There’s a reason I don’t budget like a responsible #adult: I simply can’t come to terms with how much dough I spend trying out new fitness classes, scouring the drugstore beauty aisle for treasures, and (um, duh) overspending on every fancy snack that catches my eye. A new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Blue Diamond Almonds asked 2,000 Americans about their sacking habits. And the average consumer spends a whopping $3,300 a year on “gourmet treats,” according to Fox News. Ouch.
Of course, there’s one major caveat here: Blue Diamond has a vested interest in the future of the snack industry, so their research needs to be taken with a grain of salt(ed almonds). Anecdotally though, the Well+Good office can attest that we spend a large chunk of our paychecks on buzzy new treats like mushroom jerky and cauliflower pretzels, among others. (For research! We’re a wellness company! Hop off!) If you consider exploring new noshing options a pillar of your healthy routine, then by all means, shop on. If you, too, suffer from snacker’s remorse, however, I asked two dietitians how to score a week’s worth of snacks for under $10.
“A 10-ounce tub of Sabra hummus is just $4.29 and provides ten 2 tablespoon servings,” says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. “The hummus boasts satiating protein and fiber, and when you pair it with whole-grain toast and veggies, you get even more fiber.” Both toast and crudités can be purchased on-the-cheap, too, so your spread’s vessel will fall into your budget, too.
Yogurt usually gets benchmarked as a breakfast food, but its nutritional prowess really applies all day long. “This is one of my favorite snacks because you can get a big 32-ounce tub of plain Greek yogurt for less than $5. Greek yogurt provides a lot of satiating protein to keep you full—and I love adding fresh fruit to it for added fiber. Sometimes, I’ll even make a Greek yogurt parfait,” says Gorin.
Dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, host of You Verses Food and author of The Better Period Food Solution: Eat Your Way to a Lifetime of Healthier Cycles, likes to make her own trail mix. “Add fresh popped popcorn, pepitas or pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate to individual mason jars for the week and you are good to go,” she says. You’ll save money buy buying popcorn kernels and bulk-sized pepitas. The result is that sweet, salty, and crunchy combination that just can’t be beat. “Popcorn delivers the bod with belly-filling fiber while pepitas are packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids—your body’s fave inflammation squasher. Don’t forget that even a small amount of dark chocolate will provide antioxidants, preventing the formation of cell damaging free radicals,” says the dietitian. (That’s a lot of bang for your buck.)
We all have our nutrition bar of choice, and Gorin is no exception. “The single-nut, fruit-and-nut, and chocolate-and-nut bars from Kind cost as little as $1.29 per bar, so that means you can eat one a day for less than $10,” she says. “The bars provide a satiating combination of protein, fiber, and healthy fat—plus vitamins and minerals—to keep you fuller for longer.”