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Snacking on a Budget

a medley of colorful healthy snacks laid out in separate plates on a wooden table. Top view

I find myself reaching for a snack quite often throughout the day. It can be so easy to just stop somewhere and pick up a bite to eat when you’re feeling hungry or grab whatever you can find in the snack drawer, even if it’s not a designated “meal” time such as lunch or dinner. This comes with a consequence for your wallet, however. I’ve found over time that preparing snacks ahead of time is much easier on my finances, and on my health.

Reaching for the easiest snack on hand often means unhealthy foods such as chips, cookies, chocolates and more filled with sugar or salt. By preparing ahead, I’m able to quickly reach for healthier alternatives. The planning starts with your grocery list. Add things to your list that you can prepare at home and take with you to snack on during the day. For example, I like to pick up fruits and veggies (such as apples and carrots) at the grocery store. I spend some extra time in the evening cutting and portioning these and add them to my lunch bag for the next day. Now I have something I can reach for during that in between time before or after lunch. For some added flavor, pack a small container of low fat dressing or even hummus to dip your veggies in, which makes it more appealing if you don’t necessarily love vegetables. Other options include peanuts, trail mixes, whole grain crackers, etc. which are all things that can be bought in bulk and separated into small bags you can grab on your way out the door in the morning.

Side note: Stock up on snack sized plastic baggies or containers when you see them on sale. These are great for snack prepping!

Now, what about snacking at home? A lot of times a sweet treat from the freezer can be great to cool down on a hot day, or just when you’re having a sweet tooth craving. However, is frozen yogurt really healthier than ice cream? Check out this article we found to learn more, you might be surprised!

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