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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cheap and Healthy Snacks

Most people spend wayyyyyy too much money on snacking, including coffee and a pastry from the coffee shop, the snack from the machine around 4pm when you are heading home or to another class, the mid-morning snack you purchase because you skipped breakfast (wanted to make an early class).  These add up quickly.  Here is a list of instant snacks that are healthy and, if purchased at the grocery store, are pretty reasonable in cost.  Make sure to leave one or two in your school bag to make sure you have an emergency snack at school at all time.

- an apple, an orange, a banana: easy to eat, fat-free, and always healthy

- raw carrots (buy ready to eat bags and divide in small bags, ready to grab from the fridge); English cucumber slices (no peeling necessary, just wash and slice); raw sweet peppers; celery (for a crunchy and low-calorie snack if you eat because of nerves)

- canned fruit in juice: open and partitioned in smaller containers

- high fiber, low-sugar granola bars – buy in boxes at the grocery store (much cheaper than by the unit)

- hard-boiled eggs: cook 2-3 at once and store in their shell, in the fridge (don’t forget to label them)

- nuts – full of protein! be considerate and ask your class neighbours before opening your snack – they could be allergic.

- raisins and other dried fruit.  Even in small, individual serving size boxes (instead of buying them in bulk), they are cheap.  Large bags of trail mix at the grocery stores are affordable – just remember that a portion is actually quite small since they are full of protein (and some fat) and fruit (and sugar).

- dry cereal: granola cereal, or larger piece cereal (such as square piece cereal) are easy to put in a small bag or a container; they are typically low(ish) in fat, low in sugar (don’t buy the multi-colored ones!), and full of added vitamins and mineral.  Much healthier than chips or chocolate.

- store bought muffins and cookies: if you have a sweet tooth, these are as healthy and much cheaper than the ones purchased at café and restaurants.  They are also often in much smaller servings (but the financial savings are per gram), keeping your waistline trim as well.

Even buying single-serve bags of snacks from the grocery store, although not completely frugal, is cheaper than buying from a café, a cafeteria or a machine.  A cheaper option would be to buy a large box of the snack and partition it at home.

Businesses prey on the busy student; don’t be a fool – bring your own food, and stash a couple of emergency snacks in your backpack.

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