Parenting | The Grocery Game

20+ Back To School Snacks For Every Budget (Free Printable)

Just about every lunch has school snacks to help get kids through the day while training to be Canada’s men and women of tomorrow.

Whenever I read a back-to-school article, I automatically think about the little kiddies going to elementary school, so I wanted to address all students today.

Plus, consider snacks not only for at school but also as after-school snacks, especially when studying.

budget school snacks
Back To School Snacks

SCHOOL SNACKS THAT ARE HEALTHY AND ON  BUDGET

I want to stress before I start this post about school snacks because we all have our definition of healthy, so keep that in mind with the snacks I’m sharing.

I’d send these snacks with our son to school and snacks I took to University when I was a student.

I also want you to consider your grocery budget as it may differ from mine or someone else reading this post.

Buy what fits in your budget but aim to keep snacks as healthy as you can.

Students from Junior Kindergarten to University all need to eat, which means bringing a lunch which would be the optimal frugal way.

Some students may have meal plans, but those having healthy, inexpensive school snacks for those on-the-go moments are essential.

If you’re a parent to elementary students, you already know that most schools have a no-peanut policy which means if the product includes peanuts, don’t bring it to school.

This is to protect kids that have food allergies.

You may have more than just peanut butter, depending on what allergies are identified at the beginning of the school year, so talk to your school and see what you can and cannot bring.

As far as I’m aware of high school, college and university students can pack whatever school snacks they’d like for the day.

This means you have plenty of options, especially when the budget is tight.

Consider for a moment, though, if you were to eat breakfast at a fast-food coffee shop for $5 what you could buy at the grocery store.

I’m betting you could get a bag of bagels and a 227g pack of cream cheese at the least, which means you’ve got breakfast for at least five days for the one breakfast you bought on the run.

Try to avoid these impulse food choices because they will only set you back financially, especially when you are a student. Even after you move on, budgeting for stuff like eating out is vital to your overall financial success.

School Snacks and Education

When I went back to school in Canada, I was 29 years old, and the worst thing I did was not take lunch.

I was one of those guys who didn’t take the time to pack a lunch but always remembered my coffee.

However, I always have school snacks with me because I found eating something better than nothing.

On certain days I found that I didn’t have any school snacks packed that I was tired even though I had coffee.

Eating something small and filling my tummy took my mind off the growl and back on the books.

I was a bookworm and graduated top of my class, but I had to push hard, which is why I’m encouraging other students to take a snack break.

I should probably stop and give credit to Mrs. CBB right here because it was with her urging to bring snacks to school that I even considered it, and she was right.

There were many times that I appreciated that break from studying to enjoy a crisp apple outside in the fall or homemade granola bars or muffins that she would make for me.

I wasn’t much of a veggie guy, but I loved beef jerky, which I’d get packed in my lunch bag secretly by Mrs. CBB.

I often found secret snacks stashed in my bag with little motivational sticky notes letters, which made my day. Going back to school as an adult is no easy task.

All you high school kids out there reading this or parents of kids in high school, make sure you pack healthy snacks in your bag to go because even you, too, need to take a break.

Eat healthily, and you’ll feel healthy from the inside out.

School Snacks For Kids

Back To School SnacksFor Every Budget! 2

Now that we have a wee one who is not so tiny anymore entering junior kindergarten in just two weeks, we’ve had to step up our school snacks game.

Just like adults need snack time so do the kids, and as you know, snacks are encouraged from a young age to keep kids from overeating and alert during the day.

After a school meeting, the principal informed parents of a list of approved foods and snacks.

This was probably the one part of the meeting that we dreaded since we weren’t sure what we would do.

Creating a back-to-school snacks list was at the top of our plan, which is why I wanted to motivate all of you to do the same.

Dealing With A Picky Eater

We face the problem as parents because we have a picky eater, which means our options are limited.

Since one of our son’s favourite snacks is peanut butter, we had to cross that off the list due to school allergies.

Other snacks he loves are fresh-cut cucumbers, bananas, muffins, oatmeal chocolate chip banana loaf, blueberries, watermelon chunks, strawberries, pepperettes, beef jerky, pepperoni slices, salami (he’s a meat-eater). Anything to do with cured meats, he’s in.

