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Old 06-19-2008, 04:04 AM
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Teenagers and snack food

Now that summer is here and my kids are all home, I am starting to feel the sting of snack food prices.

I have a 16 year old son who eats like a football player, a 14 year old daughter, 11 year old son and a 9 year old son. To top it all off, my 16 yo's friend is staying with us for a month, visiting from Vegas.

Most of the day they are out hanging out with friends, playing, whatever. But come evening time, seems like the food level in my pantry just drops! I know it's mostly the older boys, so I need to come up with a strategy for saving some money on snacks.

They seem to like Ramen, which is good, that's cheap, but they also munch on granola bars a lot. That wouldn't be so bad as I buy the Sunbelt brand which is pretty inexpensive, but they eat like 4 at a time!!

I bought a cantaloupe, honeydew melon and a big tub of strawberries yesterday. The only thing left is two small plastic containers of it in the fridge, and those will disappear today. Produce is expensive, but I want them to snack on healthier stuff than just chips.

ANY suggestions are welcome
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:57 AM
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I'm also interested in this topic as I have a 16-year-old son, 12-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son. I always say good thing they are athletic or they'd be huge, the way they eat!

I'd like to know about some snacks the kids can make for themselves as well. It has to be more frugal to make your own. Like Amanda, I could go broke buying granola bars!
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:48 AM
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Oh my goodness, yes, the price of produce is frightening. I like to give my kids healthy snacks, too, but with five kids 12 and under, it's not cheap to do so.

I have found a couple tricks to help shave off a few dollars from the grocery budget.

1. I found a Discount Drug Mart here in town where prices are SO much better on dry goods and such than at the local grocery store. Milk at our grocery store is $4.69 a gallon! But, if I buy it close to the expiration date at DDM, I can pay as little as $1.50 a gallon! Their snacks are generally better, too, but the selection isn't as great.

2. I also try to get to BJ's or Sam's as often as I can. I have to deal with storing the bulk goods, but it is worth it! I usually get the big bucket of pretzels, applesauce packs, yogurt, cheese sticks, graham crackers, Goldfish, and chicken nuggets there.

3. We are huge fans of popcorn here, and that's relatively inexpensive. I buy that in bulk, too, and we go through it! Here are some fun recipes for popcorn: http://www.popcorn.org/nutrition/recipes/index.cfm and http://www.thatsmyhome.com/mainstreet/popcorn/index.htm

4. I keep Amish Friendship Bread starters in my freezer, and I try to keep instant pudding mixes in my pantry so that I can whip up a batch of bread in the morning before everyone's up. That stuff is a huge hit. If you need recipes, you can find some here: http://www.mainstreetmom.com/forums/...iendship+bread

5. When I do bite the bullet and buy fruit, I make darn tootin' sure my kids eat it before it goes bad! Ugh....there are few things more frustrating than throwing out expensive food because of neglect.

6. I've also heard that you can make your own granola bars (if you have time!) Here's a recipe that I've had on file but have never tried:

Ingredients

* 8 cups uncooked oatmeal
* 3 cups corn flakes or bran flakes
* 1 cup wheat germ
* 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
* 2 tsp cinnamon
* - 1 tsp. cloves & nutmeg mixed
* cup dark brown sugar
* cup canola oil
* - 1 cup honey
* 1 cups water


Directions

1. Mix all of the above ingredients in a very large baking pan so it can be spread out. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
2. Add to the mix: 4 cups of nuts (raw sunflower seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, chopped walnuts) and bake another 15 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and add: 3 cups of dried fruit (raisins, craisins; apricots, candied papaya, candied pineapple diced into small bits).
4. As the mix cools, stir it to be sure that the entire mix is cooled and dried out. Store in airtight container. Serve with yogurt.

I hope this helps!
Mia
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:23 AM
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Thanks fpr some of the ideas.I have been using up popcorn,carrots and apples here.I have 1 ice cream product and that was the sandwhiches and aslo I made up some pudding for the kids too.We are now on kool aid for the summer and aslo alot of water too.
What fruits and veggies are in season though?
Mish
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Old 06-21-2008, 03:49 PM
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My boys are 17 and 13 so anything tohelp fill those hollow legs I'd like to hear about, especially at eh 17 yo is a skinny bean pole who needs filling esp during the working day.
Trying to fit more protein in to fill him up more
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Old 06-22-2008, 11:50 AM
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I would think lots of meats and peanut butter or nuts might help out maybe??
Mish
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:49 PM
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I was going to suggest pb! My 13 yo ds has been eating soybutter sandwiches like crazy. Here I can buy turkey ham cheap. Maybe keep sandwich makings on hand? Carrot sticks with cottage cheese dip? Homemade mac and cheese? What about sandwich wraps? Get the kids in the kitchen and make up a bunch. I wrap mine in plastic wrap. You could add whatever veggies are cheap. Tuna dip and crackers?
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Old 06-22-2008, 01:16 PM
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He hates peanut butter, he's a vegemite lover but that is nice with cheese so has that a lot ..... and he's a good milk drinker so that fills him a bit it's more he likes his biscuit/cookies so will have to try the muesli bar and fill it with seeds and nuts
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:35 AM
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I've also found the Market Pantry brand at Target to be a frugal way to shop. In fact, their boxes of mac & cheese (comparable to the Kraft brand) are 34 cents a box, so I stock up on that. A little extra butter, milk, and a couple slices of American cheese help jazz it up a bit and stretch it for leftovers.

I also get the large cans of mixed nuts at either Target or WalMart. They're healthy and loaded with protein, and cheaper when you buy them in large containers.

My kids know....if they're thirsty, the FIRST thing I'm going to push on them is water. And I do not buy bottled water. That seems like an incredible waste of money to me.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mia
My kids know....if they're thirsty, the FIRST thing I'm going to push on them is water. And I do not buy bottled water. That seems like an incredible waste of money to me.
I wish I didn't have to buy bottled water. We have well water here, which means no water bill, but it tastes horrible. So instead of buying the individual water bottles all the time, i used the refill machines at the grocery store. It costs about $0.47 per gallon, which is way cheaper than the bottled water. I do buy some bottled water every now and then so that I can reuse the bottles to make my Crystal Light drinks
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