Snacks can be incredibly expensive and very unhealthy. Chocolate bars, crisps, soda, candy, they’re all very convenient but the cost adds up and if your eating these everyday I’m sure your waistline is also expanding. The key to saving money on snacks and trimming down your waistline is being organised.
Making your own snacks can save you a lot of money. I like to make my own muffins, I can make 12 for the same cost as 2 muffins bought from a cafe near my office. You can make the muffins healthier by using oat bran to replace some if the flour and less sugar with honey as a sweetener. Also if 12 muffins is too many for your household in a week you can freeze some of them so that they can be eaten the following week, just wrap them individually in cling wrap. They can also be freshened up with a quick zap in the microwave. Other home made snack options include cookies, cakes and muesli bars, some options are healthier than others so be careful which recipes you choose!
A great alternative to all those unhealthy snacks is a piece of fruit, for example an apple can cost a quarter of the price of a chocolate bar. Nuts are a great alternative to crisps health wise but they can be expensive, they are cheapest bought in bulk, just store them in a air tight container. Carrot sticks are a healthy and inexpensive alternative to cookies or crackers. Low fat yogurt is also a good choice, just be careful of the sugar content. Water is a free and healthy alternative to soda.
If you can’t live without your unhealthy snacks then buy them in bulk. Buying chocolate bars or crisps from a vending machine or convenience store is much more expensive than buying them at a grocery store. You’ll just have to exercise some self control so you don’t eat them quicker and exercise to keep the weight off. I don’t recommend this option!
The key to saving money and eating healthily is to be organised, take your own food to work or school so you don’t give in to the convenience of a vending machine. Here’s a few tips to get you started:
1. Buy your snacks with your weekly grocery shop;
2. Allow time to prepare your snacks before work in the morning or the evening before eg. cutting carrot sticks;
3. Don’t forget to take your snacks with you!
Hopefully at the end of the day you’ll have a few dollars extra in your pocket but also feel a little lighter.
Image courtesy of midorisyu on Flickr