Have you been watching your weekly grocery bill climb to new heights since you started eating healthier? Have your increased workouts and training sessions requiring additional fueling throughout the day? Have you found yourself wondering why your supply of snack bars always seems to be running out?
I know how you feel. As a budget conscious wife, I want to make sure that my husband and I are allocating our precious disposable income to the things that we really want, but as an athlete who trains every day, I know that my body needs nourishment and fuel. I can’t skimp on food and expect my body to perform. A few months ago I found a solution. I started to make granola bars at home. These delicious snacks were much healthier (higher in protein and fiber, with significantly fewer preservatives) than the off-the-shelf options at our grocery store and helped up to cut back on our grocery bill.
Cue the excuses: “That’s great for you, but I just don’t have the time,” or “Well, if I get a coupon and use it on the exact right date I can load up on granola bars and have a supply for 6 months,” or “Well, is it really that much healthier?”
I wouldn’t be writing this if I couldn’t answer each of those items. Below is the link to the granola bar recipe that I will analyze. I’ve tried several other recipes but my husband made it clear that he loved these the best, so they’ve become a staple in our house:
Time to make: 12 minutes and 5 seconds (I started with an empty counter and took out all of the supplies and made the bars after I started the timer).
Time to buy: About 30 seconds to pick up a box of granola bars at the grocery store.
Ok so buying pre-made, pre-formed, preserved granola bars takes less time. But consider this, the average user spends 17:14 minutes on Facebook each day. You could make these granola bars and still have some time left over to stalk your ex-boyfriend, take a quiz or like adorable baby photos.
Here comes the fun part… MATH! Keep in mind that I am budget conscious so if I don’t need to use a name brand product, I won’t. Below is a table of the cost of each ingredient by item and by ounce and the amount of each ingredient in the granola bars:
|Ingredient||Cost at Store||Price per Ounce||Recipe calls for||In ounces||Cost|
|Puffed Rice Cereal||$1.79 for 100 oz box||$.0179||1 cup||8 oz||$.1432|
|Rolled Oats||$2.29 for a 120 oz. cannister||$.01908||1.5 cups||12 oz||$.229|
|Sliced Almonds||$2.69 for a 12 oz bag||$.22||.5 cups||4 oz||$.8966|
|Agave Nectar||$2.69 for a 8 oz bottle||$.33625||.25 cups||2 oz||$.6725|
|Chocolate Chips||$1.59 for a 12 oz bag||$ .1325||1.5 tablespoons||.75 oz||$.099|
|Shredded Coconut||$2.74 for a 26 oz bag||$.1053||.25 cup||2 oz||$.2107|
|Coconut Oil||$6.98 for a 14 oz jar||$.4985||.25 cup||2 oz||$.997|
|Chia Seeds||$13.99 for a 37.5 oz bag||$.373||2 tablespoons||1 oz||$.373|
|Peanut Butter (the recipe calls for Almond Butter, but I substitute for Peanut Butter for price and taste preference)||$3.49 for a 35 oz. jar||$.099||.5 cup||4 oz||$.3988|
|Vanilla Extract||$1.99 for a 2 oz. bottle||$.995||1 teaspoon||.16667 oz||$.1658|
|Sea Salt||$1.69 for a 3.15 oz bottle||$.5365||A pinch||.013 oz||$.00697|
All in my cost was $4.19, this usually makes about 12 bars (2.99 oz per bar). I could easily squeeze out 24 bars if I used a longer pan, but I like my bulky and filling granola bars. I want a snack that fuels me sufficiently. The protein count comes to 5.833 grams and 4.08 grams of fiber per bar.
Store Brand: $1.79 for 10 bars ( each 24g, or less than 1 ounce). Each bar has 1 gram of protein and 1 of fiber. In order to get as many ounces per batch you would need 3 boxes of the store brand bars or $5.37 and to get as much protein you would need 5 boxes or $8.95. When you drill down to whether you are just feeding yourself or fueling yourself, the homemade bars win every time.
By making these at home I am taking control of what goes into my body. The store brand (again I try to avoid brand names when they are more expensive) was $1.79 for a box of 10 chocolate chunk granola bars. Investing the time in making a healthy snack is worth it to ensure our continued health and well-being.
Just look at the laundry list of ingredients included in the store brand. I dont know what all of these ingredients are, why would I allow them into my body?
It will take you time to make your own (borrow this time from your usual Facebook scrolling) and if you aren’t careful you may be fooled by bargain prices that don’t provide as much dietary value. Making sure that you are in control of what you eat is an investment that will pay off in the long run!