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Queen of Free: Saving on summer snacks

Cherie's simple, cheap summer snacks will keep everyone full without breaking the bank.

INDIANAPOLIS — With kids home on summer vacation and grocery store prices rising, your budget could be stretched a bit trying to keep your family fed. 

Cherie Lowe, the Queen of Free, shared some economical tricks on 13Sunrise that could help keep stomachs from growling between meals while keeping your bank account above zero between paychecks.

Her first suggestion is to keep the fridge full of water so kids stay hydrated. Avoid buying bottled water to take to practices and summer camps. Reusable bottles save money and are easier on the environment. Fill them right out of the dishwasher and put them back in the fridge. 

"Not only will this mean when you’ll be ready at a moment’s notice, but your refrigerator runs more efficiently when 3/4 full (not overstuffed) so you’ll reduce your energy costs, too," said Cherie in her blog.

Prepack your own snacks

Rather than spend for the convenience of prepackaged snacks, you can save money by packing your own snacks that you can buy in bulk, like veggies, cookies, chips and trail mix, in reusable containers. 

If you do buy in bulk, make sure you buy only what you will eat and flavors that you know everybody will like. Stay away from trying a big package with new flavors so you avoid throwing uneaten pieces in the trash.

If you do buy some prepackaged snacks, pay attention to the unit price.

For veggies, Cherie recommends chopping them within a day of bringing them home. 

"Chopped veggies can be easily turned into both healthy convenient snacks, lunch box side dishes, and main courses like veggie wraps, salads, pizza toppings, pasta or fajita add-ins, quick and easy soup, and more," she said.

Watch Cherie's full segment in the video player:

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