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  1. #1

    Default Snack Foods On A Budget

    I've recently been going out on longer and longer trips. I've noticed that, when it comes to food, snacks are the real bank-breaker. Instant meals are cheap and full of calories. However, backpacking staples like nuts, jerky, and energy bars can be quite expensive.
    Does anyone have any tips for inexpensive snack foods that still deliver the calories???
    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    DIY bars, muffins, brownies, jerky, etc. The internet is full of recipes.
    Bulk nuts might be a bit cheaper than packaged. I haven't priced them.
    Finding Clif bars at Walmart for $9/dozen was nice.
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    When I used to buy Builders Bars for my son, Whole Foods were always cheapest versus the other grocery stores. Also, at whole foods, if you buy a whole case (12 for Builders Bars) you get a 10% discount on the purchase. Not all the cashiers know this but they should.

    I always buy nuts in bulk. But I price shop them too. I have Prime and keep the app on my phone. Things like this (as well as coconut oil and other things) I price check while I am at the store. If the store price is better, I buy. I also try to watch for those odd times when the prices are really low and stock up on items.
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    If they suit your taste, stock up on Snickers bars when they go on sale; the price will vary by a factor of about 2. I find I can eat one of the Almond Snickers every day, but can't tolerate that in the regular (peanut) version.

    You can buy Smokehouse Almonds in pound pouches, and they're much cheaper per ounce that way.

    Jerky is pretty much always expensive unless you make it yourself.

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    Registered User Last Call's Avatar
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    Peanut butter, even "off" brands are okay, as long as it is the crunchy variety.
    Let's head for the roundhouse; they can't corner us there!

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    Go to Walmart the day after Halloween. Lots of snacks on sale. Throw em in a freezer and they are good for a year.

    Remember GORP Good Old Raisins and Peanuts.

    For some bizarre reason I like adding Good and Plenty candy into my gorp. Walmart sells the movie size boxes of candy like that for cheap. Hard to bear Giardellis chocolate baking chips.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Go to Walmart the day after Halloween. Lots of snacks on sale. Throw em in a freezer and they are good for a year.

    Remember GORP Good Old Raisins and Peanuts.

    For some bizarre reason I like adding Good and Plenty candy into my gorp. Walmart sells the movie size boxes of candy like that for cheap. Hard to bear Giardellis chocolate baking chips.
    Yep. Any holiday really. Walmart, Target, CVS & Walgreens. All those places have huge holiday candy displays and they slash prices the day after the holiday.
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Go to Walmart the day after Halloween. Lots of snacks on sale. Throw em in a freezer and they are good for a year.

    Remember GORP Good Old Raisins and Peanuts.

    For some bizarre reason I like adding Good and Plenty candy into my gorp. Walmart sells the movie size boxes of candy like that for cheap. Hard to bear Giardellis chocolate baking chips.
    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    Yep. Any holiday really. Walmart, Target, CVS & Walgreens. All those places have huge holiday candy displays and they slash prices the day after the holiday.
    Just to note - Target has (in the past couple years) only done 30% off the day after the holiday on edible items (such as the candy you were likely thinking of) - so that may not be the best place to go, unless you wait a week or so for the better discounts (and then take the trade off of less options left).

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Go to Walmart the day after Halloween. Lots of snacks on sale. Throw em in a freezer and they are good for a year.
    Remember GORP Good Old Raisins and Peanuts. For some bizarre reason I like adding Good and Plenty candy into my gorp. Walmart sells the movie size boxes of candy like that for cheap. Hard to bear Giardellis chocolate baking chips.
    Good and Plenty is pretty shelf stable and might help counteract raisins in the gut. YMMV for sure on balancing vs. raisins for loosening vs. binding effect. 5# bag between $16/lb or $18/lb between Amazon and Walmart.

    As for chocolate in a trail mix, I like Hershey-ets but they are tough to find. Also, its candy shell is slightly more melt-y than Good & Plenty. 5# bag is $24 at an Amazon reseller.

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    Try places like grocery stores where you can weight out your own amount to keep the price down.

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    Dollar stores often sell banana chips which are cheap, lightweight and full of calories. They also sell cheap snickers and other snacks as well. The nuts aren't too expensive as well. I never buy Cliff bars or Poweebars. They have just as much sugar and junk as chocolate bars but cost three times the price. Granola bars and chocolate bars won't break the bank. You can also buy jerky in a large bag at Costco.

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    Boil yourself half a dozen eggs. A perfectly balanced food. You even get to throw the shells away.

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    Peanut butter. Put it on everything else you carry for a snack. If you want to make your own snacks, try no bake cookies. Rice Krispie treats are also a good snack...but don't just stick to rice cereal...experiment with other stuff...I like to make it with cheerios instead, and I throw a half a cup of peanut butter in there. Cocoa pebbles or fruity pebbles is also good. Or use the basic rice krispie treat recipe to experiment with making your own granola bars...fruit, nuts, oatmeal.

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    I got some yummy gorpish trail mixes and chocolate bars for a reasonable price at Aldi supermarket for my last trip.

    I also like to make a coconut cookie without eggs which I store in freezer until trip. They have a lot of fiber which can be missing on the trail.

    When you see a possible trail food on sale buy it and store in freezer for freshness until your trip, that way the price of vacation food isn't as daunting because you don't buy it all at once.

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    Those little 3-packs of crackers (cheese and PB, cheese, PB, etc. etc.) I think Keebler, are good. Decent calories, good sodium, and best part - NOT a snickers bar or clif bar.

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    Little debbie is cheap

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    At home I toast pieces of multigrain bread to use to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Those work well as snack food to consume during the first several days of a trip. And, store brand granola bars or other snack bars sometimes cost much less, per ounce, than do Cliff Bars and so-called "energy bars".

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    honestly, most snack foods are not cheap. but munch away
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    honestly, most snack foods are not cheap. but munch away
    Thats why little debbie oatmeal pies
    1.79
    2040 cal in box o 12

    Hard to beat 1100 cal/$, except by straight vegetable oil

    Fudge brownies
    1.79
    1680 cal/ box
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 09-04-2017 at 07:15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    ...Hard to beat 1100 cal/$, except by straight vegetable oil....
    I just checked that against gasoline. It surprised me to find it's about the same calories per gallon (31,000+/-). Gasoline is cheaper right now. Walmart's veg oil is almost $5/gal.

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