15 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Break The Bank

15 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Break The Bank

Your stomach and wallet will be thanking you.

If you've ever tried dieting while on a budget, you'll know that it's no easy feat. Most health foods are high in price, and it's easier to reach for a 50 cent bag of chips when cravings strike.

Luckily, there are some snacks that will satisfy your cravings without emptying your bank account. And most of them are portable enough to carry to class or work with ease.

Here are 15 snack ideas for anyone on both a diet and a budget:

1. Skinny Pop popcorn

Skinny Pop is the food of the gods. Without the logo on the bag, you wouldn't even know that it's a low calorie snack. The popcorn tastes exactly as popcorn should. And what's better than losing weight without altering the quality of your food?

2. Apples and peanut butter

When chocolate cravings strike, the best alternative is peanut butter. And while some of us can eat it straight from the jar, others need to spread it on something.

Apples were meant to be combined with PB, and both of these items are cheap and easy to find. If you're really feeling risque, you can add chocolate chips to your peanut butter covered apple slices as well. It's even better than eating a cookie.

3. Baby carrots and hummus

Baby carrots are scrumptious on their own, but add hummus and you've hit the snack jackpot. And the best thing about hummus is that it now comes in all sizes. You can binge veggies and hummus on the go.

There are also tons of hummus flavors, including roasted red pepper and cilantro jalapeno. I get hungry just thinking about them all.

4. String cheese

While cheese isn't the healthiest option out there, low-fat string cheese makes up for this with its portion sizes. As long as you stick to only having one, a stick of cheese makes a great snack when you're dying to eat something unhealthy.

Of course, resisting a second and third helping of cheese is always the real challenge.

5. Rice cakes

Eating rice cakes is the equivalent of eating deliciously flavored air. They don't make you feel bloated and heavy. And they come in a range of flavors. You can try caramel apple or chocolate if you're feeling dessert, or white cheddar if you need something more savory.

Also, you can top rice cakes with pretty much any spread. You have to love healthy snacks with variety.

6. Celery sticks with peanut butter

If the apple and peanut butter combo is too sweet for you, you can try spreading peanut butter on celery sticks instead. You'll be surprised by how well these foods go together.

7. Nature Valley granola cups

This is more of a cheat snack than an everyday one. But Nature Valley's granola cups come in almond butter and peanut butter flavors, and they make a solid substitute for peanut butter cups. So if you're a Reese's fanatic like I am, try adding these to your diet.

Your taste buds will thank you.

8. Frozen grapes

I'm not sure why frozen grapes taste so superior to normally refrigerated ones, but they do. So if you're into snacking on fruits, pop some in the freezer.

Just try not to crave a margarita too hard while you're chomping on them.

9. Kale chips

Somehow, kale chips manage to do just that. It's probably the seasoning that creates each flavor, but who's complaining? These are considerably better for you than regular potato chips, and they don't taste half bad.

10. Granola bars

If you like having choices when buying your healthy snacks for the week, granola bars offer plenty of those. There are so many brands and flavors on the shelves, I'd be shocked if you couldn't find at least one bar with ingredients that suit you.

11. Edamame

If chowing on edamame is one of your favorite parts of going out for Japanese food, you're in luck. Stores like Trader Joe's sell the beans for reasonable prices, meaning you can snack on them at home now too.

The most work you'll have to do is add salt or seasoning. And with some brands, even that isn't necessary.

12. Grab and go almonds

Any almonds are great for snacking, on the go or no. But if you can find these pre-packaged ones in bulk, they're fabulous for keeping in your bag.

And let's be real. It's always a good idea to have emergency snacks in your bag.

13. Popchips

Popchips aren't necessarily healthy in terms of nutrients, but they taste great and don't make you pack on extra pounds. They're light, low in caloric value, and absolutely delicious. Plus, they come in every common chip flavor.

Eating these is the equivalent of eating a regular bag of chips, only without all the consequences. It's almost too good to be believable.

14. Greek yogurt

With Greek yogurt, there are so many brands and flavors to choose from. And while yogurt isn't the most appetizing snack on its own, you can always throw in some fruit to amp up the flavor.

15. Dark chocolate

If you really can't resist dessert, dark chocolate is fine to snack on in moderation. And you can find it pretty much anywhere.

The real trick is finding brands that use pure dark chocolate or cacao, instead of processed junk that defeats the purpose of choosing dark over milk.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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12 Starbucks Iced Drinks You NEED In Your Life This Summer

Must-try beverages brought to you by your local barista.

Be kind to your baristas, they can make you some pretty great drinks. With the temperature rising and the days getting longer, it's approaching the time to find your summer staple to keep you cool (and caffeinated) over the next few months.

Starbucks offers a wide variety of cold beverages that really hit the spot during the summer months, from espresso drinks to fraps, smoothies, teas and refreshers. As a Starbucks barista, I've had the opportunity to taste most drinks on the menu and receive feedback from customers on the do's and don'ts of cold beverages.

