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. That little guy lead the charge to break the fast food habit that loomed over our family!
Learning to make snacks for trips a priority was an important step toward saving money. But many times, we get stumped by making a list of ideas.
What makes a snack a good option? For us, it has to be affordable, easy to carry, and not too labor intensive. When we’re ready to head out the door, we don’t want to have to take an extra 20 minutes to put snacks together.
To make life easier, here’s a list of snacks for trips. Keep this list handy! Add your family favorites to your Cozi grocery list so you don’t forget to grab what you need on your next shopping run.
20 Cheap and Easy Snacks for Trips
Saving money is a priority. But I want you to take this to heart: striving for perfection will keep you from reaching your goals. Sure, it’s best if you can make snacks from scratch. Yes, that will save you the most money.
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.)
Also remember that 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.
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.
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.
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.
We actually don’t eat as much junk food as this list might suggest! 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.
We keep plastic cups in the car, and I bring along a family sized bag of chips (for our family of 7). 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.
Buy individual boxes or buy in bulk and bag them yourself.
7. Fruit Snacks
Cheaper in bulk.
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.
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. We also love cranberry orange bread.
11. Oatmeal Cups
My kids LOVED 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!
Look for better prices on nuts at Aldi.
A sleeve of crackers is another easy grab and go option. My kids love to snack on saltines! Or spend a little more for crackers made of baked whole grains or nuts.
15. Yogurt Breakfast Bark
This five ingredient recipe looks delicious! You could also make it using your homemade granola.
In the Cooler
Grapes are easy! You can even freeze them for a summertime treat.
Cube melons or cut up berries into small bowls.
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
Pack bags for the messy shells. Or peel them before you leave home and stick the eggs in a bag or bowl.
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!
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!)
What’s your favorite snack on the go?