When you’re following a meal plan, most will ask you to incorporate a healthy snack into your day. This helps you avoid the mid-morning or mid-afternoon slumps and will keep your metabolism stoked as you go about your activities. For me, this meant adding in more food…. which meant…..spending more money….. which I hate! So, I rely on 5 budget friendly snacks that I always have available. These snacks aren’t heavily processed, are quick to prep, and snacks that I know I will look forward to each day when my stomach starts gnawing on my spine from hunger.
- Fat-Free Greek Yogurt, Fruit, and Honey
This is my daily go to budget friendly snack because I can get a huge container of Greek yogurt for about $4 or $5 if I don’t have a coupon, Kiwi for about $.25 cents, and I just use a drizzle of honey. It’s incredibly high protein, the fruit you can always get what’s in season and on sale – I just prefer Kiwi or Strawberries, and it’s unbelievably easy to make. Just ½ cup of the yogurt plus ½ cup of the fruit and my appetite is satiated until lunch. The honey helps sweeten the yogurt naturally and I get to control how much I add in. Literally, a little drizzle will do! You can also top with granola if you want a little crunch.
- Pretzels/Flatbread pieces and Hummus
This is my option when I am craving something savory and I know regular chips are a binge trigger of mine. Mini pretzels or pretzels sticks with a nice hummus – I like a robust flavor hummus that has a lot of spice to really get my taste buds dancing – is a great relief from my afternoon slump. To switch it up, I also like to use flatbread or Naan. I cut a serving into triangles and brush it with olive oil, dry basil, and garlic then toast it in the toaster oven and serve it with my hummus. Hummus again is one of those things that can be made easily at home and customized to your palate or if you’re a couponer – they’re always on sale and there are almost always coupons available for it. If not, $2-$3 a container still isn’t bad!
- My Kinda Nachos
No, not the cheesy, fat laden, oooey gooey kind. My nachos are a serving of tortilla chips topped with black and pinto beans, corn, salsa, and non-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. These morph nachos from a once high-calorie splurge into now a high protein low fat snack. When making the bean mixture, I mix one can of drained seasoned black beans, one can of drained pinto beans, one drained can of corn, plus about ¼ cup to a ½ cup of medium to hot salsa. You can let it simmer for about 20 minutes to cook the beans some and add other seasonings to it if you like. Then all week I have a bean topping that I can add to my nachos (or baked potatoes) and all I have to do is heat just a little bit of it up and top it with about a tablespoon of nonfat Greek yogurt – since I already have the Greek yogurt from snack #1. You can add a little cheese if you want but I would go over a tablespoon since it’s just not necessary and it bumps up the calorie count.
- Good Ol Fruit and Nuts
Seriously, you can’t beat it. It’s the absolute go to for all snacks. A banana and some pistachios or almonds are such a great snack for me. I keep pistachios on hand always at my desk for a quick pick me up and my fruit is always on deck. The only downside to this snack is that nuts can be expensive unless you’re talking about peanuts – but that’s not the kind you want. So, what you’ll want to do is head to the bulk section of a wholesale store (we have one called Healthy Home Market) or Aldi where you can find good quality nuts like pistachios, almonds, pecans, etc. at a good price. And remember, one serving is usually one ounce. So, don’t mindlessly snack. Also…. watch the sodium.
- Instead of boiled eggs – try Deviled Eggs
Keep on sleeping on those deviled eggs yall lol. I told you they were good! Seriously, I love deviled eggs! I very rarely eat eggs, but when I see deviled eggs omg I must go in! They are amazing! And with so many recipes, the possibilities are endless. Eggs are the holy grail of protein for fitness fanatics and when working out I could never bring myself to eat them. Two boring boiled eggs? Scrambled eggs….ehhh maybe….. but then it hit me. I love deviled eggs, why not try those! Sadly, because I can’t control myself around them I can’t meal prep them but if you do, try making smoked salmon deviled eggs. I use a recipe like the one found on Eating Well but minus the cottage cheese and relish (bleh to both) and instead add in ½ cup smoked salmon. My grocery store sells smoked salmon “bits” which is just shavings of salmon so it’s very inexpensive. If you’re going to do this as well, make sure you taste the mixture first before adding salt, smoked salmon brings its own salty smoky flavor.
So there you go, those are my top 5 budget friendly snacks that are always in my meal plan repertoire…. what are some of yours?
Need some more ideas, check out my list of go to plant based and vegetarian meals for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.