“Are you really full?” is something I’m used to hearing at the dinner table by now. The truth is that YES I am full, and that’s because I’ve been snacking all day. Rather than the 3 (or 5?) meals you’re supposed to eat, I like to snack all day and have smaller meals, especially while I’m working, or studying. With a student budget, I can’t afford to eat Kind bars all the time, Of course it’s tempting to pick up candy, but there are way better alternatives. Below are my personal favorite budget-friendly, guilt-free snacks.
1.”Homemade” Trail Mix
“Homemade” trail mix is great because you can customize it completely, rather than stick with the store bought version that is probably covered with salt anyway. For my mix, I like to use a variety of unsalted nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Macadamia Nuts), dark chocolate chunks and goji berries. Goji berries are a superfood and in the Asian culture, they are used in soup base because of all the health benefits they provide. Don’t assume that it will taste sweet- the goji berry is also a herb so it does have a little bit of an earthy taste.
2.Tortilla Chips + Dip
If you have about 10 minutes to kill, I would recommend making these “tortilla chips”. To make them, I cut up a small whole grain tortilla wrap into triangles and baked them for about 10 minutes (or until they brown) at 375 degrees. My choice of dip is either almond butter or hummus. This snack comes up to around 120 calories and is full of fibre and protein. Not to mention, a pack of 8 tortilla wraps (which will last almost forever) costs less than $5.
Edamame beans are unfortunately such an underrated snack. They are low in calories, packed with protein and calcium and they are so easy to make as well. You can boil, steam or microwave them. If I’m in a rush, I will usually put them in a bowl, pour a little bit of water in the bowl and microwave it for about 45seconds- 1 minute. Sprinkle with sea salt to enhance the flavour. Frozen vegetable in general is great for people trying to save time and money because this is a case where brands really don’t matter, and you don’t have to worry about using it up quickly as you would with the fresh variety.
Fruit is a no brainer. But finding the ones you get the most value out of may not be so obvious. Apples are great because they are super filling, last relatively long and they are one of the more inexpensive types of fruit. Bananas are my go-to for breakfast because they are so versatile. Throw it in a smoothie, slice it up and top off a piece of almond buttered toast or eat it alone and it’s still good. In my local grocery store, blueberries and strawberries go on sale often so I always pick those up.
Again, no brainer. Not everyone likes vegetables, and I get that but a trick that got me to eat more vegetables is slicing them up and bringing it to work. I really don’t mind them as a snack when I’m working because they’re nice to nibble on and I’m not paying too much attention to what the taste is. It’s a different story when I’m at home and I have chips in the pantry. Another way to make vegetables more enjoyable is trying it with dip. Hummus, peanut butter and spinach dip are all great.
6. Young Coconut
Last but not least, my favorite snack —young coconut. I’ve gotten really good at opening these up because of how often I buy them. I usually hate bottled coconut water but fresh coconut water is not the same thing at all. I LOVE fresh coconut water any time of the day and it’s a great source of natural electrolytes. After drinking all the water, open the coconut up and scoop out the meat (yum).