After-school snacks are something most kids look forward to after a long day. When I was a child, one of my favorite things to do when I got home from school was run to the kitchen and see what I could snack on while I talked about my day.
I’m not one of those parents who can have dinner ready by 4 pm or 5 pm. As a result, we rely heavily on after-school snacks to help hold my son over until dinner time later in the evening. Still, this doesn’t mean I spend a ton of money on snacks.
If you need some good options, check out these 8 cheap after-school snacks for kids.
1. Fruit Snacks
As an adult, I’m still guilty of eating fruit snacks all the time so I have to buy extra for me too. It’s not a very filling snack, but it’s easy, convenient and great to have if you’re on the go in the afternoons.
At Sam’s Club, you can buy a box of 80 to 90 fruit snacks for around $10. We often split up the box and divvy out snacks each week so it lasts the whole month.
2. Seasonal Fruit
Nothing beats fresh fruit, and kids will learn to love it if you offer it as a snack. One thing I always try to do is keep our fruit bowl full and easily accessible on the kitchen table.
You’ll find the best prices on produce when you buy whatever is in season. Berries are often cheaper during warmer months but you can also get apples for $1-$2 per pound in the fall.
Bananas are usually always around $0.40 per pound. Cut up fruit like melons and fresh pineapple for the week and put it in the fridge in separate Ziploc bags so the kids can have easy access to them.
3. 3 Ingredient Cookies
Three ingredient cookies are easy to make and they’re one of the best cheap after-school snacks for kids. I found this recipe a few months ago and the only ingredients are chocolate chips, rolled oats, and ripe bananas.
This is even something your kids can help you make after-school or on weekends. Store the cookies in an airtight container and they’ll last for a few days.
4. Ants on a Log
Ants on a log is a fun snack that kids can construct on their own. All you need are some cut up celery stalks, peanut butter or almond butter, and your favorite toppings.
Try toppings like chocolate chips, raw nuts, blueberries, and raisins. You can place all the ingredients in a bowl on the counter so kids can make their own creative snacks. I love the examples in this post.
5. Trail Mix
If you’re looking for cheap after-school snacks with less clean-up, consider buying some trail mix or Chex Mix when you go to the grocery store. Nuts are really filling and high in protein so this can fill your kids up and hold them over until dinner.
You can always make your own, but it may be easier and cheaper to just buy a big bag of trail mix or individual packages and add them to your snack basket at home. If you prefer Chex Mix, check out these creative snack ideas that kids will love.
6. Granola Bars
There are so many different brands of granola bars and they make the perfect option for cheap after-school snacks. We typically get the 8 count box of chocolate chip granola bars (in the red box) which is only around $1.19 at Target.
You can also try the variety pack if your kids like different flavors. Of course, you can always try to make your own granola bars too. I did this once for a camping trip and the bars turned out great.
However, I couldn’t see myself doing this every day for an after-school snack. You’d need quite a few ingredients along with extra time to prep, bake, and cut the bars. Often, buying a box from the store is much cheaper and easier.
7. Guacamole and Chips
If you’re looking to switch up snacks in your house or your kids are interested in trying new things, chips and guac is a great snack option. An even easier alternative would be chips and salsa. You don’t have to go the homemade route either as there are plenty of ready-made salsa and guacamole options in stores that taste pretty good.
8. Other Cheap After-School Snacks
Another great tip when it comes to snacks is to consider the cost of an item per serving. I do this all the time when grocery shopping so I can find out how many servings I can get out of a meal once I know the cost.
For dinners, I generally cook meals that are $3 to $6 per serving. For snacks, I like to stick to items that are $1 or less per serving if I’m on a budget. Some of these cheap after-school snacks include things like:
- Popcorn (either microwave or kernels for our air popper)
- Blueberry muffins (from a box cake mix)
- Brownies (from a box cake mix)
- Cheese sticks
Summary: Cheap After-School Snacks For Kids
I hope this gave you plenty of ideas for easy and budget-friendly ways to feed your kids right after-school. Consider switching up your snack options each week to provide plenty of variety without breaking the bank.
While most of our grocery budget goes toward actual food, being able to find cheap snack options is important and goes a long way.