Cheap and Semi-Healthy Snacks to Help You Through Your Next Cramming Session

If you are one of those students who makes frequent trips to the vending machine at 11:00 at night to fuel another couple of hours of cramming, you aren’t alone.

For my first year in university, I spent probably $5/day just on snacks (granted, now that vending machine “food” is so damn expensive I guess I’m not surprised – that’s only like two bags of chips). Sometimes I’d spend zero, but the days that I was hanging out at school until late, trying to get through the next few chapters, I lived off of skittles and potato chips.

pic of chips


Not only are they expensive but they are really unhealthy, too. Why put your body through that? It’s not good for your mind and eating all of that sugar and sodium can counteract the good you are doing with studying.

Here are some easy snacks that I’ve started carrying around in my backpack everywhere for when hunger strikes:


I read something once that said popcorn has more iron and fibre in it than leafy greens, which made me incredibly happy since I’m a huge fan of popcorn.

I make a big batch of it with my air popper (they cost like $30 and you can use it in a dorm) and it lasts me for days.

I remember one of the vending machines at my school sold bags of popcorn for $2.50 (!!) for a chip-sized bag, and I can make popcorn including butter for under $0.50 for the same amount.

Cheese and Crackers

This isn’t even remotely healthy unless you eat it with whole wheat crackers or Triscuits or something and low fat cheese, but it’s way better than vending machine food.

I love cheese and crackers and think they are delicious. Cheese isn’t cheap but it’s still cheaper than vending machine food and will keep you full for longer. Crackers can be found on sale for really cheap.

Granola Bars

There are a lot of granola bars out there these days that are just needlessly expensive. I mean, just because it has “fibre” on the title doesn’t mean it’s a superfood, so calm down, granola bar producers.

In any case, you can get no-name or store brand granola bars to do the trick and you can even keep them in a dorm since they don’t need refrigeration.


I heard somewhere – and now I can’t remember where – that people that eat nuts every day live much longer than people that don’t.

That’s neither here nor there when you are hungry at school and you have a full night of studying ahead of you, but it’s a nice little bonus.

Easy, cheaper than chips, (get peanuts if you are on a budget) and delicious and you have yourself a filling snack.

Plus one that you can keep in your dorm or backpack and won’t go bad or spoil on you.


Cheap and Semi-Healthy Snacks to Help You Through Your Next Cramming Session — 17 Comments

  1. Speaking of food and studying, did you know that when you chew a certain flavored gum while studying then chewing on the same kind of gum can help your memory a great deal during a test?

    Just something I remembered. Haha. Too bad most tests don’t let you eat anything while taking them. :)

  2. Oh…college. I remember the days of Easy Mac and Ramen at 2am. Can’t forget the on-campus “fast food” restaurant where you could also get burgers and fries at 2am. Of course, if you were hankering for something between 2am and 3am, there was always Jimmy Johns.

    • We don’t have a Jimmy Johns here, but there is a pizza place nearby and it has the longest lines at like 3 AM which is insane!

    • Feel free to send me some, haha! Its weird they are so expensive considering many of them have hardly any real granola in them.

  3. I love nuts and I love nut butter (almond butter is delicious on crackers and apples-both are quick and easy snacks that are more healthy then eating candy or chips). Sadly, my college roommate and I ate a ton of fast food in college. I’m not sure how we weren’t severely overweight.

    • Hi Heidi,

      Ramen is most certainly not semi healthy and I have always considered it more of a meal than a snack but it’s definitely easy and cheap

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  7. Yes, I am aware. Every time I see the machine vendor in my building, I try telling him to lower the prices on the snacks, and instead he gives me a fee bag of chips.
    I guess he does’t care what I have to say. :)

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