50 Cheap Frugal Snack Ideas for Your Family
Are your kids at the age where they open up the fridge and stare? Then, sigh, turn around, and say, ” We have nothing to eat.”
Even though you give them at least five different options, those aren’t good enough? Yeah, I’m right there with you.
So I decided to list simple, healthy snack ideas that the kids and I could reference whenever they think we have nothing to eat. Of course, this list will be helpful if you have toddlers.
Below I’ve compiled a list of 50 different snacks, from easy-to-make to store-bought. You’re sure to find something great on this list!
Making your popcorn is much cheaper than using microwave popcorn, and it’s so easy to do, too! You don’t even need a popcorn popper, and a simple kettle will work just fine.
To keep our budget in line, I like to make snacks at home for the kids and have them ready to go for the day.
Fresh fruit is one of my favorite healthy, frugal snacks because it’s so versatile. It can be eaten with breakfast or as an afternoon snack without any preparation needed at all.
I like to prepare bags of cut-up fruit and veggies in the afternoon so that my kids will have something healthy to snack on throughout the school day or when we’re out and about shopping.
If the fruit isn’t cut up, they can’t see it, I swear. This is a great way to use up those fruits and veggies almost on their way out. Cut up and mix and serve to the kiddos.
You can sprinkle a little lemon juice if you are slicing up apples or fruit that will brown. If I sprinkle any lemon juice, I usually put a little Truvia on it then too.
Apple Pie, Apple Everything
For some reason, my kids love apple pie more than any other type of dessert, even over chocolate cake or tiramisu.
I like to make baked apples because they’re straightforward to throw together, and I always have the ingredients on hand. In addition, apples are so versatile.
Encourage your kids to find a recipe using apples for a snack.
My mom made homemade granola bars for my sister and me when we were kids because she thought they were healthier than other snacks.
Now that I’m grown up, I still make them for my kid because they’re a great alternative to sugary snacks and easy to make, too.
Healthy salads are a nutritious addition to any diet and super simple to prepare. I like to keep a bag of washed lettuce in the fridge so that whenever we have a snack attack, I have something healthy on hand. My kids love salad, so this is a great way to get them to eat vegetables.
To help keep your own homegrown lettuce fresh longer, use a mason jar with a paper towel in it.
I shared the tip in a Tiktok video below.
@thefrugalfarmgirl Finally got lettuce from the garden!
My family likes smoothies as a healthy snack, but we don’t want to purchase them from the store because they tend to be pricey.
So instead, we combine some fruit and juice around the house and blend it up for a tasty and nutritious smoothie.
My kids also love a chocolate banana smoothie. I use a combo of vanilla greek yogurt, milk, peanut butter, and a little chocolate protein powder.
Our family gets a kick out of having Nutella as a snack. Of course, we like to spread it on our toast in the morning, but we also really enjoy it on graham crackers as an afternoon treat.
The best part is that it’s super simple to make at home because all you need is a jar of hazelnuts and a few other ingredients. If you don’t want to make it homemade, pick up the off-brand at Aldi or Walmart.
I always keep a baggie of blueberries in my freezer so that we can enjoy them as a healthy snack at home or on the go. Of course, they’re best when eaten fresh, but they’re delicious even when frozen.
I find the best deal at BJ’s Wholesale Club. Also, the BJ’s brand doesn’t stain your fingers like the Wyman’s brand did for us.
We always have eggs on hand and hard boil them in bulk every week because it’s a simple way to make protein-rich snacks for the kids.
Once they are hard-boiled, you can eat them plain. Make egg salad or even whip up deviled eggs.
Peanut Butter Energy Balls
One of my favorite healthy snacks is homemade peanut butter energy bars; they’re super frugal and taste delicious! We like to keep them in an airtight container on our counter so that they’re ready to snack on at a moment’s notice.
Check out the video with a recipe I shared on Tiktok below.
@thefrugalfarmgirl just made a double batch!
