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Dec 23, 2013

Small Packaged Foods: Price vs. Convenience

When we walk into a grocery store we can now choose between a conventional sized product or smaller individual sized products such as chips, candy bars, and yogurt cups. Lets take chips for example. Looking at the smaller containers they are often labeled an alluring “100 calorie” count, and are portioned in individual packages so you won’t overeat.

The convenience of this size may remove the temptation of many to indulge in too much of a snack. Yes, small packages offer convenience yet are often pricey- sometimes up to three times the price of a normal sized unportioned container. To avoid these costly options there are many foods that can be both cost efficient, low in calories, healthy, and easy to portion if you plan ahead.

Here are a few economic alternatives around 100 calories to enjoy:

Tomato (1 med.) with sprinkle of feta cheese and olive oil
Edamame in shell (1/2 c) with low sodium soy sauce
Shrimp (8) and cocktail sauce (4 tbs)
Baby carrots (1 c) with hummus (2 tbs)
Cantaloupe ( ½ fruit)
Raspberries (1 c) with Greek yogurt (2 tbs) and honey (1 tsp)
Raisins (50)
Egg whites (2) with toast (1 slice)
Tortilla chips (12 chips) with salsa (1/2 c)
Frozen yogurt (1/2 c) any flavor
Hershey dark chocolate kisses (5)
Raw nuts such as almonds or peanuts (a handful or 1 oz)
Applesauce (1c) with cinnamon
Skim milk latte (8 oz)
Air-popped popcorn (3 c)
Thin pretzel sticks (48 sticks)
Celery (5 pieces) with peanut butter (1 tbsp)
Unsweetened applesauce (1 cup)
An apple (small) with low-fat cheese (2 oz)

Here is a pdf compiled by the State University of Utah full of visual charts on cost saving food strategies: