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Frugal snack ideas: Budget friendly and healthy too

Jane Berry 2nd May 2023 3 Comments

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Welcome to the Frugal Column, where I aim to inspire you to live your best life without breaking the bank. You can follow my award-winning blog Shoestring Cottage and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel. I am also the author of Extreme Frugality: Save Money Like Your Grandma.

As a notorious snacker, I know how easy it is to spend a lot of money on treats. But it doesn’t have to be that way! With some creativity and planning, you can enjoy delicious snacks without breaking the bank. Here I share some of my favourite frugal snack ideas that are tasty, healthy and budget-friendly.

While it can be tempting to reach for junk food or crisps when you are peckish, it’s essential to strike a balance between healthy and indulgent when it comes to snacking. Luckily, many healthy snack options won’t cost a fortune.

As someone always on the lookout for healthy snacks that won’t break the bank, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite frugal snack ideas. Most of these are quick to make and perfect for satisfying those snack-attack cravings.


Quick and healthy snacks

When it comes to healthy snacks, it’s important to choose options that are both nutritious and easy to prepare. Here are a few ideas:

  • Apple slices with peanut butter.
  • Hard-boiled eggs.   
  • Banana slices with peanut butter. 
  • Kale chips.
  • Smoothies.
  • Frozen grapes.
  • Energy balls.
  • Fruit – apples, bananas, and oranges are easy to carry and don’t require any preparation.
  • Nuts – almonds, cashews and peanuts are excellent sources of protein and healthy fats.
  • Rice cakes.

These snacks are not only healthy, but they’re also easy to make and can be prepared in advance to grab and go.


Budget-friendly snacks

If you’re looking for snacks that won’t break the bank, here are some even more budget-friendly options:

  • Roasted chickpeas.
  • Baked sweet potato chips.
  • Baked tortilla chips with a dip.
  • Popcorn.
  • Trail mix.
  • Cheese sticks.
  • Carrot sticks with hummus.

These snacks are not only affordable, but they’re also delicious.


Make-ahead snacks

Make-ahead snacks are perfect for those who are short on time. These snacks can be prepared in batches and stored in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to eat them. Here are some ideas:

  • Banana bread or muffins.
  • No-bake peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars.
  • Home-made Hob-Nob alternatives.
  • Thrifty granola bars.
  • Hummus – you can eat shop bought if you are in a hurry, but it’s easy to make your own.


The benefits of being organised

The beauty of these frugal snack ideas is that many of them are portable. You can take some with you to work, put them in your children’s lunchboxes, or pack them as part of a homemade picnic for a day out.

Personally, I like to take some snacks with me even when I am going shopping. It stops me from heading into a cafe and spending more money than I want to!

Many are also suitable or can be adapted to suit particular diets. For example, I eat a gluten-free diet, and shop-bought snacks marketed as free of gluten tend to be expensive. I batch-cook gluten-free banana muffins and pop a couple in a box in my handbag to carry with me. 

Similarly, if you are vegan or eating keto or paleo, making your own snacks for home and to take out will save you a lot of money. You also won’t panic because you can’t find anything suitable.



I hope that you have found some great ideas for frugal snacks that you can enjoy. Remember, snacking doesn’t have to be expensive, and with some creativity, you can make healthy and delicious snacks that won’t break the bank.

When it comes to snacking, it’s important to be mindful of your budget and your health. By choosing affordable, nutritious ingredients and preparing your snacks at home, you can save money and avoid the unhealthy additives and preservatives in many store-bought snacks.

So, next time you’re feeling peckish, why not try making one of the frugal snack ideas I have shared here? Your wallet and your taste buds will thank you!

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1 year ago

I couldn’t log in via your Newsletter tonight, I tried twice, but I got a virus threat both times, luckily AVG blocked both!

Isobel Lawrance
1 year ago
Reply to  Jo

Hi there, was this the Shoestring Cottage site or MoneyMagpie?

1 year ago

There are some good ideas there, have bought some grapes 3 days ago and haven’t eaten a single one yet, just checked them and they’re still good so am off to pop them in the freezer now. Hang on better separate them into some smaller amounts I think!

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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