Up until recently, I did not think much about snacks. I’m not a big snacker. My husband is, and so we get him snacks and I’ll usually grab a little bit of whatever it is sometime during the week.
That changed with first the pregnancy, and then nursing – and now we have a third person to be accounting for, and she certainly likes to snack.
When I was pregnant, I found myself grabbing snacks from the vending machine or the concession area of the university bookstore. Those options weren’t super healthy for either me or the budget. But they were sporadic! Some days I would want a huge breakfast and not care about food until lunch. Other days I would barely eat and be starving long before I could go home. If I bought something to take into work with me, it might get smushed in my purse or go stale before I ever ate it. I also spent the vast majority of my time at the reference desk, so there was no good place to stash snacks. So I ended up just giving in to the craving and hitting the vending machine.
While I was nursing, I wised up a little and set myself an actual snack time. I was pumping at work anyway, so I brought snacks for the week packed in with my pump and milk storage supplies. The snacks I brought were sometimes pricey (which I will talk about during a flashback Friday someday) but they were still better priced and better for me than the vending machine. I’d pair them with water to stay hydrated and that seemed to work.
These days though, I’ve also got to think about Baby Girl’s snack time. And last week, I spent a ridiculous amount of money on what was mostly snack food. Some of it was for myself and some of it was for my husband, and all of it was a good deal. But we’ve all been running rampant with the snackage because of it, and I have realized two things I need to do if we’re going to stay on budget and not waste any food.
- We need visible portion controls. We spend too much time just grabbing handfuls of whatever snack. I prefer using Rubbermaid containers for this (or Tupperware, or your preferred brand – this is not an endorsement, paid or otherwise) because they are reusable. The littlest ones are a great size for snacks.
- We need to plan our snacks. I don’t mean scheduling snack time with a set menu (though that’s okay and lot of kids prefer it!) I just mean that I need to think when we’re grocery shopping about what I need to provide more balanced snacks. It’ll help us not run out or waste food – opposing problems that I somehow manage to create simultaneously.
I think if we follow those two rules, we can get our budget under control, and so can you!