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Cheap Snack Foods (Easy Snack Ideas for Families)

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Are you on the hunt for some cheap snack foods? We’ve got some delicious snack food ideas that you can snag at the grocery store and homemade recipes to help you stock your pantry.

These sweet, savory and crunchy snacks are convenient for quick bites at home, lunch boxes and munching on the go.

They’re also a great option for back to school, road trips, play dates, and more. Keep this list of tasty treats handy for your kids, teens and adults to enjoy.

Small bowls filled with a variety of snack foods with Cheap Snack Food Ideas graphic overlay.

The list is filled with a variety of easy snacks so you’re sure to discover something new to try.

And I’ve included healthier snack options in addition to not-so-healthy ideas, so there’s a little something for everyone.

Best Tip for Cheap Snacks

One of the best ways to save money on snacks is to buy full size bags then divide them into smaller, single serve portions. Purchasing pre-packed bags of cookies, crackers, veggies, etc. always costs more than the larger packages.

So make your own little bags with celery sticks, carrot sticks, baby carrots, muffins, cookies, etc. You can use sandwich or snack bags, or even re-useable containers for a quick grab-and-go option.

Are these homemade or store bought snacks?

The list of frugal snacks I am sharing with you today includes homemade as well as store-bought snacks. I wanted to give you a variety of options so you could step out and try some new options to add into your snack rotation. 

And while I love a good homemade snack, there’s no shame in purchasing store-bought snacks. Sometimes life is just too busy for homemade but your family still needs to eat, right?!

A platter filled with sliced vegetables, pretzels, fruits, dips and other cheap snack food ideas.


Fresh veggies are a great snack but you’ll pay a premium for the pre-prepped vegetables.  A simple way to stretch your grocery budget is to buy larger bags of carrots, celery, etc. and then prep them at home.

Bell peppers and cucumbers are also great for an easy and nutritious snack. Select a variety of vegetables and make a quick veggie tray for snacking. It’s colorful and nutritious.

Fresh Fruit

Consider buying bags of fruit like oranges or apples. This is a great way to get a good bang for your buck. You can pair firmer fruits with peanut butter, caramel sauce, or even a cream cheese fruit dip

A piece of fruit makes for an easy snack idea. Look for smaller sized fruits like Cuties to tuck into lunchboxes.

Three movie theater style boxes filled with popcorn.


A classic snack that’s cheap and filling, popcorn can fulfill your craving for a crunchy snack.

Consider buying popcorn kernels that you can pop in the microwave or use a popper (look for an air popper or one that you can add butter and oil to).  

Take this easy snack idea to the next level by adding in some candy M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces and turn it into a snack mix. Or even do a simple kettle corn for those who prefer a sweet version.

If you’ve got a pressure cooker be sure to check out how to make popcorn in the Instant Pot.

Air fried ranch chickpeas in a white bowl next to a blue and white towel.

Roasted Chickpeas

Did you know you can take a can of chickpeas and transform them into a snack that the whole family can enjoy? This easy Ranch Chickpeas recipe can be made in the air fryer or the oven.

And I love that you can make the recipe into a savory or sweet snack by changing out the seasonings. There are so many options with these popcorn seasonings.

Tongs removing an egg from a blue bowl filled with ice & hard boiled eggs | Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs | A Reinvented Mom

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Now if you can find eggs on sale this is a great protein packed snack. You can eat them plain, for an on the go snack. Or top with some Everything But The Bagel Seasoning for the perfect snack to fuel you through the day.

Making boiled eggs in the Instant Pot is a game changer and they are super easy to peel.

Chips and Salsa

Buy a bag of store brand tortilla chips and a jar of salsa or make a homemade salsa. Then whip up a crunchy snack plate for an afternoon snack (my Teens always enjoyed this for an after school snack).

A towel lined tray filled with a variety of muffins.


Make a batch or two of homemade muffins – either mini muffins or full size muffins. If you do mini muffins make portion control packages, for an easy grab and go for a quick bite in the car or lunchboxes.

You can freeze any muffins you won’t be eating right away.

Try these easy muffin recipes:

Homemade Granola Bars or Protein Balls

You can save a lot of money making homemade granola bars or even protein balls. They can be a great source of good fats that will fuel your body.

But they can also be an energy boost to get you through that 2 p.m. slump or an after school snack for your kiddos.

A glass jar filled with homemade granola.


Greek yogurt or even plain yogurt is always an easy healthy option and is a great source of protein. You can layer it with frozen fruit and homemade granola to make your own yogurt parfaits. Or stir in some chia seeds to help keep you full.

To save money, buy the larger container rather than the individual cups. It’s cheaper and you can portion it into smaller serving sizes. 

More frugal snack ideas

  • Pretzels (try these homemade baked ranch pretzels)
  • Whole grain crackers with sliced cheese
  • Trail mix
  • Chocolate chips
  • Cheese sticks
  • ​Sunflower seeds
  • Cottage cheese – great with diced fruits
  • Ants on a log (celery with peanut butter and raisins)
  • Homemade fruit leather
  • Ice cream snacks
  • Frozen grapes
  • Peanut butter and jelly roll up with tortillas
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Frozen popsicles
  • Jello
  • Dark chocolate with dried fruit or nuts
  • Pita bread and hummus
  • Potato chips
  • Graham crackers
  • ​Goldfish crackers

Feeding your snack cravings doesn’t have to break the bank. There are many affordable and tasty snack options that can satisfy your hunger without emptying your wallet.

What are some of your favorite cheap snack foods? Drop them in the comments and I’ll update my list.

More Money Saving Ideas

Photo collage of a variety of cheap snack foods like popcorn and muffins with text overlay.

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