It seems almost impossible to get anything for under $1 these days, especially when it comes to healthy food. Don’t fear, we’ve rounded up the cream of cheap and healthy snack ideas.
It takes planning, determination and serious willpower to avoid the quick-fix treats and snacks that beckon us in the grocery store with their shiny packages and tiny prices. It can be done, though! Here are some tips and ideas to help you fight back.
When it comes to eating healthily, preparation is the key. Spend half-an-hour on Sunday afternoon organising your snacks for the week and your wallet and hips will thank you. Mini plastic bags (10 centimetres x 15 centimetres) have just become your new best friend!
- Hummus and vegie sticks. Cut carrot, capsicum, snow peas, celery and cucumber into “sticks” and put a variety in mini plastic bags. Spoon a quarter cup of hummus into small containers and keep them in the fridge to grab easily when you’re on your way out.
- Hardboiled eggs. While you are cutting up your vegies for the week, boil some eggs on the stove. Bring them to boil then cook for 5 minutes. Allow them to cool, mark them so they are distinguishable from raw eggs, then put them back in the fridge. You could easily take some rice crackers with you for an egg sandwich on the go.
- Trail mix. There is a bit of an outlay at the beginning, but this snack will last you a long time. Buy a variety of nuts, seeds and dried fruit and then combine them with shredded coconut. Put handfuls in mini plastic bags and store them in the pantry for easy access on your way out the door. Keep one in your handbag for when cravings strike!
- Cheese and crackers. As above, cut small squares off a block of cheese and put four in plastic bags with some rice crackers. Store in the fridge.
- Popcorn. Go back to basics and cook popcorn on the stove. You will need to heat a teaspoon of oil in a saucepan then add a third of a cup of popping corn and a dash of salt. Put the lid on and enjoy the sound of that popping magic. Add a small knob of melted butter and a pinch of salt when it is cooked. Put handfuls in plastic bags and keep them in the pantry.
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Not so prepared
- Fruit. You can even buy a piece of fruit at the local service station or 7/11 these days so there are no excuses. While chocolate may be the last item you pass as you go to pay at the grocery store, fruit is usually one of the first. Grab a piece and go straight to the checkout, don’t wander the aisles.
- Muesli bar. The confectionery aisle and the health food aisle sell individual protein, fruit and grain bars and they are still a better option than a Mars Bar.
- Health food shop. Skip the grocery store altogether and whip into the health food store instead. The bulk-buy bins contain all sorts of yummy and healthy treats, including carob, nuts and dried fruit so choose a snack-size selection from here instead.
Eat at home
- Honey fried bananas. Cheap and indulgent at the same time. Heat a frypan and add a teaspoon of honey. Arrange banana slices in the pan and sprinkle with cinnamon. Turn over when fragrant and then serve on a rice cake.
- Porridge. In about 2 minutes you can have a filling and satisfying snack, it doesn’t have to be breakfast time! Add sultanas, a dash of honey and sprinkle over some chopped nuts or fruit.
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Sometimes it’s just about choosing between what you want now and what you want most. Happy snacking!