Tips for Saving Money On Your Grocery Budget, Homemade Trail Mix & Homemade Snacks


This post may contain affiliate links.

Hi Friends!  I am publishing this post earlier than normal because we are going to do something this afternoon that I’ve wanted to do all summer.  Hell, I’ve wanted to do it since I was pregnant but this is the first year it makes any sense.  You’ll have to take my word for it that it’s going to be a fun afternoon!  Sorry, don’t want to clue any of my creepers from this post or stalkers from this post into where I plan to be today with my family.   I’ll fill you in with the details and pictures tomorrow.

I pack Scott’s lunch for him every day when he’s not traveling and I try not to buy prepackaged snacks.  They are expensive on a per bag/per snack ounce-for-ounce analysis but they are also usually devoid of real nutrition and high on salt, fat, and junky ingredients.

I try to include whole fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, dates, nut butters, dried fruit, homemade Vegan GF Crackers or Raw Vegan Kale Chips, or whatever I’ve got in the cupboard or fridge that day. 

The bottom line is that I keep meals and snacks very simple and easy.   As unprocessed as possible, as close to nature as possible, just keep it real.  And affordable.   Goji berries and $12 jars of nut butters are not found in our day-to-day repertoire.  If ever.   Nor are really complicated raw recipes that require 24-48 hours of planning between soaking nuts, dehydrating this or that.  No way!  

Instead, I do things like….

Homemade Trail Mix (cheaper than buying it pre-made and you can toss in whatever you’d like or whatever odds-n-ends need to get used up from your pantry)
I used Almonds & Cashews
Sunflower Seeds
Chocolate Chips (that I keep in the freezer because I like them cold which is why they are a little white looking)

I use about 2-3 Tbsp of Each Ingredient and drop in a baggieHomemade Trail Mix in zip top bags

Individual bag of Homemade Trail MixOverhead closed bag of Homemade Trail Mix
Having a few bags pre-made is such a good way to streamline & simplify my efforts and reduce overall kitchen time.
Close up of Homemade Trail Mix
Not to mention, I am prepared for those unplanned snack needs.  Enter Skylar.   With a new stuffed animal that someone gave her.
Little girl holding two stuffed bears
Young girl hugging stuffed animal
 Kids’ snack needs usually come out of left field with no notice Moms must be prepared at all times! It’s normally the childless people who write cook books with 24 hour dehydrating times listed.  I just laugh.
Young girl in kitchen holding toyLittle girl in kitchen hugging toy
This is more our speed!
Close up of ingredients of Homemade Trail Mix
Homemade Trail Mix close up
One note: Trail mix is natural and not processed, but it’s very calorically dense.  Be mindful of portion size and also many people do find too many raw nuts a bit difficult to digest so know your own limits.  I personally need to take it easy on raw nuts and nuts in general.

It would be great to crumble some of my Vegan Gluten & Soy-Free Granola into the trail mix baggies too!

Vegan Gluten & Soy-Free Granola in containerClose up of Vegan Gluten & Soy-Free Granola

From Yesterday, thanks for the compliments on our Aruba Airfare being purchased!

White sandy beach in Aruba
We are really excited and thanks for your support and for sharing all the places you’d like to travel to or visit.

And for everyone who mentioned who good My Peach Pina Colada looked.  It was.  I can’t wait for another one!

Pina Colada with cherry and pineapple
Woman sitting at Barr holding Pina colada

Also from yesterday, it seems that most of the moms Run Late, sigh, it’s just part of life I think because everything takes longer with kids and you can’t plan for the unexpected things that always come up!  I used to run early too, but life has changed!

And being a planner vs. a just wing it person, most of you who answered said you’re planners, but I think that anyone who reads food blogs, or blogs in general, I don’t know, something about us tends to be detail-oriented and planfulMaybe my generalization is off, but that’s my unscientific theory on all of us planners.

Tip of the Day:  Save money on your Amazing Grass order.  Enter ‘HLS10’ and you’ll save 25% off your order.  Ends today!