While this is not an exhaustive list, I pulled together some of my favorites to give you, the "Ultimate Starbucks Iced Beverage Bucket List for 2017" that you MUST try this season:

1. Pink Drink

Three words: Basic white girl. If you want a photogenic drink that tastes like a Starburst and makes baristas happy, the Pink Drink is for you. It's a pretty simple beverage... this Strawberry Acai Refresher combined with Coconutmilk is sure to satisfy your hipster needs.

2. Iced White Mocha

This sinfully sweet iced espresso drink is not only one of the most popular beverages on the menu, but sure to wake you up at any time of day. Jazz it up by asking for half white chocolate, half mocha sauce, topped with a mocha drizzle, and you've got yourself an Iced Tuxedo Mocha!

3. Doubleshot on Ice

If nothing else, this quick pick-me-up looks classy while giving you the energy boost you need to get through the day. With two shots of espresso, a bit of milk and classic syrup, this drink is easy to enjoy in little time... it's like a caffeine I.V.!

4. Iced Caramel Machiatto

Surprise, surprise... Caramel Machiattos are actually made with vanilla syrup. Nonetheless, these espresso-topped beverages are absolutely delicious at any time of year, but summer calls for ice! Want to change things up? Ask your barista to make it with half vanilla syrup, half toffee nut syrup to make an Iced Salted Caramel Machiatto!

5. Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher

A sister to the Pink Drink, the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher is a fruit juice-blackberry combo that makes for a pretty chilled beverage to enjoy on the go. The caffeine content is minimal, making it a great option for any time of day.

6. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Cold Brew is basically Starbucks' version of a smoother-tasting iced coffee with more caffeine. The Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew is a standard drink topped with vanilla-flavored heavy cream to create a sweet taste and a marbled appearance in the beverage. Want something with flavor, but not in the mood for vanilla? Try the Toasted Coconut Cold Brew!

7. Mango Black Tea Lemonade

The Mango Black Tea Lemonade is one of the most popular drinks on the menu. Iced Teavana tea mixed with mango syrup and lemonade makes for the perfect combination

8. Iced Chai Tea Latte

Iced Chais - sound so sophisticated, yet so simple to make. If you order this drink, there is a 10/10 chance that your barista will love you for it. Milk mixed with a sweet and spicy chai syrup makes for a classy drink that can be enjoyed at any time of day.

9. Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Machiatto

The identifying characteristic that makes a macchiato, well, a macchiato is that the espresso shots are poured on top of the milk and flavoring. Starbucks' Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Machiatto is a combination of cinnamon dolce syrup and almondmilk topped with espresso shots, a caramel drizzle and a cinnamon dolce topping to create a delicious dairy-free option in the macchiato family.

10. Sunset Refresher

This secret menu drink is fairly simple to make with a cool lime base, lemonade, lime slices, and ice topped with black tea. When finished, the drink will have an ombré appearance that makes it totally picture-worthy!

11. Iced Caffè Americano

Calling all espresso lovers: Americanos are a Starbucks signature. The drink itself is pretty simple - espresso and water topped with ice, but if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can mix things up with a flavored syrup. This drink is sure to wake you right up, no matter the time of day.

12. Strawberry Lemonade

Want something cold but not feeling coffee or a frap? Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is definitely worth a try! While this drink is not on the menu, most baristas are happy to make it upon request. Just ask for a combination of strawberry flavoring, lemonade, and ice blended together for a slushie-like beverage!

Cover Image Credit: FoodBeast

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A Love Letter To My Air Fryer

And why you would love an fryer too...


In a previous article, I wrote about how love to use Trello.com for organizing things. I'm still loving Trello. I've haven't grown bored of it and stopped using it (like I have with some other organizational systems). This time, I'm going to share another item that I love, and it's for one of my favorite things, food! I finally gave in and bought an air fryer, and after my first use, I literally said that it's wonderful! I bought a small air fryer. It only holds about two quarts, but it's perfect for quick lunches.

I thought I'd love the air fryer if it could dry fry food with little to no oil, and it does just that. I'm also in love with the air fryer, because I could simply put the food in it, set the timer and live my life for a few minutes until the food is done. I don't have to stand over it and watch the food cook. That makes the air fryer a winner! Did I mention that it really does work?! Yes, it does work. Now, you could buy foods that are already breaded and throw them in the air fryer, but if you want to go the healthier route, you can use bread crumbs, flour, and eggs to make your own crispy coatings for your foods. Dipping your food in your own homemade batter cuts out some of the salt and added chemicals in the frozen pre-fried foods.

You can also fry foods that do not even need a homemade batter. Without using the batter, I've made sweet potato French fries and burritos in it. The tortilla for the burrito turned out nicely crispy, but I didn't leave it in the air fryer long enough for it to be crunchy. The sweet potato fries came out nice. I've tried making crispy chickpeas with Italian seasoning, but they weren't to my liking. However, I have loved everything else that I've made in the air fryer. Sometimes I just put a quick meal in it, just to re-heat it, since I don't use a microwave. I just think that using the air fryer is healthier than using microwaves, and I love that I don't need to put my food in a special box or anything for it to be really crispy. If you love fried chicken or fried fish, you'd love this little machine as much as I do!

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