Snacks are some of the most expensive foods on the market. It is not uncommon to spend $5 on a big grab bag of chips and a 44-ounce soda at a gas station. Not only are you wasting a lot of money when you make such purchases, but you are also contributing to an unhealthy waistline.
Cookies, chips, crackers, and soda are all problem areas both for the diet and for the budget. So, here are some healthy snacks that have less than 200 calories and are also under $2 per serving.
Raw veggies dipped in fat-free ranch dressing
Include lots of bright-colored veggies like carrots, green, red and yellow peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes. Red peppers contain almost four times more vitamin C than oranges. Calories: 60. Cost per serving: $1.49. Serving size: 1 cup veggies, 2 tbsp. dressing.
One whole egg provides 7 grams of protein but 212 mg cholesterol. If you’re concerned about the cholesterol, toss the yolk and just eat the white. Calories: 78. Cost per serving: $0.28. Serving size: 1 whole egg.
Dark chocolate chips – 60% cacao
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and phenols, which can lower blood pressure. Calories: 80. Cost per serving: $0.11. Serving size: 16 chips.
Apple with peanut butter
Apples have fiber to make you feel full longer. Spread on some peanut butter for flavor, but limit the portion size of the peanut butter since it is high in calories. Calories: 105. Cost per serving: $0.95. Serving size: 1 medium apple, 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter.
Low-fat cottage cheese
A good source of calcium and protein, but those with high blood pressure should eat cottage cheese in moderation because of the high sodium content. Calories: 110. Cost per serving: $0.90. Serving size: ½ cup.
Fresh berries with fat free soy yogurt
Berries contain antioxidants to help prevent cancer and heart disease, and soy yogurt is a nutritious alternative to dairy yogurt. Sprinkle on some ground flaxseed for additional heart health benefits. Calories: 115. Cost per serving: $1.81. Serving size: 1 cup berries, 1/4 cup yogurt.
Whole-grain crackers with hummus
Hummus is made from chickpeas, a great lean protein. Whole-grain crackers are a preferable alternative to those made with white flour. Calories: 137. Cost per serving: $0.47. Serving size: 10 small crackers, 2 tbsp. hummus.
Almonds make you feel full and studies have shown they can lower cholesterol, but they’re high in calories so limit the portion size. Calories: 160. Cost per serving: $0.55. Serving size: 1 oz.
Low-fat plant-based yogurt
Another good choice for plant protein and calcium, if it has been added. But yogurt can be high in sugar. Reduced-sugar varieties have about 100 calories. Cost per serving: $0.59 Serving size: 6 oz.
As you can see, you don’t have to break the bank when your trying to eat healthy. With a little common sense and sticking with cheap snack food, cutting calories can be fun and you can lose weight at the same time.