Bananas Chips, dried pineapple and Bananas sit on a pink furry blanket

My Favorite Inexpensive Healthy Snacks

By Timia Cobb
Web Content Contributor

A college campus isn’t the easiest place to eat healthily. If you’re like me, grabbing something quick that’s packed with caffeine or sugar seems easier than searching for the very few healthy options offered.

That is why bringing snacks and lunch to school is a great option. When people think healthy the first thing they might think of is bland or expensive. However, since I started searching for cheap healthy snacks, cravings for Dunkin Donuts or Chick-Fil-A aren’t as consistent as they used to be.

Here are my top healthy snacks to find at your local grocery store that doesn’t break the bank and actually tastes good.

Fruit In Any Form

A picture of bananas, a box of granola bars, a bag of caramel rice cakes, 2 bags of pretzel chips, a jar of almond butter, a bag of almonds and dried pineapples chunks on a beige marble window sill.
My favorite inexpensive healthy snacks. Photo by Timia Cobb.

Fruit is a great way to get calcium, fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc. Fruit is amazing because there are so many choices for everyone and they’re really good for you. Fruit can also be helpful by being a replacement for sugary snacks.

If fruit has never been your thing, maybe try different fruits until you find something you like. Fruit can also be found at any grocery store making it available whenever you need it.

Dried fruit is also very helpful when combating cravings. Bananas chips are one of my favorite snacks because they have the familiarity of chips but are better for you. Bananas chips and other dried fruit can be easily affordable due to Dollar Tree frequently having them in stock. 

Nuts!Nuts!Nuts!

To the people who have tree nut allergies, this isn’t an option for you, but nuts are my favorite on the go snack. Nuts are rich in heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, also they lower bad cholesterol.

Almonds and Walnuts are my go-to everyday snack. They’re easy to put in a small container and carry around for the rest of the day. Nuts can help with appetite control which makes them great to snack on in-between classes rather than having to grab something from a food vendor on campus.

The one downside is nuts can be super expensive. A bag of Blue Diamonds almonds can be anywhere from $6 to $14. That being said, couponing comes in handy when wanting to buy nuts.

The cheapest kind of nuts to buy is peanuts but if you’re wanting a more expensive brand of nuts, almonds, pecans, etc., grocery stores such as HEB usually have coupons for their store brand nuts.

Pretzel Chips and Goldfish

Two bags of snack factory pretzel chips lay on a white furry blanket
Pretzel chips from Walmart. Photo by Timia Cobb.

The one hard thing about eating healthier is sometimes fruit and nuts just aren’t cutting it. That’s why having healthy food replacements for your not-so-healthy snacks are important. According to an article by Shake, a health guide blog, when we want something crunchy it’s usually due to wanting to release tension or having a build-up of frustration.

This is why suspenseful shows or movies always seem better when partnered with a bag of popcorn or chips. Pretzel chips, pita chips, and Goldfish are great snacks that don’t have as many grams of fat compared to potato chips. However, they do still contain sodium making them only intended to be a snack, not an entire meal.

Pretzel chips, pita chips, and Goldfish taste good and happen to be a better option health-wise when it comes to other crunchy snacks. That’s why these snacks are good replacements for the snacks someone already has. You still get to enjoy something that tastes good without having to worry as much about the ingredients or calorie intake.                                                                      

Fig Newtons, vanilla wafers and Halo Pops

A sweet tooth is a true villain that always wins. Texas State makes it too easy for me to walk to Chick-Fil-A and get a milkshake. When surrounded by multiple places that cater to satisfying your sweet tooth, it can become an internal battle deciding to not give in.

There are plenty of healthy sweets out there that most wouldn’t even think are good for you. Fig Newtons aren’t everyone’s first choice when it comes to cookies but think of them as a miniature fig flavored pop tart. Their sweet and aren’t that bad when you give them a try. Fig Newtons are packed with fiber, which is good for the digestion system, protein, and several other vitamins.

Rice cakes are one of my favorite snacks to eat when I have a sugar craving because it’s only 50 calories a cake and is sweet enough to leave me satisfied.  I always get the Quaker caramel flavored rice cakes from Walmart but they also have flavors such as cinnamon apple and chocolate.

Rice has been associated with making you feel full because of its fiber, nutrients and plant compounds which can help cure your hunger or sweet tooth till your next meal.

Halo Pops is an ice cream brand that I just found and I’m happy I did. It’s frustrating to buy icecream and know you’re going to finish the entire pint before you even started eating it. Halo pops are the fix to this problem.

They are portion-controlled ice cream bars that contain only 50 to 60 calories per pop. The pops come in four different flavors: mint chocolate chip, strawberry cheesecake, peanut butter swirl and cookie dough.

The pops are considerably lower in sugar and fats compared to other ice cream brands. It’s a wonderful snack for a day when you’re craving ice cream but don’t want to ingest a lot of calories.

All of these snacks are ones I eat regularly and I can say it’s worth the change from grabbing fast food that might not be the healthiest.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean having to starve or spend a lot of money. The snacks listed are beneficial and have made my life a little easier and hopefully, they can do the same for you.

Featured image by Timia Cobb

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