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  • Whitney

Why You Should Make Your Own Trail Mix

Do you find that you are muscling your way through the almonds and left wanting more peanuts? Do you prefer dark chocolate over milk? Making your own trail mix might just solve what the bags at the store are lacking, and you may save some money while you're at it.

There is no perfect trail mix for my household available for purchase. My kids refuse the almonds and pick out mostly the fruit and chocolate. (They will choke down a few cashews or peanuts if I yell at them to stop taking all the good stuff.) Their uneven raid on the trail mix ends up leaving my husband and I with all the almonds and seeds at the end of the bag. I tried eating more nuts to compensate for my kids, but found I was not enjoying the snack as I wanted to.

What is the benefit to making your own trail mix?

You can tailor your trail mix to satisfy your own cravings and desires. For example, I can add extra dried fruit to account for the fact my kids single the fruit out. I am not a fan of almonds so I put less in. I really like cashews, so I go heavier on those. I throw in dark chocolate chips instead of m&m's, which makes my trail mix slightly healthier.

Is it any cheaper?

It can be, depending on what ingredients you choose to add and in what quantities you add them. You can construct a trail mix as cheap or as costly as you want. There is a huge variation in prices between the different items you may add.

I can currently buy peanuts for $0.15 per ounce, while cashews are priced at $0.37 per ounce. It would cost you $0.36 for every ounce of m&m's, but Tollhouse milk chocolate chips would only run you $0.26. Great Value raisins are now around $0.21 per ounce. Compare that with $0.93 per ounce for Great Value dried blueberries.

Buying pre-made trail mix will cost you around $0.23 cents per ounce. These cheaper bags contain mostly peanuts and raisins, which are the cheapest possible ingredients. The most expensive mixes are upwards of $0.69 for each ounce, but contain more berries and more expensive nuts. Depending on what you choose to put in your own trail mix, you can save money. You also may decide that you can make a higher quality trail mix for cheaper than you can buy a bag of the same caliber.

One area you will for sure save money in when assembling your own trail mix is in that of waste. There will be no undesirable remnants to potentially throw away. This factors into the equation of whether or not you will save money.

Below is a list of ingredients to consider:

  • chocolate chips (milk or dark)

  • m & m’s (milk, dark, peanut, peanut butter, pretzel)

  • reese's pieces

  • peanuts

  • pumpkin seeds

  • sunflower seeds

  • cashews

  • almonds

  • walnuts

  • pecans

  • raisins

  • dried cranberries

  • dried blueberries

  • coconut flakes

  • dried pineapple

  • dried mango

  • banana chips

  • freeze-dried strawberries

  • pretzels

  • peanut butter pretzels

  • chex cereal

I hope this article inspires you to try inventing your own trail mix! My family-favorite (and budget friendly) combination is cashews, peanuts, raisins, craisins, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, a few almonds, and some dark chocolate chips.

Have you ever thrown away the last little bit of undesirable trail mix at the bottom of the bag?

  • Yes.

  • No, never!

  • A mostly empty bag has been sitting in my pantry for weeks.

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