Ok, so this could be applied to anyone, really. However, as a single woman, I’m relating it to some of my favorite snack food options.
First of all, I am a professional snacker. Like, really. I rarely sit down for a big meal, and prefer to snack throughout the day, constantly. Somehow it feels healthier because I’m never really full (a feeling I dread to be honest). I am that weirdo who has a purse full of snacks at all times. So what are some of my favorite frugal snacks you may ask?
1. Popcorn. Not the from the bag, completely drenched in butter and salt variety (though that’s freakin’ delicious). But you can buy popcorn for pennies in the bulk section of most grocery stores and it is super easy to make on the stove top. 1/3 cup of uncooked kernels turns into what seems like an enormous amount of snacking deliciousness. Pennies? I think we can all afford a few pennies.
2. Cherry tomatoes. Every year my mom plants 4 tomato plans on the side of the house. Each one costs roughly $2 when it’s all said and done. Those 4 tomato plants go to town late summer and produce BUCKETS of tomatoes. We usually plan 1 heirloom plan, 1 roma plant and 2 or 3 cherry tomato plants. Now, this is only a frugal snack if you have tomato plants. Buying those tiny boxes at the store (which each probably cost over $3 is not cheap my friends!) However, eating them fresh off the vine is AMAZING! Ask my tiny nephew (he’s 2 years old). He LOVES them! He takes his little bucket and helps Auntie MoMo go pick tomatoes each afternoon. He of course pops them right in his mouth (I prefer to rinse the dirt off mine before digging in). They are healthy and delicious and super cheap! $2 for 2 months of daily afternoon tomato snacking? That’s pretty darn delicious to me!
3. Roasted chickpeas. Now, you need to roast them yourself. Buying the prepackaged ones at the grocery store will set you back at least $4 per package, which is less than a cup. Nope. Buy dried beans, soak them, rinse and boil them, drain them, toss with some olive oil and a little garlic salt, roast in the oven for a few minutes and enjoy! They are crunchy and salty and so yummy! You could even eat them plain if you wanted to (but seriously, garlic salt for the win!)
4. If you’re anything like me, sometimes your sweet tooth kicks in. Instead of going out and buying a box of cookies or a slice of cake from the local bakery, make it yourself! Don’t even use the boxed cake mix! That shit aint cheap either! There are literally thousands of recipes online for cakes, cookies, and brownies from scratch. Many even call for veggies like zucchini or carrots if you have extras on hand, or applesauce instead of eggs. Trust me, you can do it. Baking is all about following directions!
5. Tortilla chips. Again, make them yourself. You can buy like, 80 small corn tortillas at my local Mexican grocery for like under 2 bucks. Each tortilla can be cut into 6 pieces, then pop in a screaming hot oven for a few minutes. Bam. Tortilla chips better than any in a restaurant. You can eat them plain or add a little salt and dip them in whatever you have on hand (those chickpeas? make some hummus! extra tomatoes? salsa!) I’m telling you, super duper easy.
So what do all these suggestions have in common? Doing it yourself. I like to eat good food, trust me. I don’t like prepackaged things as I care what goes in my body. That being said, these aren’t necessarily health food suggestions. They may be healthy, but they are also easy on the wallet. I am a single woman who works hard for her money and doesn’t want to spend all of it on food! I like pinching my pennies and saving a few dollars here and there. And for as much snacking as I do, these tips certainly save me money over time!
What are some of your favorite on-the-cheap snacks?