Monday, March 9, 2009

Thrifty Snackin' for 30 cents!

What started out as a college favorite is now a family favorite!!
Being the "on a budget" college student that I was 21 years ago, my room-mate and I loved to "snack" every night (along with drinking Celestial Seasonings Tea) and we sure didn't want to pay the price for bags of chips, cookies, etc...and so we came up with a creation for popcorn...."Ranch Popcorn"!

We took "Ranch salad dressing" dry packets and sprinkled it on our popcorn that we popped on the stove with oil, sprinkled on a little "butter flavored salt" and "Voila!" we had a creation that my family has been enjoying for the past 20 years!

Since I am a "health conscious" mom, I try to avoid foods as much as possible that have "MSG" in them and so the only RANCH dressing mix I have been able to find that doesn't have MSG in it is "Western Family Ranch Salad Dressing" (NOT to be confused with Ranch Dip mix, because the dip mix does have MSG).

You can get the packets for .30 to .40 a package
and 1 package will be enough seasoning for 8 batches of popcorn.
The butter flavor salt cost $1.59 and it will last for years.

The other day I purchased popcorn
and measured it out and divided how many 1/2 cup servings
I got with how much it cost and
popcorn costs .21 for 1/2 cup
SO, to make a batch of RANCH popcorn it costs .21 for the popcorn and between the oil, seasoning and butter salt it is another .9 cents and so there you have it .....the .30 delicious snack!
(that's not too bad for you either)
WOW, for that price we could each make
our own pot of popcorn
and it would only cost us $1.20
STILL way under buying just 1 bag of Ranch Doritos
(or any other bag of chips you want to buy)
We eat this for
**after school snacks,
**FHE treats
**at movie night,
**when we go on trips
(so we aren't tempted to buy bags of pricey and unhealthy chips)
and just about any other time we have the "Munchies"!
(NOTE---this is best cooked on the stove in a little bit of oil the old fashioned way rather than by an air popper. Because you do need some "fat" for it to taste good and not be dry. Besides the butter flavored salt adds that 'butter' flavor without adding the calories of melted butter).
1 to 2 Tbsp Oil

1/2 cup popcorn

Put oil in pan on stove and throw in 4 or 5 popcorn kernels. Once they have *popped* add in the 1/2 cup of popcorn and cook until all kernels are *popped*. (NOTE...I usually "shake" the pan back and forth over the burner so they pop better and so they don't burn).

Pour *popped* popcorn in a bowl, sprinkle RANCH seasoning over popcorn and then STIR.
Sprinkle RANCH seasoning over it again and then STIR.
Sprinkle Butter Flavor Salt over popcorn and stir and then you can enjoy!! is a link to another great popcorn recipe: (click here)
Like DR. Seuss says:
"Try it, you will like it you see"!!


Cherie said...

Ok Yum! Now my kids have an afterschool snack! YOu have the best ideas!!

Here is my e-mail:

I really would still love that dip recipe:D

Ann Marie said...

Ya.. My husband is a popcorn monster. He seriously eats bowls of popcorn that big ALL himself.

I am curious about the Ranch.. We will have to try it..

The American Homemaker said...

My kids LOVE popcorn. I mostly like caramel popcorn :)