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Keeping snacks for trips handy can save you a ton of money. It helped our family pay off thousands in debt! All you need is a list of foods that travel well. Get the free printable here!

If I had to choose a symbol for our debt payoff journey, it would be our ratty old Coleman cooler.

Not only did it save us a ton of money…it also helped us change some bad habits.  (We were spending hundreds of dollars on food whenever we left the house.)

Learning to make snacks for trips a priority was an important step toward saving money.

For us, snacks have to be affordable, easy to carry, but also easy to throw together.

I definitely don’t have 20 minutes to create a caterpillar out of cucumbers, tomatoes, and raisins.

Here are some of our family’s favorite easy snacks for trips, school, park days, or wherever you take a hungry family!

20 Cheap and Easy Snacks for Trips

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If you want another hot money saving tip, grab these cheap money savers real quick!

Made From Scratch Isn’t Always Cheaper

Sure, it’s best if you can make snacks from scratch.  Yes, that will save you the most money.  Right, it’s also healthier.

BUT.  Buying a bulk box of snacks your family loves will also save you money.  Because you can reach for that box instead of splurging on convenience foods.

(And we both know you’ll have to get “one more thing” if you pull out your wallet.)

Health is super important.  But don’t pretend that you can’t buy a bag of chips because it’s unhealthy when your fall back is the drive thru menu.

Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good.

Ready?  Here’s our tried and true list of great snack ideas along with ways you can do it easier…and ways you can do it cheaper.

Light Snacks, Easy to Carry Along

If you’ll be hiking through the zoo all day, for example, you want to take along a snack that won’t weigh you down.

1.  Popcorn

Snacks for traveling with kids that will save you money! Get homemade snack ideas and simple ways to build it into your life.

A favorite thing in our family is to pop a bag of popcorn on our way out the door.  I toss it in a drawstring bag.  It fills up several of us without being heavy.

And it’s so easy to pop a bag in the morning and drop handfuls into these baggies for an individual snack.

Make it even more frugal by air popping it instead!  We love this affordable air popper. And I’m totally intrigued by this microwave popcorn maker!

Related:  You’ll love these 50 frugal living tips!

2.  Graham Crackers

Drop a pack in a Tupperware container and you’re good to go for the family. Bag a couple for individual snacks.

3.  Dry Cereal

If you catch a good sale or buy in bulk, cereal can be an affordable snack.  My kids love to eat it by the handful, so it’s a treat to take along a baggie of their favorite kind.

Snacks to Eat On the Go

Maybe you don’t allow eating in the car, but our family would starve if we made that rule!  Eat these snacks in the car or on a bench when you reach your destination.

4.  Oatmeal Bars

Pick up a box of your favorite breakfast bars.  You can sometimes find good bulk deals on Amazon.

Or make a batch of your own oatmeal breakfast bars!  You won’t believe how easy they are, and they taste amazing.

5.  Chips

Chips are a yummy treat for our kids, and the special treat of eating them on the go keeps them from begging for fast food.  That’s a nice trade off.

The easy way is to grab individual bags of chips.  Simple to pass out, and when it’s gone…it’s gone.

For a frugal idea, we keep plastic cups in the car, and I bring along a family sized bag of chips (for our family of 8).  I portion out the chips into cups and pass them around to everyone.

It keeps the mess down and is a more affordable way to make sure everyone gets some.

I’ve also found awesome deals on snacks at Sam’s Club.

6.  Raisins

Buy individual boxes or buy in bulk and bag them yourself.

Keeping snacks for trips handy can save you a ton of money. It helped our family pay off thousands in debt! All you need is a list of foods that travel well. Get the free printable here!

7.  Fruit Snacks

Cheaper in bulk.  You can get big boxes at Aldi for super cheap!

8.  Carrot Sticks

Slice your own or buy baby carrots.  Or go with cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, or whatever your family loves to munch on.

9.  Apple Sauce Pouches

You’ll have less mess with the drinkable pouches, but portioning it out yourself is a cheaper option.

Try these reusable sleeves for either apple sauce or yogurt pouches!

10. Banana Bread

A quick bread or muffins are a great treat that’s easy to grab and go!  Use whatever fruit you have on hand to make a batch.

Or, try my easy pear bread (that has amazing reviews on Pinterest!).

We also love cranberry orange bread.

11. Oatmeal Cups

My kids LOVE these banana-chocolate chip-oatmeal cups!

12. Trail Mix

Grab individually wrapped bags of trail mix.

Go cheaper by buying your trail mix in bulk and bagging it yourself.

Or, even more frugal, make your own trail mix using nuts, dried fruit, cereal, that clearance bag of M&Ms, and pretzels from your pantry!

13. Nuts

Obviously a no go if you have a nut free school, but nuts can be a great option otherwise.

Aldi has great prices on nuts.  Look for their individually wrapped 100 calorie almond or walnut packs… or bigger bags of a variety of nuts.

15. Yogurt Breakfast Bark

This healthy five ingredient recipe is ready in no time! 

You could also make it using this simple homemade granola.

In the Cooler

16. Fruit

Grapes are easy!  You can even freeze them for a summertime treat.

Cube melons or cut up berries into small bowls.

17. Cheese

Grab cheese sticks or cube up a big block of cheese.

18. Yogurt Tubes

The tubes are easier than bowls on the go.  But remember, grab this set of reusable pouches so you can make your own!

19. Hard Boiled Eggs

Easter brunch menu

Pack bags for the messy shells.  Or peel them before you leave home and stick the eggs in a bag or bowl.

20. Quesadillas

If you need food that’s a little more hearty, make some quesadillas.  Slice them into wedges and hand the kids a triangle when they’re hungry.

This quesadilla maker was an awesome investment.  Even my 8 year old can make her own now!

Pin It!

Snacks for traveling with kids that will save you money! Get homemade snack ideas and simple ways to build it into your life.

Free Printable!

Print off this list and hang it in the pantry!  Click the photo to get the printable PDF.

Having snacks for trips on hand saves you tons of cash!  We’re living proof!

You’re 500% more likely to follow through with this if you have the food on hand in an easy to grab manner.  (That’s my experience anyway.  Your mileage may vary.)

Next up, keep this list of last minute dinner ideas on hand!  (It keeps the pizza delivery guy away!)

Last Minute Dinners

What’s your favorite snack on the go?

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Easy snack ideas for on the go! Great for families, kids, for work, for school, or anywhere you like a quick snack.