Sneaky Snack Packs: Supermarket Savvy
Everyone loves snacks, but no one loves the extra calories. When I first saw “100 calorie snack packs,” I thought they were a great idea — convenient, measurable, guilt-free — until I discovered that each pricey pouch contained just a tiny handful of weirdly thin cookies. I only bought them that one time, but they’re still around. So what’s their appeal? I decided to do a quick investigation.
I compared the per-ounce price on the snack packs against larger-sized containers. It probably comes as no surprise to learn that snack packs were dramatically more expensive. Nuts were about 30 cents more per ounce; chips were anywhere from 10 to 26 cents more per ounce; and cookies were around 25 cents per ounce more.
I then asked my wide mix of friends — some dieting, some junk food junkies, some health conscious — for their opinions on snack packs. Interestingly, no one replied that they thought these snacks were a healthy choice. People chose them for convenience, and to be relieved of the responsibility of their own portion control.
Fair enough — but since I’m all about savings, I searched for some cheap, make-it-yourself alternatives. Fitness magazine provides this helpful link to lists of inexpensive, easy-to-prepare snacks. EatingWell also has a good list. Don’t have the time to make your own snacks? Try simply buying a more economical size of the snack you want, get some plastic baggies, and use the nutrition chart on the package to estimate how much of your snack makes 100 calories. Then just divvy up the portions into the baggies.
What’s my solution for the quickest, cheapest, most convenient 100-calorie snack of all? The banana.
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