If you’re like most homesteaders, you’re always looking for ways to save money and be more self-sufficient.
One way to do that is to stop buying pre-packaged snacks and start making them at home. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also get to control the ingredients and how much sugar or salt goes into your food.
We all love snacks, but sometimes the store-bought options can be expensive and not as healthy as we’d like. Rejoice! There are plenty of delicious and nutritious snacks that you can make at home with just a few simple ingredients.
Today, let’s talk about the snacks you should stop buying and start making at home. When you make things from scratch, you control the ingredients, as well as the amount of trash you bring into your home.
It’s not hard to make these snacks, it just takes a bit of time. I usually set aside an entire day to make snacks for the week, but I also have two hungry teenagers, and all three kids work out at TaeKwonDo 2 1/2 hours a day, 5 days a week. Snacks are the lifeblood in my house!
You can make the snacks listed below in just about no time at all. Many of them can also double as quick breakfasts or side dishes, too, making them great for on-the-go-meals.
I will give you detailed recipes for five of my family’s favorite snacks, and then I’ll provide you with a quick round-up of other tasty snacks (with links to the recipes) so you have plenty of options to choose from.
So without further ado, let’s dive in!
Easy enough for breakfast, or to make up for quick snacks, this basic muffin recipe will get you going with all sorts of creative ideas! Here’s the basic recipe for homemade muffins:
Begin by whisking together in a bowl:
- 2 cups flour (whole wheat, white, or a combination)
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Then, in another bowl, mix together:
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 stick melted butter, or 1/2 cup oil
- Mix the wet into the dry, until moist.
- Bake at 400° for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Here’s some fun and creative add-in ideas:
- Add 1/2 cup dried cherries, apricots, or cranberries.’
- 1 cup frozen fruit (blueberries, chopped strawberries or peaches)
- Add 1 cup of your favorite flavor jam
- Add 1/2 cup raisins and replace the milk with sour cream.
- Add 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and omit the sugar.
- Add 3 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, dill, oregano, or thyme.
TIP when you remove the muffins from the oven, turn them in the pan on their side. That will let the steam and heat escape from the bottom of the pan and your muffins won’t end up soggy
These are really easy to make, once you get the hang of it.
I usually have to make 5 batches in a row, because the first batch is “sampled” upon leaving the oven and the second batch is “just in case”. My kids love these!
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder
Simply cut the butter into the flour until it forms little “chunks”. Add remaining ingredients. This will get you a stickyish dough.
You should be able to roll it out without it sticking to your hands. If it does, add more flour 1 Tablespoon at a time until you reach that consistency.
Roll it out as thin as you can get it, in one sheet. I roll mine on parchment paper. Using a pizza cutter (which works best here), cut the dough into strips one way, then into squares the other. Dock with a fork, and add sprinkle extra salt on top.
Bake in a preheated 400° for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them, because the edges may be done faster than the middle.
Remove to cool. Store in airtight container for a week. I usually don’t have them around more than 3 days, though.
Easy peasy, these are…Simply take your leftover tortillas (get the recipe here) and cut into triangles. Heat oil of choice to 375°.
You’ll want at least 1/2 inch oil in a skillet or cast iron pot. I prefer my cast iron pot due to the ability to hold heat well. I like to use palm shortening, beef tallow, and coconut oil for mine.
Simply place the cut tortillas into the hot oil for 2-3 minutes and remove to a plate with either paper towels, or an old terry cloth towel to drain. Sprinkle it with salt, garlic powder and onion powder.
OR, you could sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mix for a sweet treat!
Another easy recipe for DIY granola bars! You’ll never go back to buying them from the box again!
All you have to do is add ingredients such as honey, flour, oats, peanut butter, and egg yolk.
Simply mix all the ingredients together and form in a 9×13 pan. Use a very sharp knife, and cut into bars.
You can wrap yours in plastic individually, or we just take them out of the pan as we eat them. Here’s how to do it.
Fruit Roll Ups
I like to make these out of applesauce when I am canning in the fall, but you can use any sauced fruit.
Simply blend the fruit until it’s an “applesauce” texture. If you have a dehydrator, dehydrate it for about 15-24 hours. Or, you can place in a 200° oven for 12-24 hours.
We wrap ours up in parchment paper, and vacuum seal it for large quantities. Or you can just store in an airtight jar.
I have found that they don’t really stick together too bad, even when you don’t put anything between them.
Of course, you “could” sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar on them to help keep from sticking, if you want.
Ham and Cheese Pockets
These portable snack pockets can be customized with whatever kind of filling you see fit – ham and cheese, chicken-bacon-ranch, or even pizza.
They’re incredibly delicious and just as portable.
What kid doesn’t love Pop-Tarts? Unfortunately, they’re not the healthiest – and when you’re buying box after box after box, the price can really add up over time.
This easy homemade version is not difficult to make and will allow you to customize based on your kids’ favorite fillings – whether it’s apple, raspberry, strawberry, or blueberry, you’ll love how simple these Pop Tarts are to make.
Nothing quite satiates a teenager quite like pizza bites (also known as pizza rolls).
This homemade version is easy to make in bulk and served up whenever the mood for pizza strikes.
Milk’s favorite cookie – but definitely not the budget’s. Oreos are delicious and the perfect after school snack, but buying lots of them for a large family can get expensive.
Stop buying the store bought version and start making these more affordable versions instead.
