I was talking to my grandmother the other day about how much kids love to snack. As a homeschooling mother of seven children, snacks and large family meal planning go hand in hand. With so many mouths to feed I have had to get creative when it comes to cheap snacks for kids. Feeding a large family takes some logistical expertise and making sure we have enough food on hand for the kids to have at least two good snacks a day is a must!
Cheap Snacks to Buy in Bulk
A few years ago I set up a DIY snack station on our kitchen counter. Even after moving three times since, we still use the same fruit basket to hold our healthier snack options.
I also keep a couple of baskets in my pantry stashed with snacks. Here are some of my ideas!
- Granola Bars
- Fruit and Grain Bars
- Popcorn Kernels (We have a popcorn popper and my older kids can make their own popcorn.)
- Tortilla Chips to go with the salsa. They also make nachos by placing the tortilla chips on a plate and topping with shredded cheese. They can then melt the cheese in the microwave. It’s a favorite snack!
- Fruit Cups
Other great items you can buy in bulk include:
- Fruit Gummy Snacks
- Sweet Snacks (cookies)
Check out these pantry snack ideas.
Fruit To Keep On Hand for Snacks
In my fruit basket I always keep:
In our fridge I keep a big selection of bulk snack items as well.
- Cheese Sticks
- Yogurt Cups
- Cut Veggies such as carrots, cucumbers, bell pepper, and tomatoes
- Frozen Berries (my kids LOVE these for some reason and they are great for smoothies, too!)
- Cut Melon when in season
Cheap Snacks to Make at Home
Sometimes it’s a good idea to have some yummy cheap homemade snack recipes up your sleeve when you just have raw ingredients and everyone has the munchies.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes:
Peanut Butter Cookies – I remember my mom making us homemade peanut butter cookies a lot. I use a very simple recipe of one cup peanut butter, one cup sugar, and one egg. I mix it all up and divide on a cookie tray. I bake that in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Easy peasy.
Energy Balls – I love to combine oats, honey, chocolate chips or raisins, flax seed and peanut butter to make energy balls. Just throw it all together, refrigerate for an hour or so and then form small balls. Yum!
Boiled Eggs – This one is easy. Just boil eggs using your favorite method. We like to eat ours with hot sauce or Everything But The Bagel Seasoning. You can keep boiled eggs in your refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Smoothies – My kids make these almost every day using our Ninja single serve. We just combine 1 banana, a yogurt cup, some frozen fruit, and a bit of milk for a delicious smoothie.
Cinnamon Sugar Toast – Super easy. Just toast some bread, top with butter and a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon.
Cheese Tortillas – Sprinkle some shredded cheese in a tortilla and microwave until the cheese melts. Wrap and dip in salsa.
Ants on a Log – This classic snack consists of celery sticks spread with peanut butter and topped with raisins.
Baked Potato – This snack can be “baked” in the microwave in a matter of minutes. Kids can top their baked potato with butter, cheddar cheese, sour cream, or whatever they like!
Roasted Chickpeas- We love this crunchy snack in our house! I simply drain a can of chickpeas and toss with olive oil and my favorite seasonings, usually paprika, salt, and garlic powder, and roast at 400 degree F for 20 minutes until the chickpeas are crispy.
Frozen Grapes – These are the perfect summer treat! Just rinse and de-stem your grapes, then place in a freezer safe bag and freeze. (Only serve whole grapes to children over the age of four to prevent choking.)
If you’ve been asking yourself what snacks to get for kids, I hope this post gave you some inspiration. You don’t have to spend a ton of money buying expensive packages of chips and cookies. I find most of my cheap snacks at Walmart. Aldi is another great place to buy your kids’ snacks, as well as bulk membership places like Sam’s Club or Costco.
We attempt to keep our grocery budget at $250 a week, so I often have to get creative with our snacks and our snack schedule. My kids generally snack twice a day, and they know they have access to the fruit bowl whenever they need it. These snacks work for us!