When we had the boys' birthday party a few weeks ago, I wanted to spend as little money as possible. My parents had bought a construction party/face painting package at our school's silent auction, so that took care of some activities, paper goods, a few decorations, and favors. That just left us with the cost of the food.
|Lukas, waiting to be transformed into Spider Man.|
|Koda the snake!|
We scheduled the party for 1:30 so we wouldn't need to feed everyone lunch and it would be over before dinner. I already shared with you the rocket ship cake and dirt cupcakes I made for them. You can find them here. I also bought two boxes of ice cream to go with it, but wanted to provide the kids with something a little more substantial. I thought a snack mix would be the perfect thing--lots of delicious goodies in one snack.
I normally don’t feed my kids snack mixes because they are so calorically dense. But when out on the trail or expending a lot of energy, it is just what your body needs. And our little guests were burning a lot of calories painting our fence with water and hammering nails into boards.
|The boys worked really hard!!|
I headed over to the bulk bins at WinCo, knowing I would find the best prices there. They do carry a variety of trail and snack mixes, but I was on a quest to make my own. The cheapest mix in the bins was $2.97/lb. and contained peanuts, raisins, color buttons (generic M&M’s), and almonds. The only one of those items that might cost $2.97/lb. is the almonds. You’re paying a lot to have them all mixed together.
I decided on a mixture of pretzel twists, salted peanuts, corn Chex, raisins, dried cranberries, and dark chocolate chips. Everything except the Chex came from the bins (I bought those on sale a few weeks before). The most expensive ingredient was the dried cranberries at $3.76/lb., but everything else cost below the $2.97/lb. I’d pay for a pre-mixed snack mix.
One of the great things about making snack mixes, is that you don’t even need to measure—my almost-four-year-olds can make it. But for the sake of analyzing my savings, I measured and came up with the following recipe.
6 oz. pretzel twists
8 oz. salted peanuts
4 oz. corn Chex
3 oz. raisins
3 oz. dried cranberries
4 oz. dark chocolate chips
Measure all ingredients into gallon zip-top bag and mix. Yield: 28 oz. Total cost: $4.10. Unit cost: $2.34/lb.!!
I knew I didn’t want to serve it out of a bowl. I didn’t want their grimy hands touching all of it. So I portioned it out into Chinese to-go boxes that I bought at Cash & Carry. They are so convenient for packing meals for people, sending snacks for the boys’ preschool class, and giving cupcakes.
So next time you’re planning a party or a day on the trails, remember that you don’t have to break the bank to have a great, delicious time.
|My beautiful girl!|