I am so proud to be included in this great piece of work that Alisa of One Frugal Foodie has taken the time to assemble.   I know that families all over, and even those without kids, will love the recipes everyone has contributed for this!

Please spread the word to everyone you know that Smart School Time Recipes: The Breakfast, Snack, and Lunchbox Cookbook for Healthy Kids and Adults is now available for free! Use the download button below to download it right now …

 Woman with hair down holding camera
(Have no fear, it will pop up right on this site, but it does take about 30 seconds to download. Save it to your files for use anytime! If you can’t view the file, make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader – it is also free to download, and comes in pretty handy!)

Email friends and family, share it on facebook, tweet it, simply talk about it … we want as many people as possible to have the tools (a.k.a. recipes and food ideas) to transition their own diet and their family’s even further away from processed foods and closer to whole foods!! Thank you for your support and enjoy!

Click Here to Download or the Green Arrow Box


Dessert/Snack Today:  Vegan Gluten Free Banana Nut Muffins 
Great for lunches, kid snacks, breakfast with a slather of nut butter on top, you name it, suuuuper easy and as always vegan, gluten & soy-free with no additional oil added.

Vegan Gluten Free Banana Nut Muffins

The Yummy, Gooey Inside of a Muffy

Hand holding portion of Vegan Gluten Free Banana Nut Muffin
Side of Vegan Gluten Free Banana Nut Muffins pice
Close up of Vegan Gluten Free Banana Nut Muffins

1. What’s your favorite snack?
This is so broad because it could be savory, sweet, salty, fatty/greasy, snacking is its own special thing!  In general, for daytime snacks I just like raw veggies and fruits, I know, boring but that’s what I like.  Or extra sweet, extra hot coffee.  That’s a “snack” to me and that gets me excited!   And for midnight snacks I like popcorn.

2. Do you like trail mix and if so, do you ever make your own?  Or do you have a favorite store-bought that you love?

3.  How do you like to save money on snacks, or on your overall food budget?

Here are some of mine:

We don’t eat out, ever.  Food allergies and a toddler = not relaxing or easy so we don’t do it.  I’d rather cook and control what goes into our food and until she’s older, I’m not gonna pay for restaurant meals when it’s just not really that “enjoyable” to dine out.  It’s not relaxing.  May as well just stay home!

I don’t grab Starbucks, juices, or random snacks when out.  I make my own coffee and I bring my own snacks, always.  This could be a $10 a habit if I didn’t!   Starbucks is reserved for blogger meetups..haha!

We don’t buy meat, eggs, or dairy

I buy what’s up at the front of the store for fresh produce.  Whatever they have on the “club card” grocery special savings buy, that’s what I buy.

Use Trader Joe’s on items I know for a fact are cheaper there, which is tons of items.

Costco and Warehouse clubs– I never do them because I don’t want 5 pounds of spinach all at once.  I waste it and it costs me more.

Buy nothing at Whole Foods.  Ever.  Except for Vegenaise which is refrigerated and I can’t order it online and can’t get it at the regular grocery store.  WF’s is great for some people with money!  Seriously though, they do have good deals on their own 365 Brand but for me, it’s an extra trip and temptation I don’t need to I just get what I need elsewhere and stay out of there.

Not married to the idea of organic produce.  See here for why.

Buy all dry goods, spices, or bulk items from places (Use code AVE630 to save $5 on your 1st order)

I don’t use Bulk Bins though.  See here for why rat feces and mold from the bulk bins won’t be coming home with me.  To each her own, if you use them, great.  I don’t, great.  Just sharing my own comfort zone and what I do in my own life.
Don’t impulse buy things you really don’t need or will use 1 serving of and then the jar/box sits unused.

Don’t shop when you’re tired, hungry, cranky or your child is any of those.  You’ll spend more money if you do.

Farmer’s Markets can be a good deal, or not.  Depends on what you’re buying.   You are supporting local agriculture and farmers which is lovely, but you are not necessarily saving money.

What are your tips, tricks, and strategies to save money? 

See you back here tomorrow with some fun pictures!

Leave a Comment

Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.