Make your own to-go yogurt snacks, save cash

June 17, 2013 3:01:20 PM PDT
We're making your snack dollar go further. Your kids probably like those to-go yogurt packages or the individual snack packs. Buying all that extra packaging can cost you big money. But if you have a vacuum sealer, you can save big bucks.

You pay for convenience, but if you spend 20 minutes in the kitchen with a food saver, it's going to save you at least 75 percent making your own on the go snacks.

The kids want it, so we buy it. From yogurt-to-go to fruit mixes in a single-serve pack, they're a few family favorites that can get pretty pricey!

"Really what you're paying for is convenience," blogger Brenda Thompson said.

But Thompson, author of the blog "Meal Planning Magic," says you can make your own tubes or packets to-go by using a food saver, which is a vacuum sealer that keeps food fresh longer.

"It removes the air from the items that you're trying to preserve. Without that extra air in there, it's gonna preserve it longer because the air is what makes things spoil.," Thompson said.

While many people use their food savers to store and portion out meat for meals, Thompson says it can used for a lot more. She has saved hundreds of dollars over the years by getting creative.

"In the store sometimes you'll find those individual packets for yogurt on the go. But with the food saver, you can use your food saver bags and make your own yogurt tubes," she said.

And it's going to save you a whole lot more money than the prepackaged variety. First...

"You have your roll of bags and you cut them off into about 4 inch segments," Thompson said.

Add your yogurt, seal one end, and then repeat on the other side. These single serve packets of fruit blends can cost you at least a dollar or more each. We can make an entire batch for that same price.

"It's perfect because you've already got your purees ready to go. You can throw them in the food saver bags and keep them in the freezer or fridge for whenever you're ready to go," Thompson said.

If you are looking for some healthy meals this summer, Thompson says the food saver comes in handy. Most food savers usually come with an attachment that lets you use mason jars to preserve food including salads.

"If you put your salad in a jar then you can prepare and chop and get everything ready to go at one time, portion it out into jars and then when you're ready to serve it for dinner that night or take it to work for lunch, you just have to grab your jar and it's ready to go," Thompson said.

Expect your lettuce to stay fresh and crisp for up to a week and it will save you a bundle versus those pre-packaged ones you find at the grocery store.

A food saver costs anywhere from $30 up to several hundred dollars. It just depends on how many extra bells and whistles you want.

Find Patricia on Facebook at ABC13PatriciaLopez or on Twitter at @patricialopez13


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