If you don’t have a picky eater, you can quickly get back-to-school snacks happy with all sorts of healthy treats that fit in your budget.

At the end of August into September, there are deals which is a great time to stock up.

On the other hand, if you are like Mrs. CBB and love to do the homemade thing, then making apple sauce, pudding, muffins, bread, and even crackers might be on your baking to-do list.

We just went apple picking for the first time at the farm on Saturday with our son, and he loved it.

The apples are just starting to come ready, so we plan to visit a few more orchards over the next couple of months.

20+ Healthy Back To School Snacks For Every Budget

20 healthy back to school snacks list

We try to avoid messy foods as our son is a messy eater, and after seeing what the junior kindergarten classroom looks like after school, the teachers will thank you.

Our son also gets mini cartons of white milk every day as we order it and once a week a slice of pizza from Domino’s Pizza for pizza day.

You can also PRINT the above list of school snacks for free HERE or save it as a Pdf. File.

  • Healthy Muffins (low-sugar or sugar-free) Banana muffins, apple muffins, chocolate chip muffins, etc.
  • Dill Pickles
  • Salsa and Tortilla or Pita chips
  • Carrot sticks
  • Hummus
  • Cheese and Meat Pinwheels (tortilla with meat and cheese, with mustard, mayo or other condiments rolled up and sliced into pinwheels.
  • Bagel and Cream Cheese
  • Unsweetened Apple Sauce or Puddings
  • Popcorn
  • Trail Mix
  • Low-Sugar cookies homemade or store-bought
  • Pretzels
  • Celery boats with cream cheese filling
  • Baked Chips
  • Dry Cereals
  • Raisins
  • Yogurt and Yogurt tubes
  • Plain or Flavoured Rice Cakes
  • Cottage Cheese Cups
  • Apple Chips
  • Naturally Flavoured Fruit Snacks, Dried Fruits, Dehydrated fruits.
  • Gold Fish crackers and other crackers
  • Hard Cheeses cubed
  • Soft Cheese *Laughing Cow
  • Cheese Strings
  • Tuna or Chicken Salad Cups
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs
  • Salami, Pepperettes, Beef, Turkey or Pork Jerky
  • Vegetarian options- raw veggies, cucumbers, carrots, celery, etc, sliced fruits, clementines, oranges, bananas, apples, blueberries, etc.
  • Raw options- nut-free granola bars
  • Dairy-Free options – any foods that contain no dairy

Heading back to school in September after a long summer holiday with delicious healthy snacks is a sure-fire way to get kids through the day.

Discussion: What other healthy school snacks can we add to the list above? Leave your comments below.

August 2018 Grocery Game Challenge

Join the 2018 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC), but before you do, you must read The Grocery Game Challenge Rules and Print the 2018 Schedule, which includes new prizes!

Free Money Saving Tools

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.

You can download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!

Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists created to get us on track working towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.

CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet. So many free resources at your fingertips.

Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is packed into this amazing FREE grocery shopping guide that has taken 6 years to create.

The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the many money-saving posts in The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

2018 Grocery Shop Results

Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2018: $3600 or $300/month (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.

Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings or that you would like to track on your own)

  • Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $300
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $300-$13.63=$286.37
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
  • PC Optimum Points to Spend: 3400,000
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

  • Zweet -$0
  • Checkout51- $1.50

Our Grocery Shop This Week

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 4 x 4L Sealtest Milk $4.27 each

Total Out-of-Pocket $17.08

Note: All totals below already have tax factored into them.

  • Total to spend this month: $300.00
  • Stockpile budget 2018: $25.00/month
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $25.00
  • Christmas Reserve Fund : $35/month $245 Saved
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $1
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $59.75
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $174.94
  • Total spent this week: $17.08
  • Total spent so far this month: $330.69
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: -$30.69
  • Total left to spend for the month: $0
  • Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $323.04+Feb $169.42+March $228.70 + April $337.84+ May $275.79 + June $271.88 +July $257.76 +August $+September $+ October $+ November $ + December $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We bought milk at Shoppers Drug Mart at 20x the points which put us over even more, however, we got back almost 5000 points which is equal to $5.00 or a free 4L bag of milk.