I always make sure to have some cheese in the fridge. Cheese is a great snack alone or on top of a cracker. It doesn’t require any preparation, so if my kids are hungry in between meals, I can give them a healthy snack without spending any time in the kitchen.
We have tortillas on hand at all times for quick and easy snacks. My favorite go-to is to spread refried beans, sprinkle cheese onto the tortilla, roll it up tightly and cut it into pieces.
My kids love watching the little “snack burritos” disappear! Of course, you can do eggs and cheese in tortillas too—so many ideas. You can even make your tortillas for super cheap.
Plain yogurt is a simple and delicious snack option for my family because it’s a great source of protein.
Having a container in our fridge allows us to make smoothies, or for a sweet treat, we add in chocolate chips.
Frozen blueberries are delicious in it too. The cheapest place to buy yogurt is BJs, Costco, or Aldi.
My kids like leftovers. I decided at a young age to teach kids NOT to be afraid of leftovers. They know if they don’t enjoy a dinner I served, they can have leftovers if there are any. If not, they have to eat dinner! But leftovers are a great snack too.
We try to keep homemade hummus around when we need an easy appetizer or snack in a pinch. I make mine by blending garbanzo beans, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt.
Then, I serve it with pita bread or crackers.
If I buy hummus, I get it at BJs because their brand is only $3 for a giant container. I always go for the Red pepper hummus.
Cooking at home doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming.
For example, one of our favorite snacks is baked tortilla chips because all you need are some corn tortillas, a can of green chilies, and a little melted butter.
You just cut up the tortillas, put them on a baking sheet, and mix everything. Then you bake them until they’re crispy.
Check out a recipe here.
I try to have a bag of frozen mixed vegetables in my freezer at all times so that we always have something easy to serve as a side dish or as an added ingredient to many different recipes.
Wholesale clubs are great places to score deals on frozen veggies. You can quickly heat them, add a little butter, and season for a quick lunch snack.
Check out this post for the best things to buy at wholesale clubs.
I like to make yogurt parfait cups for the kids. This is another idea when the fruit is starting to sit to use it up. Add a little yogurt to the bottom of the cup, then sprinkle a little fruit on top and keep layering. I use our mason jars and then seal with a reusable lid.
Frozen fruit works perfectly for this. If you make them in the morning, they will be ready by the kids get home from school.
You can always add in fun things, like chocolate chips, granola M & M&Ms, and more.
Ants on a Log
My favorite healthy snack is celery with peanut butter and raisins. You can buy any of these ingredients at the grocery store and whip them together for a tasty treat. Change peanut butter to any nut butter or cream cheese.
One of my kid’s favorite snacks is banana sandwiches. We cut up bananas in slices and top with peanut butter. These are awesomely frozen, too, especially if you have any children teething. Of course, you can sway Nutella or a favorite spread too.
Frozen Mixed Fruit
I always keep a bag of frozen mixed fruit in my freezer. Then, when the kids are hungry and don’t have anything ready, it provides them with a wholesome treat.
Leave it out on a counter for an hour or so, and they can start munching. Frozen blueberries were my kid’s favorites as toddlers.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard-Boiled eggs are a great source of protein and can be made in bulk, so they’re ready whenever the kids are hungry. I usually boil a dozen at a time in my Ninja Foodi and store them in the fridge.
Banana bread is a got to around our house. I can never turn down a slice because it’s so tasty. It’s also cheap to make. The best way to make delicious moist bread is to use very ripe bananas.
Trail Mix- I always have a cereal box on hand for last-minute breakfast or snacks. It doesn’t require any preparation and is a quick, healthy go-to choice. You can easily mix up different cereals for a trail mix too.
We love to eat frozen grapes. They’re a refreshing, sweet, and inexpensive snack.
Oatmeal is a fantastic food that’s dirt cheap! You can get oatmeal boxes for $1 or less at the grocery store, and this is one of the healthier foods.
We make it in our Ninja Foodi in just 3 minutes! You can then make oatmeal cookies, oatmeal bread, plain oatmeal, and more.