If your kids love snacking on Cheez-Its, you’ll want to give these healthier cheese crackers a try instead. You can make them oversized or bite-sized – your choice!
Trail mix is one of those snacks that tends to sound a lot healthier than it really is. The reality is that most trail mixes sold in stores are loaded with added sugar, fat, and unnecessary calories.
You can make your own nutrient-rich trail mix by picking and choosing the ingredients you want to include.
Pistachios, raisins, and other nuts and dried fruits are great choices for your own homemade trail mix. Here’s a simple recipe to follow.
Store Bought guacamole can last for weeks if unopened, that’s true – but that’s not necessarily a good thing. The reason why these products last so long is because they are chock full of preservatives.
Don’t fill your body up with garbage! Instead, just mash up an avocado, spritz some lemon and salt over it, and call it good enough.
You’ll be left with a rich, creamy dip that tastes great with vegetables or chips – and serves as the perfect afternoon snack. Here’s an easy guacamole recipe.
Protein is loaded with antioxidants and fiber. However, the store bought versions are not only expensive, but they tend to be loaded with butter, oil, and even carcinogens (perfluorooctanoic acid is the worst offender).
Instead, use this homemade popcorn recipe with real corn kernels instead:
There is a lot of sugar in store bought popsicles – and really, for no reason. Fruit is plenty sweet enough without added sugar!
You can make your own Popsicles by pureeing fruit in a blender, adding some almond milk or water, and putting the mixture into popsicle molds. Easy peasy! Here’s a recipe.
For all the fiber, protein, and heart-healthy fats your kids need to stay satiated – but without the added sugar and preservatives – you’ll want to give this homemade nut butter a try.
You can use any kind of nuts you want, including peanuts, cashews, or almonds.
This homemade snack is equal parts snack and dessert. It’s a tantalizing holiday treat!
Chocolate bark at the store is extremely expensive and loaded with added sugar. Instead, all you have to do is melt chocolate and stir in your favorite mix-ins like coconut, cranberries, or nuts.
Pour the mixture onto a baking sheet, then freeze. Voila! Chocolate bark. Here’s a recipe.
Another cracker recipe – but one that’s worth having on your weekly snack rotation for sure.
Tex-Mex bean dip is a delicious alternative to guacamole that’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Did you know that black beans have more than twice the iron of steak?
All you need to make this at-home version of bean dip are bell peppers, cilantro, lime, and of course, black beans and corn. Here’s a recipe.
Sure, you can buy Chex Mix at the store – but why would you?
It’s much easier to buy the ingredients you need in bulk and then whip up a big batch at home. It stores for quite a long period of time, too. Here’s a recipe.
Kale might not be every kid’s cup of tea, but it’s no secret that it’s one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat.
All you need is a dehydrator or an oven set on low to make your own healthy kale chips (at a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay in the stores, no less).
Chocolate Teddy Grahams
These homemade cookies are actually better than the store bought ones! Plus, they only have six ingredients, so you’re sure to save some dough (pun intended) in the meantime.
Fruit leathers – they’re like nature’s gummy bears! This recipe is similar to the one I gave you earlier for fruit roll-ups, but a bit different.
Making your own fruit leather gets rid of all the added sugar and food colorings you’ll find in store bought versions – plus, it will save you lots of money.
Here’s how to make no-cook fruit leather.
Whole Wheat Goldfish
What kid doesn’t love Goldfish? Perfect for young kids, these cheesy crackers can be made in any shape, size, or form you’d like. Here’s a recipe.
If you have any vegans in your household, it can be hard to find meat- and dairy-free snacks, especially if you’re on a budget.
Here’s a recipe for simple vegan cookies with peanut butter, bananas, chocolate chips, and oats – it’s sure to tempt everyone in your household (even the meat-eaters).
These homemade banana bites are loaded with potassium and other nutrients – plus they’re super portable for on-the-go snacking.
Date balls are healthy swaps for brownies. With no added sugar, plenty of natural sweetness, and chocolate cocoa goodness, these date balls are absolutely delicious. They’re also vegan and paleo!
Chia seeds are high in fiber and an excellent source of protein and fatty acids.
Chia pudding is a great alternative to classic pudding cups that you might be at the store – but store bought chia pudding is stupidly expensive. Here’s an easy recipe you can use to make your own at home.
They’re just like those Pillsbury Toaster Strudels that my kids used to love – but way healthier for you.
You’ll use ingredients you likely already have on hand (like ricotta and graham crackers – try the homemade graham cracker recipe we linked to above for bonus points!) and save a ton of money in the process.
Pita Bread Pizza
For those times that just call for pizza – but you want a faster, healthier, and more affordable option – whip up these pita bread pizzas.
You can make some in advance and stash them in the freezer – add your kids’ favorite toppings for best results!
Like kale chips, apple chips are shockingly easy to make – but super expensive when you buy them in stores. Here’s an easy recipe to try instead.
If you need a bit more protein in your granola bar, these on-the-go protein bars pack quite the punch.
Make Your Own Snacks This Weekend!
So, what are you waiting for? Try out some of these recipes and start feeling good about the snacks you’re eating.
Not only will you be providing your body with the nutrients it needs, but you’ll also be saving money in the process.
Who knows, maybe you’ll even start to enjoy making snacks more than buying them from the store!
updated 03/14/2022 by Rebekah Pierce
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.
Learn more about Heather and the rest of the writers on this page.