8 Nostalgic After-School Snacks That Are Budget-Friendly (and Delicious)



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Stack of pigs in a blanket

Blast From the Past

Adulthood is so often bogged down by the emotional weight of topics like inflation and the state of the job market. Need a break from all the serious stuff? It’s never a bad time to look back on your childhood with a fresh pair of rose-colored lenses, and that includes remembering your favorite after-school snacks. 

We put together a list of throwback snacks that are both delicious and easy on the wallet — because there's never a wrong time to make an English muffin pizza. 

Homemade Fluffernutter Marshmallow Peanut Butter Sandwich

1. Fluffernutter Sandwich

Ah yes, the ole Fluffernutter. You could have enjoyed this delightful sandwich as a snack or an actual meal depending on just how much you were able to get away with as a kid. It’s believed that it was brought into this world by Paul Revere’s great-great-great-grandaughter, Emma Curtis, during World War I, when she boldly shared a recipe that brought together peanut butter and marshmallow creme. 

The rest is history. To this day, people are setting aside cherished windows of time during their days to go absolute feast mode on their Fluffernutter sandwiches.

Recipe: 365 Days of Baking and More

English Muffin Breakfast Pizza

2. English Muffin Pizzas

English muffin pizzas are never going away. They’re delicious, easy to make, and affordable. It’s as simple as that. They’re also much lighter than your traditional frozen pizza or slice out on the town, so you don’t have to worry about being knee deep in a food coma after eating a couple hand-sized servings.

Recipe: Well Plated

Cocktail Sausages

3. Pigs in a Blanket

As a kid, pigs in a blanket just seemed so right. You know you had it made when you held a pig in a blanket that still had the soft, almost too warm puff pastry wrapped around it. Treat yourself as an adult and make this casual and budget-friendly appetizer at your next dinner party.

Recipe: Delish

Related: These are the Top Super Bowl Snacks in the Country, Ranked

Franks And Beans

4. Beans-n-Franks

Baked beans and hot dogs thankfully make consistent appearances on many grocery stores’ weekly discount rosters. You might’ve already enjoyed this dish more than you would’ve expected if you found yourself scraping by until the next paycheck hit your bank account. But it's not just a last-resort food: It's also a nostalgic snack or meal that some people fondly remember enjoying after they got off the school bus.

Recipe: All Recipes

Related: 7 Best Quick (and Cheap) Costco Meals, According to Superfans

Homemade Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup

5. Grilled Cheese With Tomato Soup

Grilled cheese and tomato soup go together in perfect harmony, and it’s even more of a blessing that the duo takes close to no effort to prepare and serve. Though a childhood version of this snack or meal may have featured American cheese on white bread, you can get fancy with your grilled cheese and toss in extra fixins’ like peppers, ham, avocado, and habanero pepper jack cheese slices for an extra kick. 

Recipe: Erin Lives Whole

Related: The Best Trader Joe's Cheeses, According to a Professional Cheesemonger

Homemade Chocolate Dirt Pudding

6. Dirt Cups

If you don't already know about "dirt cups," then you've sorely missed out. The dessert concept was approachable enough, and made every kid clamor to spoon out what "lived" in the "dirt." Here's the premise: A cup is filled with crushed up Oreos, some gummy worms, and chocolate pudding. Definitely sounds like something an adult can still enjoy.

Recipe: Julies Eats and Treats

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A Healthy Kid Friendly Snack of Celery and Nut Butter

7. Ants on a Log

While the name sounds a tad unappetizing, this go-to kids snack is actually packed with nutrition. All you need for your healthy and delicious ants on a log is some celery, peanut butter, and sweet raisins. 

Recipe: Healthy Happy Life

Hot Pockets

8. Hot Pockets

Invented in the '80s and made popular in the '90s and early aughts, Hot Pockets were a popular after-school snack cooked in the microwave (yes, burning your tongue on at least one was a requisite). While you can still find these affordable snacks in grocery stores, you can also make your own homemade version stuffed with anything your heart desires.

Recipe: Alyona's Cooking