SNAAAAAACKS. In 2019, it’s a word used to mean both a small morsel of food to tide one over between meals, and a hot man entering stage left on Married At First Sight. But today, I’ll be referring to the former.

First of all, how good is snacking? We’re a generation of self-confessed snackers, and eating between meals is actively encouraged. HURRAH.

But what kind of effect are our snacking habits having on our wallets? I’ve been known to slink off to the health food store come 3pm and come out armed with a superfood date bar that tastes a bit like carpet, a bottle of fermented fizzy misery (fizzery?) and block of $8 chocolate that’s not much bigger than a fun-size Mars bar. Oh, and a large dent in my bank account. A gluten free, vegan dent, of course.

So how can we beat the 3pm slump with healthy, affordable snacks that are suitable for office munching? I’m so glad you asked. Here are my top 3 healthy, affordable snacks for desk workers that actually fill you up, and don’t cost a fortune.

Shelby’s Healthy Hedonism Dipped and Dusted Almonds

Alright, I love a chocolate coated nut as much as the next millennial, but sometimes they’re seriously expensive, and pretty naff on your waistline. I’ll never forget the time I picked up some Loving Earth ones that ended up being about $16.95, but I was too awkward to tell the slim blonde cashier that I didn’t want them anymore.

Shelby’s Dipped and Dusted Almonds* come in four flavours and ring in at $2.40 – $3 a bag, depending on where you can grab them on special. Keep your eyes peeled at Woolworths! One bag is a generous serve that actually fills you up (an rarity in many health foods!) and the brand’s whole ethos is about enjoying a healthy diet without compromising on taste. You can trust these guys to deliver on flavour. It’s what they call ‘healthy hedonism’ – suave, I know.

The protein and fat from the almonds tells your hunger where to go, and a kick from the coating keeps your sweet tooth at bay. With no refined sugar, gluten or sugar alcohols, these are the perfect snack to have in your desk drawer. Fave flavours: matcha yoghurt and espresso choc.

Tom & Lukes Snack-A-Balls

Okay, okay, I know. Date-based misery balls are so 2016. But trust me. These actually taste like chocolate and sweetness and joy rather than gravel – AND they ring in at less than $3 a bag. The best flavour is hands down the peanut butter cacao – they’re made with a generous amount of peanut butter, so these have that fudgy quality that brownies have, but without the blood sugar spike. Fats, carbs and a punchy hit of peanut protein, you won’t be reaching for an afternoon McFlurry with these in your sights. The other flavours are tasty, too, but I stick to the OG because of who I am as a person.

Macro Flavoured Nuts, Woolworths

Woolworths’ Macro range is ah-ma-zing for affordable healthy snacks to take to work. One of my favourites is the 30g bags of flavoured nut mixes, ringing in at ONE DOLLAR each. Passing my main test of whether or not the serve is big enough for an actual human being – tick – these tasty treats are packed with fat and protein to keep you satiated, ideal for those with a savoury tooth.

If nuts aren’t your thing, there’s also some edamame, corn and chickpea varieties, dusted with seasonings to make your afternoon snack all the tastier.

*Shelby’s Healthy Hedonism kindly gifted a sample pack of Dipped and Dusted Nuts, but all date hating and nut loving is my own.