It’s deceiving… snacks don’t seem like they cost all that much – $2 for a box of granola bars, $4 for a 6 pack of pastry, $2 for a bag of chips. But it adds up and before you know it you are spending quite a portion of your food budget on snackable items that are full of preservatives and less than natural ingredients. So for the next few Frugal Food Fridays I’m going to focus on snacks. Things you can make easily and cheaply at home to satisfy in between meal hunger.

First up – Muffins!! I have a stellar all purpose muffin recipe that you can easily change up and add to – like a canvas waiting for you to make them your own.

Easy Basic Muffins
2 cups all purpose whole wheat flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 TSP salt
1/4 TSP ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup skim milk
2/3 cup sugar or packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
1 TSP vanilla

In a large bowl mix first 4 ingredients and make a well. In a smaller bowl mix remaining ingredients and pour into the well of dry ingredients. Mix together until combined. Divide the batter between oiled or paper lined muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Once a toothpick or fork can be inserted into the centre of the muffin and come out clean, they are done.

But this is just the beginning!

For Lemon Poppy Seed muffins prepare the muffin recipe above but add 1 1/2 TBSP poppy seeds to the dry ingredients and 1 TBSP grated lemon zest to the wet.

For Sour Cream muffins use the recipe above but use 4 TBSP of butter instead of a 1/4 cup, add 1/2 TSP baking soda to the dry ingredients and substitute 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt for milk.

How about adding 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries for Blueberry muffins? Or 1 cup chocolate chips for Chocolate Chip muffins?

So many options! Bananas, berries, apples… I love a savory cheddar herb muffin too. What is your favourite muffin?