For the past 2 weeks I have been trying something different and I am in love with it. Previously, snack time looked like rice cakes with peanut butter, halos (clementines), gogurt or cheese sticks. The supply of these would dwindle so fast because it would take 3-4 of each to fill a child up between lunch and dinner (have I mentioned my boys have ridiculous appetites?). I liked that they were eating healthier foods, but these are also more expensive.
In my town we are blessed with a salvage grocery store. It carries foods that have damaged packaging or has been discontinued and sometimes just plain out of date. Most of the time I find great deals there and can get organic and gluten free snacks for less than half the retail price. I can get a box of granola bars for a dollar. They usually come with 5-6 bars in them. If you've ever paid $3-4 for a box of granola bars for 4 kids. You are familiar with the pain of watching them devour them in one sitting.
So I spend about $12 a week on snacks. I don't pay over a dollar for any item. I get Mott's fruit roll ups, Quaker granola bars (not so healthy but what do you do), Cascadian Farms granola bars... and things like that. My children really like granola bars and they are a healthier choice than candy or chips. I buy a box of quart sized bags and divide them into snack bags. Each bag will have a variety and an even amount of snacks as the others. This way, when snack time comes I can have each boy pick a snack bag and I don't have to worry about "fixing" a snack for them. Also, there is much excitement surrounding snack time now!
I am still technically a stay at home mom, but I am outside of my home 17 hours a week (it's odd that I counted isn't it?) at college. I didn't think that being gone a small amount of time would have such a big impact but OHMYGOODNESS it absolutely does! When I get home from school around 2:30 in the afternoons twice a week, I want to sit down and take a breath and not jump right in to mom mode. Having this one little thing already taken care of is such a relief. If I did not leave the house for any reason during the week, I would be delighted to whip up a batch of cookies or homemade granola bars but I am just so pressed for time now. We have to cut corners where we can.
I put the snack bags up in the cabinet and I know exactly how many there are in case there are any "sneaky hands"!
Yes, they absolutely can get to them. We are basically using the honor system. So far so good.