My Story: The After-School Snack Fest

contributed by Debbie

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Are your teens killing your food budget with after-school snack fests? We solved this budget-busting dilemma by first eliminating convenience foods from our grocery budget. We buy staples and specials. Our teen snack favorites are now quick, easy and on budget. They include:


These burritos are bigger and better than the ones you buy in the package of eight in the freezer section. We make a huge pot of pinto beans (bought in bulk), refry/mash them, and grate a block of cheese. You can omit the cheese if your budget won't allow and substitute it with left over Spanish rice, cooked chicken, or ground beef. We then heat the tortillas that we purchased at a warehouse store and assemble. Place the burritos on cookie sheets and freeze overnight. The next day, place them in gallon-size resealable bags and the kids will help themselves. Just microwave for two minutes and enjoy.

Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Nuggets are the all time favorite of ravenous kids. We prefer to splurge and stock up on boneless/skinless chicken breasts when they are on sale. Simply cut the chicken into small chunks or strips and coat with egg, breadcrumbs, and flour. Then, deep-fry the chicken in a small, deep saucepan. My teens are old enough to do this by themselves and they gladly spend an hour or more making a bunch to pack into the freezer. Let the nuggets drain on brown paper and then lay them on a cookie sheet to freeze overnight. Then, store in resealable bags. The nuggets don't stick together and we set a limit of six nuggets (not 20) per snack.

Potato Skins

These are cheap and easy. Don't throw away the skins when you make mashed potatoes. Simply season the potato skins to taste and fry or bake them. Freeze as above.

Pancakes or Waffles

We make a lot when we have them and freeze the extra pancakes or waffles for quick breakfasts and handy snacks.

There are so many more, but these are our favorite snacks. I would love to hear of other recipes for quick, teen-approved snacks!

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money please send it to

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