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Cookie and Snack Aisle

Save Money on Groceries: Cookies and Snacks 
by Michelle Jones,

Tip # 1 - Bakery Cookies

As I've mentioned in our Bakery Tips section, be careful about purchasing cookies in the bakery department... 12 cookies for $2.99, or more?  You've got to be kidding!  We all know better!  If you like cookies that much, please visit our Cookie Club site for tons of great cookie recipes - and make your own freshly baked cookies at home! You can also freeze most cookie dough and bake a fresh dozen any time you want, for a fraction of the cost.  And not only will home baked cookies be healthier (and cheaper) for you and your family, they'll taste better too!

Tip # 2 - Cookie Displays

Food displays are no longer contained in just one aisle, or in the bakery department, oh no!  They are now set up on display all over the store!  The good news is, the ones that are set up on special display throughout the store are usually the ones on sale.  And if they are not on sale it's because they were on sale and the employees just haven't had time to move them back to the cookie aisle yet.  So if you have to buy store bought cookies, just please buy them on sale!!!

Tip # 3 - Favorite Cookies

Don't buy your favorite type of cookie; buy a type that you like, but don't love - they're guaranteed to last a lot longer. (I learned this tip from my grandmother!)

Tip # 4 - Chips

Small bags of potato chips, Fritos, Cheetoes, Doritos, etc... make handy school snacks for children, and for road trips, but buying the convenient cases of them may not be such a great idea.  Companies know mom needs a break in preparing snacks so they can get away with charging extra, for packaging just a small handful of chips!  So, unless the cases (or large variety bags) are on a great sale, I simply buy large bags of my children's favorite chips (whatever's on sale each week) and divide them up into zip bags myself! ( I also buy the "snack size" zip bags in bulk for dividing up Cheetoes and pretzels, since they take up less room than potato chips.)

Tip # 5 - Healthy Snacks

Fresh fruit or cut up veggies make great snacks and cost a lot less then packaged foods. Buy apples and oranges by the bag but check them thoroughly to make sure each piece is in good shape. Try serving them to your children just a few times a week to get them used to a healthier snack!

Tip # 6 - Baby Size Sale

When buying carrots and celery for snacks it's best to buy them uncut and prepare them at home yourself, the packaged varieties will just about always cost much more!  However, my kids love those baby carrots so I do buy them occasionally... but only when they go on sale!

Tip # 7 - Salad Dressings

Cut up broccoli and cauliflower also make great snacks too, especially with a little ranch dressing for dipping.  (By the way, if you prefer name brand salad dressings ALWAYS use a coupon!)  This would be good for afternoon or summer snacks when children are out of school, so you won't have to prepare dipping containers that travel! ;o)

Tip # 8 - Homemade Breakfast Bars

Another snack my children love is Nutri-grain fruit bars, but in some stores they cost a dollar more than the store brands. Needless to say, I've been buying the store brands ever since they came out on the market (unless I have a double coupon or they're on a great sale!)  You can also make your own fruit bars at home, here's a simple recipe I've been using since the early 90s, when our first child was just a toddler.

* * * BONUS RECIPE * * * 

Michelle's Fruit Bars
by Michelle Jones


1 c. butter or margarine
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
2 c. oatmeal
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 and 1/2 c. spreadable fruit or jelly
2 T. wheat germ


Mix all ingredients except fruit and wheat germ together until a dough is formed.  Spray a 10x13 pan with cooking spray, line with foil, then spray foil.  Divide dough in half and press one half into bottom of pan evenly, spread fruit or jelly almost to the edges.  Using a little flour on your hands, take remaining dough and place flattened pieces over the jelly, creating the top layer of dough as evenly as possible.  (Dough will spread a little while baking, but try to press together to minimize cracks.)  Sprinkle the wheat germ on top and spray with a little butter or cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and cool on wire rack before slicing into bars.  Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.  ( I've never tried freezing them because they don't last very long in our house, but I'm sure they would freeze well too. )

Enjoy! :o)

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Readers' Tips...

"I save all the crumbs from in the bottom of cookie packages. They are great in yogurts, on top of ice cream and even in puddings. My son loves his yogurt with the crumbs." - C. Schmid

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