We will be fine for milk until our next shop. We still have a $25 PC gift card to use up as well from the bread incident.

MR.CBB

Coupons and Coupon Apps

Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money.

Related: Find all the latest coupon apps in Canada right here>>  Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons

Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!

Where can I find Canadian Coupons 2018?

Grocery Game Challenge 2018 FAQ’s

  • Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.
  • The rules have been updated to reflect changes for the 2018 challenge year.
  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
  • What is a prize payout?- I’ve changed the prize to yearly so I’ll be tracking everyone’s shop and draw accordingly for larger prize payouts.
  • When does the Grocery Game close each month? Ideally, you would want to have all your shops by the end of the month for review in order to make improvements for the next.
  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget does not include such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap, etc.
  • As of 2014 we no longer included such items in our grocery budget so we could see our actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly.
  • Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough.
  • Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
  • Canadian Coupons: Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.
  • There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
  • Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days.
  • Just recently the popular coupon site Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available.
  • If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
  • What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our iPhone so if you were wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
  • What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  • Some of these coupons have an expiry date and others no expiry date so be sure to check.
  • What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
  • How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?:  If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  • How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning;

  • Where you are spending money
  • How much money you are spending
  • How much money you are saving every month

If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2018!

-Mr.CBB

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15 Comments

  1. Snacks in our house usually consist of sliced up garlic sausage, strawberries, salt and vinegar chips and Reeses peanut butter cups. My grandson loves garlic sausage, strawberries and a pudding cup in his lunch.

  2. We like granola bars when in a hurry. Easy and mess free. For something healthier, cut up vegetables carrots, celery, red peppers

  3. My favourite back to school snacks are: homemade muffins, granola bars, cut up fruits, veggies with hummus and crackers!
    Thank you for this giveaway also subscribed to emails.

  4. My favorite back to school snacks are cut up veggies with hummus. My kids also love cut up watermelon and blueberries or homemade muffins are always a hit as well:-)
    We are dairy free and use lots of nuts in our snacks at home, but since the school Is a nut free school I have to save those snacks for after school instead.

  5. love pistachios and ‘hearty’ fruit like apples and oranges – I didn’t like soft fruit as I found it bruised too much

    1. Hi Josie,
      Yes that is correct and how you subscribe to CBB. Please make sure to check your email and allow the subscription so you get on the list. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to bringing you more great content. Thanks Josie. Mr.CBB

  6. AUG – Week #4 of 5- Aug 20-26, 2018

    2018 GROCERY BUDGET / STOCKPILE BUDGET AND US RESERVE:

    •Total Grocery Budgeted For Year: $190.00 x 12 = $2,280.00 for 2 adults

    =========================================================================================

    REMARKS FOR THE MONTH:

    We’ve got a lot nicer temperatures this week…still warm but thank goodness not as smoking hot as it has been. Now we’ve got the smoke from the fires instead!! LOL 🙂

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    It was time to re-stock our crispers a little…can you tell?

    =========================================================================================

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING:

    Walmart – Maple Ridge

    1 x 8-pack Greak Value Burgers $6.97
    1 pkg Great Value Crinkle Fries $1.83

    Total Grocery OOP: $8.80

    —————————————————————–

    Meridian Farm Market – Maple Ridge

    3 Nectarines $1.42
    3 Plums $1.03
    3 Sunrise Apples $1.58
    1 Beefsteak Tomato $1.11
    2 Large Onions $0.96
    5 Corn on the Cob $3.00

    Total Grocery: $9.10

    —————————————————————–

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    2 cases Molson Excel – RAIN CHECK @ $6.99 ea = $13.98
    1 x 4L Skim Milk $4.48

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $4.48
    Total Re-Stocking Reserve OOP: $13.98

    ** Earned 18 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $5.20 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    —————————————————————–

