My kids are always hungry. They wake up starving. They inhale their lunches. They need fuel and energy after school before track practice, and they come home ready to eat their own weight in food.
I buy a lot of ingredients versus pre-made foods. If we have pizza, I get the flour and yeast out and make a crust. I grate the cheese and pull out some pepperoni. I could not afford to fill the kids up with frozen pizzas. Frozen pizzas are a great convenience, but we simply cannot afford them for the eating crew that shows up at our dinner table every night.
With that said, prepackaged snacks are a necessity for us. We all have busy schedules and I have a hard enough time keeping up with three meals a day. Prepackaged snacks are expensive and I hand out about two snacks per person a day! That means we go through about 10 snacks every day!
I came up with a little trick to help control the costs of our prepackaged snacks. I rarely ever pay more than $0.25 per snack. I am a warehouse club member which helps, but I also watch the local grocery store sale ads. Below are some of the snacks that fall into the $0.25 rule. These are not the healthiest snacks on the market and I am not trying to advertise these products in any way. I'm just sharing my thought process with you.
These things are great tasting and it only takes one for the kids to feel like they have eaten a snack. I paid $8.28 for this box. That is a cost of $0.276 per bar. It's a touch over the cost, but real almonds and great taste make this worth the extra two and a half cents per bar.
These bars have dried fruit, oatmeal, and nuts in them. They cost $0.229 cents a bar.
Nutri-Grain bars are great to have on hand because they can also work as a quick breakfast with a banana and a glass of milk. They are also make with whole grains. This box cost $12.47. The cost of each bar is $0.259.
Go Gurts cost $0.233 per pouch of yogurt. Go Gurts are full of artificial coloring, artificial flavor and have more than enough sugar to make the kids happy. If yogurt is their idea of junk food, I am okay with that.
I hope this helps a bit the next time you got the grocery store.