Snack smart and save

Instead of indulging in costly, high-calorie treats to get you through the day, use these simple snacking strategies to whittle your waistline (not your wallet).

When hunger strikes, don't waste your money on high-calorie vending machine munchies or fattening fast-food, they're just an easy (and expensive way) to pile on the calories. Use these simple tips and healthy snack options to stay on track with your budget and your diet.

Bulk up: The bulk bins at your local market contain great deals—you buy only the amount you want (so you waste less), and you don’t pay for packaging. Save on nuts, dried fruit and granola. Check out the ALL YOU grocery stockpiling guide to learn more about bulking up on groceries.

Try specialty stores: Markets that specialize in Asian, Mexican or Indian foods are great snack sources. Look for wasabi peas, plantain chips and other tasty items.

Live on bread alone: Shop at a bakery outlet for inexpensive goods such as bran muffins and whole-wheat rolls to make snack-size sandwiches. You can even use pita bread to make crunchy (and healthy) pita chips, get our recipe here.

Think out of the box: Purchase frozen, jarred or canned fruits and veggies to snack on. They’re quick, convenient and often less expensive than fresh produce. Try edamame, mango chunks and berries.

Chip off the block: Instead of buying expensive shredded and string cheeses, purchase a chunk of your favorite cheese and cut it into sticks and shred as needed.

Stay cool: Avoid pricey ice pops by making your own with juice, smoothies or chocolate milk. You don’t need special molds—use paper cups and craft sticks. Try our easy recipe for yogurt pops.

Use up all the cereal: If you don’t have enough for a full bowl, freeze the rest. Once you’ve stashed away plenty, make a batch of cereal bars (similar to Rice Krispies Treats or these easy Haystack Cookies).