Salami Roll Ups
We love Salami roll-ups. So I’ll buy Salami from BJs deli and roll it up over a cheese stick. Easy peasy.
Homemade Popsicles are my kids’ favorite treats because we make them with their favorite juice and an affordable popsicle maker. You could also freeze some fruit and puree it for a tasty treat.
Homemade pretzels are easy and freeze well, so they’re great if you want to make them in advance. Try this recipe next time.
One of my favorite snacks is an English muffin with cream cheese and jelly or peanut butter. But, of course, you can make these homem ade too.
My kids love when I serve up their favorite fruit, grapes, with this quick Dip. Then, I mix some marshmallow fluff and vanilla yogurt for an inexpensive treat.
Chocolate Chip Muffins
Chocolate Chip Muffins are easy to make in bulk and freeze well. We enjoy them for breakfast, but they also work as a sweet treat when you’re on the go. I like to use mini chocolate chips for these.
Tuna is a great inexpensive protein to have for a snack. Mix it with some mayo and celery for a quick tuna salad sandwich. Or, you could put it into a tortilla with some cheese and veggies for one of my kids’ favorite tuna wraps.
Homemade waffles- If you have older kids, they can reheat the waffles and make a sandwich or top with frozen fruit.
Our family loves a good cheese quesadilla. I’ll top it with cheese and mayo if we have leftover chicken. Otherwise, you can add eggs or any other protein available if you don’t want plain cheese.
Carrots and dip
Carrots and Dip- you can’t forget this classic after-school snack. But, of course, we use ranch dressing over any veggie dip.
Chocolate Tacos are an entertaining treat and perfect for a warmer day. Have your kids help you make Chocolate Tacos with ice cream. Here is a great recipe.
Frozen Yogurt Bars
One of our favorite after-school snacks is these homemade frozen yogurt bars. I buy the big boxes of Greek Yogurt, top with fruit, and freeze for an easy after-school treat.
You want to let them sit out for a minute or two before serving.
Banana boats are a kid’s favorite snack in our house. So we cook up a banana stuffed with chocolate chips and marshmallows in the oven. You can fill in with whatever fun toppings you like. Here’s a recipe.
Talk about cheap- I use plain old white bread to make this yummy grilled cheese. You can’t go wrong with cheap bread and a hot sandwich!
If the kids are being picky about what you’re serving, don’t give up hope just yet. Instead, help them with a tasty fruit salad and sprinkle a little sugar if you have to!
Oven Baked Fries
Oven-baked fries- I cut potatoes into fries and bake at 400 on the top shelf for about 30 minutes. So I always have potatoes on hand, and they’re pretty inexpensive.
You will be surprised at how many fries you get from a few potatoes versus a frozen bag.
One of my kids’ favorite treats is homemade peanut butter fudge. We use t his recipe for the base since it’s nice and creamy, then throw in anything else we want-chocolate chips, Reese’s Cups, etc. It’s SO GOOD!
Another excellent after-school snack is mozzarella sticks. If you buy premade ones, it’s easy for kids to toss in an air fryer. Or, if you are feeling adventurous, you can make your own here.
A good old-fashioned PB & J is always a winner in our house! The kids love when I pack this up for lunch with some fruit or veggies on the side.
Peanut Butter Rice Cakes
One of my favorite snacks is a scoop of peanut butter on a rice cake.
Spoon of Peanut Butter
I kid you not, my kids as toddlers would eat the peanut butter right off the spoon. It was a typical snack for a while.
When my kids were toddlers, this was another staple, getting animal crackers in a big bin from BJs or Costco.
You can get a massive container for only $4.99, making a wholesale membership worth it. Dip in Nutella or peanut butter too!
2 Ingredient Cookies
If you’re having a party, make these two-ingredient cookie s-they’re SO easy to make, and kids love them. The best part is they are cheap to make!
These are just a few of the frugal snacks you can whip up for your family. If you’re looking to save more money in other areas, take a look at our blog post on how to cut grocery costs by 50%.
What are your favorite snacks? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share with your friends – they may need some cheap snack ideas, too!