Best Snacks Under $5: A Few Hits from Our Taste Tests

The best snacks don’t break the bank. In fact, you shouldn’t have to spend more than five bucks on a seriously good snack. Luckily, through our numerous taste tests, we’ve discovered the best of the best cheap snacks. If it weren’t for these budget friendly snacks, our wallets would hate us. 

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best pretzels

Best Pretzels

Snyder’s of Hanover Snaps

In our best pretzels ranking, staff writer Danny Palumbo had this to say about these pretzels: “These pretzel grids are properly salted, crunchy but not dry, and easy to eat. A bag of pretzels that you don’t get sick of in two minutes? That’s an incredible feat. Good on you, Snyder’s. These pretzels also stray from the traditional looped shape, and the tightly knitted grid of a snap is great for dipping.” Great as a flavor vehicle or great on its own, Snyder’s really snapped on this one.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best snacking cheese

Best Snacking Cheese

Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese Snacks

A person is nothing without their word––or their cheese. That is why I, Naajia Shukri, stand by my review of Tillamook’s Medium Cheddar Cheese Snacks. “Eating this cheese is like eating the baby version of a full block of cheese—Block Jr., if you will. Now, Block Jr. and I have gone on many adventures to the movies, in the car, bouncing around in my at-home office chair, and I can, in fact, report that she’s an all-terrain kind of cheese. It’s an appropriate, socially acceptable amount of cheese to have in public settings. Block Jr. ranks a full ten on the versatility scale in that it is the perfect size for breaking off into chunks for an impromptu cheese and cracker board,” I wrote in our best snacking cheese article. Block Jr. has your cheese craving covered, for the low, low price of under five dollars.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best granola bar

Best Granola Bar

Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut Almond Granola Bars

In our best granola bar ranking, staff writer Jordan Myrick wrote, “These are, hands down, the best granola bars I’ve ever had in my entire life. I don’t even really like granola bars, but I loved these. I would happily grab one for a quick breakfast or easy snack. As promised, they are sweet and salty, while also packing a flavor punch of oat and almond. The almond butter dip that lines the bottom of the bar tastes more like frosting than almond butter, and that’s exactly the way I like it.” These “frosty” granola bars taste so fancy for being under five dollars.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best tortilla chips

Best Tortilla Chips

On The Border Cafe Style Tortilla Chips 

Jordan wrote in our best tortilla chip ranking, “The On The Border Cafe Style Tortilla Chips are literally the perfect tortilla chips. They are sturdy without being too thick. They have a mild corn flavor that makes them feel homemade rather than mass-produced. They are salty enough to make the chip great for eating on its own, but are also mild enough to not overpower whatever you’re dipping them into. Most surprising, they smell and taste like they’re fresh out of the fryer, like canola oil in the best way. I didn’t know this freshly fried flavor was even possible for a packaged item, but now that I know, I can’t unknow—you know?” On The Border makes restaurant style tortilla chips that can be yours for less than five bucks.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best beef stick

Best Beef Stick

Chomps Original Beef Stick

“This tastes so much like beef that I’m actually getting beef fat vibes, kind of like a ribeye steak. This is so beefy that it actually makes me think of a specific cut of beef. Chomps is a top of the line product that’s salty, savory, meaty, and delicious. Plus, they say they use 100% grass fed and grass-finished beef, that the animals are never given hormones or antibiotics, and that they’re harvested as humanely as possible,” Danny raved in our best beef stick ranking. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly snack with a beefy kick to it, look no further.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

best ramen noodles

Best Ramen

MAMA Instant Noodles

“I don’t know how I have lived my entire life without trying MAMA Instant Noodles. It was some of the best instant ramen to ever grace my mouth. These instant noodles come with not one, not two, but three little flavor packets to add maximum deliciousness. They’re a little peppery, delightfully oily, and so, so savory. You do not need to add a single thing to these noodles. They are perfect as is. Oh, did I mention they’re vegetarian?! MAMA Instant Noodles will be a staple in my house moving forward,” Jordan wrote in our best instant ramen ranking. These are jam packed instant ramen noodles that offer more bang for your buck.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best pretzel pieces

Best Pretzel Pieces

Snyder’s of Hanover Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Pieces 

For those looking for a little more zest in their pretzel snacks, Danny had this to say about Snyder’s Pretzel Pieces in our pretzel ranking, “These are insanely good. Like, a pretzel has no right to be this deep with flavor. To be fair, these are pretzel pieces, which kind of read more like a crouton and less like a traditional pretzel snack. But, all things considered, this is still a pretzel. These pretzel pieces are concentrated with incredibly sweet honey mustard flavor. The fat content is way higher than anything else on this list, too. Snyder’s pretzel pieces have 15% saturated fat compared to the 0% saturated fat of their Snaps, but that’s all well and good with us.” Splurge on big flavor for these pretzel pieces, while still staying in your budget!

Credit: Ryan Martin / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

sprouts lightly salted popcorn

Best Bagged Popcorn

Sprouts Organic Popcorn Lightly Buttered

Snackers with a Sprouts nearby may want to try their lightly buttered popcorn per Gwynedd Stuart’s review. “It doesn’t quite live up to the movie theater stuff, but this popcorn from Sprouts does a good job of being salty, rich, and delicious. The kernels have a great texture and we loved that it tastes buttery without being too buttery. If you go ham on the liquified butter-flavored chemicals at the movie theater, this might not be for you, but people who want the movie theater experience without the stomach churn will dig it,” she wrote in our best bagged popcorn ranking. Pick up a bag of Sprouts lightly buttered popcorn to save on your next movie night in.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks


About the Author

Naajia Shukri

Naajia Shukri is the editorial assistant at Sporked and the legit biggest fan of candy corn. She is interested in all things food, art, and beauty. After living in Korea for the past two years, she has gotten back to her L.A. roots, frequenting thrift stores and art museums.

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  • Thank you for agreeing with me that the honey mustard pretzels are the best.

    Reply