    No Frills – Larry’s Card – Maple Ridge

    1 Watermelon $4.97
    1 red grapes $1.97/lb = $6.23
    1 green grapes $1.97/lb = $4.19
    2 x 4-pack Peppers $2.97 = $5.94
    1 Klondike Ice Cream Bars $6.27

    Total Summer Reserve: $27.60

    ** Earned 0 PC Optimum Points on this shop for Larry **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    =========================================================================================

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING:

    Walmart: US – $124.86

    10 Cold Meats – 2 roast turkey, 2 honey ham, 2 cotto salami, 2 all beef bologna, 2 Ham & cheese loaf)
    1 x 2 quart Iced Coffee
    1 x 10 lb bag of ice
    4 Family Size Cheetos
    4 Hawaiian GF Wasabi Potato Chips
    1 Family pack Hebrew National Kosher GF Wieners
    1 Hershey Caramel Sauce
    1 GF Cheese Crackers
    1 GF Peanut Butter Crackers
    2 Campbell’s Tomato Juice
    2 Dr. Pepper Diet Cherry 2L
    1 Large pack Wasabi Almonds (for the glove compartment for diabetic “lows”)
    4 Honey Mustard Pretzel Pieces

    —————————————————————–

    Fred Myers – $11.90

    2 pkg Cob Onion Buns
    8 pkg English Muffins

    —————————————————————–

    Franz – after 10% Senior’s discount $35.96

    4 loaves 7-Grain GF bread – regular price
    2 jars of Jelly (Blueberry and Blackberry) – regular price
    4 Loaves 100% WW Bread @ 4 for $5
    4 pkg Onion Bagels @ 4 for $5
    1 Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies )
    1 Lemon Cookie ) @ 3 for $5
    1 Peanut Butter Cookies )
    1 pkg Hot Dog Buns – FREE
    1 pkg Kaiser Buns – FREE
    1 pkg Brioche Rolls – FREE

    —————————————————————–

    Safeway – $13.96

    2 dozen eggs @ $0.99 ea with Digital Coupon
    4 Cheribundi Cherry Juice Light 32 oz BOGO

    Total US Shop: $186.68

    =========================================================================================

    2018 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $264.06

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 11,074 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year: 398 Air Miles

    •Total PC Optimum Points Earned This Year: 12,900 Points

    =========================================================================================

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 1,520.00 Grocery Budget JAN-AUG

    $212.59 NET RESERVE TRANSFERS

    ($ 1,716.51) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 16.08 AVAILABLE Y-T-D GGC SPENDING NOT INCL RESERVES

    • RESERVES Y-T-D:

    $ 120.17 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund

    $ 282.59 Holiday Season Fund + $280 PC Optimum Points ($230 Mary + $50 Larry) + $10 Dream Air Miles
    = $572.59

    $ 711.73 Summer Season Fund

    $ 222.42 US Shopping Reserve

    $ 147.92 GGC Savings Reserve

    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,484.83. This means the 1,761.30 that we carried forward from 2017 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $1,122.78 that we have added in 2018, LESS $1,399.25 that we have drawn out for use in 2018.

    =========================================================================================

    1. Hi Mary,
      WOW that is a huge shop… one sec getting my coffee. haha
      Great deal on the eggs for 0.99… and BOGO juice. Is that Molson Beer? I thought the bakery would give you freebies when you shopped there or was that hit or miss? So many of the items you buy in the USA we can’t get in Canada. That’s ashame as I would likely be interested in buying some of them. We are ok for our crisper at the moment but will need to hit the cheap racks maybe next week with our PC gift card. We should probably use it anyways. Great shopping. I guess you’re stocked up for a while in the crisper and for you US products. Well done. Mr.CBB

      1. Mr CBB…

        1 Hubby got FREE hot dog buns, Kaiser buns and Brioche buns at the bakery.

        2. That’s Molson Non-Alcoholic Beer…not a bad price with our rain check.

        Oh just wait Mr CBB…next week is another BIG summer shop but we are taking a couple of trips in September and I expect there to be very little shopping then.

        We’re taking the ferry over to Vancouver Island to see my girlfriend in Nanaimo for one of our trips. The other trip will be a weekend in the US. 🙂

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