Cheap Summer Snack Ideas

iStock_000001647217XSmallSchool is out and the living is easy. Days are filled with fun in the sun, adventures in the yard, camp, amusement parks and more. All of that activity makes kids hungry but reluctant to slow down.

Here come the summer snacks to the rescue. Kids can fill up on nutritious high energy snacks without adding additional money to the grocery budget. The secret is all in how you play it. So, while the kids get excited about all of their accomplishments this summer, mom can earn a few extra points with the following cheap snack ideas.


Homemade popcorn has got to be one of the least expensive snacks around. Avoid the pre-popped or microwave varieties and instead pick up a bag or jar of popcorn kernels for just pennies. Popping corn is easy to do. You can do it in a pan with a little bit of oil or by coating the inside of a paper bag with cooking spray and creating your own version of microwave popcorn.

Doctor up the popcorn any way you like, from classic butter and salt to parmesan cheese and powdered garlic!

Homemade Granola Bars

If your kids like granola bars, trying making a homemade version. They will be healthier and cheaper than the store-bought brands, which can cost up to a dollar a bar! Make your own granola bars for pennies and skip the trip to the store. There are many no-bake recipes that come together in just a few minutes, and you can alter the ingredients to fit your tastes, from chocolate chip or peanut butter to cranberry or apple.

Here is an easy recipe to get you started:

Frugal Food: Make Your Own Chewy Granola Bars

My kids are crazy for those chewy granola bars. They love to take them with their school lunches or to the park when they might need a snack. They are very convenient to have. Unfortunately, the price of chewy granola bars has been rising, all while the amount you get in a package has been shrinking. Combine that cost with the unsavory ingredients in some of them (“natural” versions are even more expensive), it only makes sense to create my own homemade version.

Powdered Drink Mixes

Is the entire softball team is coming over for practice? Do you need to feed a crowd at a birthday party? Do you want to keep everyone hydrated during a day at the beach? Powdered drink mixes are a good solution. They are extremely cheap and can make gallons of drinks for just pennies. You won’t have to go broke buying cases of juice pouches or liters of soda. Just invest in a large tap-style drink container or a couple of pitchers.

Homemade Popsicles

Use some of that drink mix or puree your own fruit and juice to make your own homemade popsicles. With popsicle forms, you can also make frozen yogurt pops, pudding pops, fudgesicles and more. It all just depends on what ingredients you choose and recipes you use. The possibilities are endless. You can make them organic, if you like, saving up to $2 a pop!

Here is a recipe to get you started.

Natural Banana Cherry Yogurt Popsicles

Oh my children love their homemade popsicles. Oh yes they do. The natural frozen treats are going so fast that we had to go out and get a second set of popsicle molds, BPA free of course. Even with a double set of molds, I usually have a little left over, or I sacrifice one pop, so the kids can drink the “smoothie” before it is frozen. They just can’t wait the four to five hours that it typically takes before the popsicles are solid.


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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog