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It’s the summer holidays! The kids are home… and they’re permanently hungry! Calls of “Please can I have an ice-cream?” and “But I’m reeeally hungry,” assault your eardrums on a daily basis, and the guilt of not having lots of delicious branded food stuffs shining in your fridge – because you’re so desperately trying to save – is about to ruin your resolve and all of your hard work. That’s why I’ve put together this little list of easy home snacks you can have ready and waiting for next to nothing for the next time your darlings call “Muuuum? Can I have something to eeeeat?”
The cheese snack aisle gets me every time. I don’t mean I buy loads of cheese snacks, I mean I always shake my head at how brands can justify charging so much money for a stick of individually-wrapped cheddar? Just take your cheese out of the fridge, chop off a thick slice, then cut into chunks before giving them to the kids with a handful of raisins in a snack pot, or stick a lid on and take them out with you for a bite-on-the-go. It doesn’t matter what size you make them – the choice is yours!
This is one of my favourite money-saving treat ideas. Frankly, the cost of popcorn at the cinema is disgusting, and it’s not much better when you buy it ready-made in a bag. You can buy 500g of popping corn for under £2 at Tesco, and make it in a saucepan at home for a fraction of the price. A 500g bag will go a long way, and you can add your own choice of topping each time, so mix it up!
Crak-a-lackin’ Snack Attackin’
I’m back to the cheese again. There are loads of cheese snack choices, from ‘Lunchables to Attack-a-snack. Yet, it’s simply crackers or mini tortilla wraps and some cheese and meat. Granted, they taste nice – if you like processed food – but it’s far cheaper to make your own cheese and crackers with the range of different types you can get out there. Just buy a packet of sandwich ham or chicken, some tasty crackers or some mini-wraps, and make your own.
Make your own yollies
I keep seeing these bandied about on various cashback apps. I begrudge buying something like this, even with cashback, because I think it’s simply too expensive for what it is. It’s a stick of yoghurt, at the end of the day, and we’re unnecessarily paying for convenience. Instead of forking out for branded goods when you’re trying to save money, why not shove some supermarket-own yoghurt tubes in the freezer? When they’re ready, just snip off the top as you would with an ice-pop, et voila – a frozen yoghurt. Take it one step further on your next supermarket shop and double up on the little pots of fromage frais (Aldi do a 9-pack tasty essentials version), peel the lids off, then pop a lolly stick in each one before placing in the freezer (NB: check the sugar content – often it works out that the lower-priced brands have less sugar than the household named-brands, win/win!). Once frozen, give them a minute or two to defrost a little and then with a little jiggle, pull them out of their individual pots. You have a yolly!
Gaah the war cry of the ice-cream van, and it always comes round just before tea-time or just before bed-time! Save yourself a fortune and be the best parent by stocking up on a low-cost tub of vanilla ice-cream, some ice-cream cones and some gooey sauces and sprinkles. Of course, it wouldn’t be a 99 without a stick of chocolate, so pop a chocolate finger in there for good measure! The perfect post-tea-time treat.
Who doesn’t love a muffin? And who else ends up with over-ripe bananas? If you’ve got bananas that are past their best, peel them, protect them and pop them in the freezer. When you’re ready to use, take them out and use as required (they’ll need just a few minutes to defrost slightly). You can win twice here by getting the kids involved in baking. It keeps them busy and they’ll have a tasty treat to look forward to. And if you’ve got some ready-made, there’s no need to stock up on unhealthy treats (and unnecessary spending) at the supermarket.
I hope these ideas will help you continue to save money throughout the summer holidays, and that you don’t become a slave to the clever marketing ploys big-brands use to make you part with your hard-earned cash.
Some of them are easier than others, and some of them will give you something to do to pass the time (and keep the kids entertained!). If you have any of your own super money-saving snack ideas, please let me know in the comments below, and thank you for reading!