The easiest and cheapest snack we have is popcorn. We always have popcorn on hand in the pantry, and with our popcorn maker (a birthday gift) it only takes a couple of minutes to make.
And thanks to The Food Truck we can make our own potato chips, it's not hard. It's easier with our mandolin slicer (another birthday gift) to slice our potatoes into thin slices. Season the potato and lay out on baking paper on a baking tray, spray tops with a little oil. Place in a preheated oven 150'C for 20-25 minutes or until golden and crunchy. I like these with garlic salt. Kids like chicken salt.
Fruit and veggies yummy, even better when they are homegrown. Sliced apples, scooping out fresh feijoa, kiwifruit with our free fruit spoons. Peeling mandarins, squeezing juice from oranges, lemons and grapefruit. Popping berries just picked, straight into your mouth in Summer. Carrot and celery sticks, though my kids will just eat a carrot as is most of the time. Eating seasonal helps to keep the costs down.
Home Baking is a good way to have a yummy snack that doesn't have to cost a lot.
- You don't always need eggs. Like in ANZAC, and gingerbread biscuits.
- You can make sure a cake lasts longer if you make it into cupcakes and then kids can have 1 cupcake instead of 1 slice of cake
- You don't always need butter. Like in Carrot cake, Pikelets, Lemonade Scones, ABC muffins and even a Chocolate Mud cake.
- Buy butter on sale for under $3, and store in freezer for when you do need butter for baking.
- Limit how many biscuits you are aloud to have at one time. For our family it is 2 biscuits at one time.
- I buy plain flour and white sugar in bulk. So I don't have to buy every week. Last week I brought 5kg white sugar for $7.99 (so $1.60 per kg). Because we use less then 1kg per week (unless I'm preserving). I shouldn't need to buy for another 5 weeks. Next week I need to buy plain flour.
- You don't always need white sugar. Like Fried scones and Honey cake uses honey and dates, no sugar. Or some recipes ask for brown sugar instead. Like Gingerbread biscuits and muffins, Date loaf, and ABC muffins.
- If you are out of icing sugar for icing your cake, you can make your own. Add white sugar to a food processor, mix until you have icing sugar.
- Sometimes you have to make do with what you have. One time I was making ANZAC biscuits and realised I was out of rolled oats (last had been put into our muesli). Was able to use our muesli instead, and it was yummy. Didn't have walnuts for a recipe, but did have cashew nuts, so used instead. Ran out of chocolate chips for chocolate chip cookies. But had some leftover chocolate from a present, chopped it up and used instead. Just didn't have enough plain flour for a cake, used some wholemeal to top up (could have also used some self raising flour I had in pantry too)
- ABC muffins are a wonderful way to use up bruised (or half eaten) apples and bananas, that the kids won't eat into a muffin they all will have.
- I also have some bananas that I was able to buy cheap, in the freezer. Waiting to become Banana cake or Banana Walnut Golden Syrup loaf :)
- Freezers are also a great place to store baking. At the moment we have a Carrot cake in ours. Great to have on hand when you not in the mood to bake. All I have to do is defrost and ice the cake and it's really for school lunches. This cake was half of a large cake I had made. We have also stored in the freezer before Banana cake, ABC muffins, even some biscuit mix that was ready to cut into slices and bake.
- We use our lemons (from our tree) for making lemon cupcakes, and Wholemeal Lemon and Poppy Seed cake and Lemon slice. Don't see the point in buying them. And when we have so many that we can't use them fast enough, we freeze the juice for the times when we don't have lemons. We uses our oranges and grapefruit also as a flavour for cakes.
- Milkshakes are usually made when we have leftover ice cream that is not enough for dessert. Add it to some milk and mix (we have two options a hand powered blender or powered one). It can make a small amount of ice cream become 4 cups of milkshake that the kids can have with their 2 biscuits.
- Juice we usually make form our own fruit, it just to expensive to buy. Sometimes when I can get a box of cheap fruit from the fruit shop there will be some in there that can be made into juice.
- In Summer I make Ginger beer, Welsh Nectar (like lemonade), and Winter I make Lemon & Barley Cordial