3 Easy Ways To Save Money on Food When You Love to Snack 

Debt Repayment, In the Kitchen

I am a huge snacker. I don’t eat a lot at each meal, but I eat several times throughout the day. For example, here’s my daily eating schedule:

I may or may not eat breakfast. If I do on a weekday, it’s usually something like Greek yogurt, a granola bar, or a pre-made breakfast burrito. However, if it’s the weekend, I may eat bacon or sausage, eggs, and toast.

3 ways to save money on food when you love to snack

Then, at about 10:00, I’m hungry again. I’ll either try to wait it out until lunch or I’ll have a snack.

At noon, I’m almost always ready to eat lunch! I often eat at noon exactly, unless there’s something else going on that prevents me from doing so.

At around 3:30, I usually eat another snack.

5:30 is dinner time. And then I don’t eat again until the next day. I snack a lot throughout the day, but I’m not a night-time snacker.

I also keep a close eye on my finances. So how do I save money at the grocery store when I like to snack all the time? I’ll tell you.

Re-Package it Yourself

My number one cost saving tip is that I buy full sized packages and break it down into smaller portions on my own. I do have a costco membership because I needed it to buy the matching flooring for my house, and sometimes I go in and get the giant Kirkland brand coffee tins. However, after that, I’m only feeding myself and don’t need food in bulk.

For me, repackaging food just means buying the regular or party size bag of chips, the standard size bag of granola, a regular bunch of grapes, or chopping up apples or strawberries. If I leave these things all in their regular packaging I either don’t eat them because it seems like a lot of work, or I eat them all in one sitting. For you, your purchases may be the same, or it may mean buying the large packages of a variety of foods at the bulk food store, and making smaller packages yourself for you and your family.

3 ways to save money on food when you love to snack

When I make my lunches, I love bringing salads. I’ve tried bringing the full ingredients for salad to work and making it there, but I just don’t do it. So I have learned to either buy the bagged lettuce when I’m super slammed, or to save money, buy romaine and chop it myself. Then I also chop up the toppings I like (usually carrots and bell peppers if they’re on sale) and put them into individual containers. This works as a different flavor to my lunch and keeps me from eating my snack during my lunch hour instead of around 3:30.

Buy What is On Sale

I’d love to always have chips for a snack, but aside from the fact that they’re not the healthiest choice, chips can be pretty pricey if they’re not on sale. If what I really want is full price, and the rest of the food I’m buying for dinners that week includes a lot of protein, I change my snacking plan. For example, this week, regular sized bags were full price for $4.28, but two party sized bags were $4.00. So I bought two party sized bags and I’ll break up the other bag of ruffles next week!

If the Kind Bars are on sale, I’ll get those, but if Nature Valley Peanut Butter Bars are cheaper, I get those. For granola bars, I just bring the entire box to work and leave them in my office. This keeps me from mindlessly eating them at home.

If I go through the produce section, and Honey Crisp apples are a good deal, I grab three of those (I know I won’t eat an apple all five days of the week) and bypass the chips.

On my favorite weeks, the homemade salsas are on sale and I pair that with a bag of Juanitas for the ultimate 3:00 stress food snack: Chips and Salsa. Yum!

It’s a lot easier for me to adjust my snacking options based on sales than my dinner plans. Be flexible in what you take to work each day so that you can save the most money while avoiding the hangry version of you that shows up in the middle of the day when you’re also sleepy and overworked!

3 ways to save money on food when you love to snack

Plan Ahead with your Schedule

I don’t always spend every day of the week in my office. This means that I don’t need a snack every morning/afternoon. If I’ve purchased produce, then I need to make sure that it’s not going to go bad, which is the biggest money waste of all! If I have something that’s non perishable and something that is perishable, I need to keep an eye on my changing schedule and make sure that if something changes later in the week, I eat the apple instead of the bag of chips.

I also keep certain, non-perishable items at my office. For example, I keep salad dressing in my office fridge, and croutons in my office. This way, it never matters if I run to the nearby grocery store’s salad bar (you’ll save money if you buy only the salad and add salad dressing at home/work because it will weigh way less!), I brought it myself, or salad toppings were all expensive and I only brought lettuce, I have the toppings ready to go. Figure out what you can keep at your work so that you don’t have to plan around it, and then spend a little bit of time on Sunday planning the logistics of how to bring the rest!

With these three habits, I am able to snack when I want to, and avoid being hangry around the office. Easy, peasy (and everyone around me is happier)! Do you have any other tips on how to save money on snack foods? What’s your favorite mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack?

