Nest Building

Simple Snack Planning on a Budget

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Simple Snack Planning on a Budget - categories sweetfruit

As we get closer to the time to have our next baby, I have been in nesting mode to the MAX.  I have tried to create systems that are easy to understand and follow for when we (inevitably) have help in the home after baby arrives and I recover from the (likely) c-section.   And I know having these systems in place will help our girls to be able to direct whoever is helping with the procedures of our home.  One of the most pressing needs in our home is food.  The girls are ALWAYS hungry – always!   So, I thought it would be wise to create a snack station that is easy to reach for our girls and contains LOTS of options for each week, depending on what they want for snack times.

We have just had this system in place for a few weeks, but already it is working really well for us and the girls have taken to helping me with getting it set up and keeping it in order throughout the week.  And I have been really impressed with how much less I am buying at the store because I know we have enough snacks for each week.  So I thought I would share with you my tips for simple snack planning on a budget.

 

Pay Attention to Serving Sizes

We have preschoolers and adults to serve in this house.  And the nice thing about having little mouths to feed is their bellies fill faster than ours.  So when I am shopping for snack foods for the girls (and for us), I look at the serving sizes to determine how far a particular package of food will take us.  I have noticed that some products have what I consider to be insane serving sizes – like 5 chips per serving.  That doesn’t mean that I won’t buy an item with an odd serving size, but I do want to keep in mind how much food is in each serving to get ready for the next steps.

Set a Goal Price per Serving

We have different kinds of snacks in our snack shelf.  Some are more expensive than others: our salty and sweet snacks are typically cheaper per serving than our fruit and breakfast snacks.  But having a good idea of how much I want to spend per snack serving helps me keep within our grocery budget for the week.   And having it broken down into a price per serving helps me to compare different products with one another quickly while I am in the store.  I like to shoot for 20-30 cents per serving for sweet and salty snacks and less than 50 cents per serving on our fruit and breakfast snacks.

Shop the Dollar Store for Your favorite brands

One of the little known facts about the dollar store circuit is they have lots of national name brand products at really good prices.  What is usually different from what you find in the typical grocery store is the packaging is a different (usually smaller) size, so check to make sure you are really getting a good deal for your dollar.  We went to the local dollar store this weekend and found my favorite brands of prepackaged peanut butter and crackers (something I like to have on hand for blood sugar problems) and a favorite graham cracker snack.  I was able to get the peanut butter crackers for 16 cents per serving and the graham crackers for 14 cents per serving.  I grabbed a couple of each of them at those prices and we will enjoy our favorites for less than we would have paid at the grocery store with coupons.

Shop in Bulk for your favorite snacks

We are loyal warehouse store customers because we have found the items we can really save big on when we buy in bulk.  A few of the items we really like to buy are breakfast items: cereal bars, fig bars, yogurt; and dried fruits and nuts.  We have found that when we purchase these in bulk, we can divide them up into serving sizes and save.

Divide the Snacks into Categories

When I get home from the store or on the weekend sometime, I take the time (just a few minutes) to separate out the snacks for our week into separate snack size baggies and put them into specific categorized bins.  Our bins are on the bottom shelf of our pantry and are labeled (and you will typically find in them):

Breakfast – cereal bars and fig bars, homemade instant oatmeal packets

Salty – crackers, popcorn, and nuts

Sweet – cookies, graham crackers

Fruit – raisins, dried cranberries

My older daughter is starting to read, so she can now read the bins and help her sister to find the appropriate snack for the time of day.  They can help me quickly get breakfast together (especially when we are on the go!) or find a snack at snack time based on what I tell them they may have.

Simple Snack Planning on a Budget

 

We are not back-to-schoolers just yet, but I know these tips would definitely come in handy for back to school season.  Do you have a snack planning and sorting routine?  I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Simple Snack Planning on a budget - get ready for back to school with easy to reach snacks for little hands

 

 


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6 Comments

  • Reply Evonne Cordell August 26, 2015 at 3:39 PM

    Great ideas!

  • Reply Lynda Way August 26, 2015 at 10:34 PM

    Really very good and helpful ideas,
    *Divide the Snacks into Categories* section is awesome.

    • Reply ussleah August 28, 2015 at 7:28 AM

      Thank you!

  • Reply Life Breath Present August 28, 2015 at 6:05 AM

    Good organizational and budget friendly tips to keep snacks around for the kiddos! And Congrats on the soon arrival of your newest little! 🙂

    • Reply ussleah August 28, 2015 at 7:27 AM

      Thank you! And thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  • Reply Christina @There's Just One Mommy August 30, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    Making the snacks easily accessible to the kids is an awesome idea! When I first started doing this it helped not only free up time for myself, but gave them a sense of pride as they chose healthy snack options for themselves.

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