About 2 years ago, I started writing down what I put into my mouth. I was amazed at how many times I snack instead of eating real meals. Honestly, I would prefer a meal of appetizers instead of something good for me and balanced. When I’ve been with other women friends, we all said the same thing. We prefer snack foods to a real meal.
I think this has to do with the planning, prepping, cooking, and cleaning up of a big meal, that only takes 10 minutes to eat by our children if they even eat it at all. This is also why we prefer to go out to eat and men want to stay home. The busiest day of the year for restaurants is Mother’s Day per Biz Journals.
How can a snack be healthy?
It all depends on what you put into it. There are many things that are healthy if they are consumed in moderation. Peanut butter is a wonderful protein, but if you consume a lot it will turn into fat. This is the same thing for many foods that we all love.
Snacking like any eating should also be done in moderation. I bought some small glass bowls, that I use to make a cake in a bowl, or to fill with popcorn. They are about 2 cups in size, and give me just enough to satisfy, but not so much that I feel like I’m eating a lot. Maybe over time, I will be able to bring the size down and will progress my weight loss even faster.
Snacking isn’t frugal.
It all depends on what you are eating. One of my newest favorite snacks is guacamole. I bought the smaller 6 packs that are worth 100 calories. Not only does it satisfy my cravings, but it limits how much I eat at once. Also, I’ve found that when I eat foods high in good fat that I crave fried foods even less.
According to Mind Body Green, “The craving for fatty, friend foods usually come from your body’s need to consume just that: fat.”
Processed foods may seem cheaper, but they aren’t. You can buy a bag of popcorn that you cook at home and rebag to be eaten as a snack for far less than purchasing it already popped or even in microwave bags. If you want, you can even make your own microwaveable bags of popcorn in brown bags. HERE is a perfect example.
This is just one of many ways you can make your snacks frugal using what you have already.
I still need to buy snacks for my kids.
That’s not necessarily true. When my kids were little, I started off by giving them what would be little kid approved snacks. Not only did this make it hard to keep my budget, but my kids would eat the same foods over and over. It wasn’t until we couldn’t afford those snacks anymore that things started to change.
I was forced to feed those starve children, and you know what I mean the child that if they don’t eat something NOW will die, food that wasn’t part of their typical junk. My kids learned what they liked in their favorite smoothie. We made yogurt parfaits. Granola became a fun weekly treat to make and put on just about anything. I started buying less and less ice cream and Little Debbies and instead bought foods that were cheap and healthier.
My children’s palates grew. They learned to like new food. The best part now is that they will at least try anything I put in front of them. They do have foods they don’t like, but are open to new foods. This makes planning frugal healthy meals so much easier.
I need this to be easy or I won’t do it.
I totally get that. We are all about easy here, especially with having 6 children. The best thing you can do is meal prep your food. We spend some time over the weekend making snacks for the family. For us this is making a HUGE pot of popcorn to divide up for the week, ok, maybe 2 because the first one gets eaten quickly.
Most of these recipes can be made ahead of time. This was vitally important to me. If it isn’t easy, I don’t care if it is healthy or frugal, I won’t make it. I don’t have time for food that take a long time to make. Sometimes I feel like busy is my middle name.
Also, when picking recipes, I had to consider how quickly they could be made. I wanted to be able to make several things at once and not waste time. I have the ability to hand a recipe to my teens and let them run with it, but not everyone has that. So, these recipes had to be simple enough that you could have the oven backing while you mix up the next thing.
14 Frugal Healthy Snacks that Fit in Your Budget
My favorite frugal healthy snacks.
As I said, I love snacks. I even convinced my family to do snack food when we had a late family Christmas.
Granola bars- I love my daughter’s version. She makes them with white chocolate chips and dried berries for me.
Cheese balls- we usually make our own so we know what is going in it. I could sit and munch on this all day.
Guacamole- My favorite is Wholly Guacamole. I buy the small containers so I don’t eat it all at once.
Cottage Cheese and Pineapple- I prefer it with crushed pineapple, but will eat it anyway. I even add a little of the juice to give it a sweet flavor.
Yogurt with berries and jam- I buy All Fruit so I know it is nothing but the fruit, and swirl a teaspoon of this in my Triple Zero yogurt with some fresh berries.
Crackers and cheese- I love the Crunchmaster crackers and spread Laughing Cow cheese on it, with a little bit of ham if I have it.
Trail Mix- Walmart has one of my favorites, the tropical blend. I found I end up eating the papaya and pineapple instead of everything, so it has been better for me to make my own. This way I know I get a variety instead of just picking out certain things. Also, some trail mixes include coconut flakes and I just can’t stand them.
How I keep on track to eat healthy!
When it comes down to it, it is a choice for me. I keep those cheap healthy snacks on hand for when I’m tired but need to eat something. It is important to me that this snacks be high in protein as they will keep me full longer and the calories will be good ones instead of wasted on junk.
I mentioned before about meal prep. My oldest girl and I do a lot of prep work on the weekends, especially Sunday afternoons. The oven is almost always baking something, especially granola or granola bars. If they aren’t for me, then they are for everyone else who loves chocolate. We also bake muffins for the week on Sunday afternoons. While the prep will take some time, it is worth it in the end because I know what I and my children are eating.
The last thing I do is write down everything I eat. I don’t write down exact measurements, but somewhere close to it. I want to know what I’m consuming. When I look it over at the end of the week, I can decide what I need to do to make it better or what was causing it.
Eating healthy can be hard, but we all have to choose our hard. What is your hard going to be?