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28 Comments

  • Reply
    Mandi
    March 16, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I love the idea of Costco, I know it’s cheaper in the long run. I’m trying to snack on more produce, which isn’t too hard because, my son is starting to eat finger foods as well. I printed off a sheet that lets me know what I can freeze, how long produce is good for and how it stores. It’s a great reference and reminder to keep me on track. Thanks for the informative post!

    http://www.motherhoodgetsbetter.com

    • Reply
      Brittany
      March 19, 2017 at 9:29 am

      Oh that sounds like a super helpful sheet! I always have to reference a sheet about what produce is in season. For some reason I can never remember that. And how exciting that your son is starting to eat finger foods! :)

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ WrittenByJennifer
    March 16, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Buy good quality snacks. The kids will eat just about anything but my husband and I are a bit pickier so I’ll grab whatever is on sale for the kids and splurge on a few good cheese and hummus. Since it’s a *good* cheese or good hummus, the flavor is top notch and a little goes a long way.

    • Reply
      Brittany
      March 19, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Ohhh, this is such a good tip, Jennifer! When a snack isn’t satisfying, it’s easy to keep eating even if you might be full. By splurging on satisfying snacks, they will last you way longer! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Reply
    Belle
    March 16, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Love this! I agree with repackaging and planning ahead! Great tips!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    • Reply
      Brittany
      March 19, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Thanks, Belle! I’m glad these tips have worked for you as well :)

  • Reply
    candy
    March 16, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Taking the time to break everything down into a different smaller package is always a great idea.
    candy recently posted…Chocolate Chip Cookie Mug

  • Reply
    Kara
    March 16, 2017 at 11:07 am

    I definitely need to start repackaging snacks for myself. I usually don’t buy snack packs because they are more expensive, but this would keep me from overeating :)

    • Reply
      Brittany
      March 19, 2017 at 9:15 am

      Yes, I’m certain it would, Kara. It helps me a ton. :)

  • Reply
    Diana Ratana
    March 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    It always helps to be mindful of your snacking, I tend to get carried away and eat the whole package :p. Great tips!

    • Reply
      Brittany
      March 19, 2017 at 9:15 am

      So do I, Diana! I can eat a bag of chips in one sitting without realizing it! Oops

  • Reply
    Dia Darling
    March 16, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    I snack to keep myself from overeating. You are so right about packaging it yourself. I can spend two bucks on a box of plastic bags (or even better use my Tupperware) and just separate the portions out the night before. Great tips!
    Dia Darling recently posted…4 Lessons I’ve Learned in 2 Years of Blogging

    • Reply
      Brittany
      March 19, 2017 at 9:14 am

      I use a combination of plastic bags and tuperware depending on what I’m bringing and, confession, if any of my tupperware is clean haha!

  • Reply
    Rachael @ The Rachael Way
    March 16, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Now I want Ruffles! haha. But for real, great post! I’ve gotten a lot better this year about being better about what I’m snacking on.
    Rachael @ The Rachael Way recently posted…Five Books I Want to Read This Year

    • Reply
      Brittany
      March 19, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Oh man, I basically always want ruffles! haha I feel like you’ve had a great year in tons of areas of your life! You’re so inspiring!

  • Reply
    Alicia
    March 16, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Thanks for these great tips! Planning is definitely a must. I bought a cute lunch bag so I could pack it with food so I don’t spend more money when i’m out and about. I need to work on this one though.

    • Reply
      Brittany
      March 19, 2017 at 9:11 am

      Oh that’s fun! Sometimes I do that with gym clothes when I’m in a rut, buy cute new ones :). I feel like food prepping takes practice to get into a true routine. Good luck!

  • Reply
    andrea
    March 17, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    We are big snackers in this house. Planning does help and it makes your choices a little healthier too. I choose to make a lot of snacks making them even cheaper:)

    • Reply
      Brittany
      March 19, 2017 at 9:10 am

      You’re totally right. When I plan ahead, I pay a lot more attention to the type of food I’m eating so it’s a bit healthier.

  • Reply
    Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen
    March 17, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    These are great ideas!! I need to teach my son how to repackage food. Maybe that will help it last longer.

    • Reply
      Brittany
      March 19, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Oh it absolutely will, Kimberly. Well, as long as he doesn’t just open the next package after finishing the first, of course :).

  • Reply
    Saidat
    March 18, 2017 at 1:50 am

    My favorite mid morning snack is apple or grapes. Those tips really work. I stopped buying lunch all the time at campus cafeteria. I pack food with me from home.

    • Reply
      Brittany
      March 19, 2017 at 9:08 am

      I bet that saves you a ton of money, Saidat! It’s so easy to be tempted by cafeterias on site since they’re right there. I am impressed by your will power :). I love grapes as a snack too. They’re so delicious and easy to eat.

  • Reply
    Leiha Mann
    March 18, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    I’m horrible at planning ahead when it comes to snacks or foods. I know it would be so much cheaper and healthier. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Reply
      Brittany
      March 19, 2017 at 9:05 am

      You’re welcome. I hope you try it out!

  • Reply
    Anne | onedeterminedlife
    March 20, 2017 at 7:56 am

    I love to snack as well!! Thankfully, what saves me from eating all the time is that if I eat something, then I will have to share with my kids :):):):)

    • Reply
      Brittany
      March 20, 2017 at 8:09 am

      Haha that is a good help! :)

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