Stop running to the convenience store for a bag of chips and bottle of soda in the afternoon. Instead, save your waistline and cash by making healthy snacks at home. Then, take them to work, travel or the couch when you settle in for a good movie after work. Here are a few cheap eats to whip up this week.
Is your garden full of ripening tomatoes? Grab a handful and make some salsa. It only takes a few minutes to chop up the ingredients. Dice four cups of tomatoes, then use a food processor to chop a small onion, a green pepper and a small bunch of cilantro. Combine the ingredients with the juice of a small lemon and add salt and pepper to taste. Once you're satisfied with the taste, simply chill. Serve the healthy salsa with whole-grain tortilla chips for a low fat snack.
Premixed fruit and nut trail mixes can be pricey at the grocery store. Instead, buy your favorite ingredients in bulk and make a big batch at home. Divide the trail mix into individual sandwich bags to control your serving sizes and make the snack easy to take on the go. Try a blend of plain roasted almonds, dried cranberries without sugar and dark chocolate chips. Ounce for ounce, this option is cheaper than vending machine snack packs and better for you than a bag of honey-roasted peanuts.
One snack that's gaining popularity is hummus. This vegetarian treat is simply pureed, seasoned chickpeas. For the cost of a small container of hummus at the store, you can make a batch of hummus at home that will last a week. This creamy dip is made with fiber-rich legumes and heart-healthy olive oil.
Craving sugar? Make inexpensive fruit kebabs. Choose fruits that are in season, and look to the discount table in the produce department. If the grocery store sells cut fruit, it often goes on discount if it doesn't sell quickly. Look for packages of cubed pineapple, melon, strawberries or grapes. These all thread easily onto a skewer for a quick, healthy snack.
Forget snacking on boring baby carrots and celery sticks. Head to the farmers market and see what's plentiful and in season. These will be your best cheap eats for the wallet and your figure. Try slicing cucumbers, bell peppers and kohlrabi. These vegetables are rigid and flavorful enough to accept a healthy dip or be eaten plain.
If you're thinking of overhauling your diet, talk with a physician in Atlanta first. Making major changes can affect how nutritional supplements and medications respond to your system.