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Save Money by Making Your Own Trail Mix

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Trail mix….gorp….scroggin…whatever name you choose to use, it’s that delicious, filling, and easily portable snack of hikers, backpackers, and moms everywhere!

Since it’s full of protein and good-for-you carbs and calories (and maybe just a few not so good for you carbs and calories!), this lightweight and energy dense snack is easy to take with you on the go.

Buying this snack in the store will cost you at least $7.99/lb. However, taking just a few minutes to make your favorite gorp can get the cost down to around $5/lb and control the ingredients at the same time!

Now here’s the thing: this is super simple to do!  I really can’t believe how many people buy trail mixes!  If you happen to be one of those people, I truly can relate because I used to be as well.  In fact, even now, if I’m really pressed for time (like when I’m getting ready to leave town on a long trip), I will still buy trail mix.

But I’ve come to really love making my own trail mix and concocting my own combinations!  It’s really fun to let my kids have a voice (and a hand) in the process. They get a huge kick out of it!

I feel that I need to preface this by saying that I am completely guilty of having a huge sweet tooth. I call it “the sweet tooth that won’t quit”.  I’m working on it.  Kind of  😉

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest (whew!)…when I make trail mixes for our family, I try to limit the sugary ingredients while still including just enough to appease everyone’s desire for some sweetness.

I would say that overall, I aim for roughly a 7-8 parts nonsweet to 1 part sweet ratio.  For example: 7 cups of nuts, etc to 1 cup of M&Ms.  I usually include the carbs in the same amounts as the nuts and seeds


Here are some possible ingredients to help spark your creativity. The number of combinations is endless!  Mix and match.  Change it up.  Throw in a curve ball.  You can’t go wrong!

Possible Trailmix ingredients (mix and match for fun combos):

  • These nutritional powerhouses are packed with good-for-you unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals
  • Our favorites: peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios
  • These higher calorie options can be used in moderation: macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, and pine nuts
  • Seeds provide many of the same beneficial qualities of nuts, including protein, iron, magnesium, and vitamins and minerals
  • Look for raw, unsalted seeds
  • Good for:
    • people with nut allergies
    • people looking to change things up!
  • Our favorite examples: sunflower, pumpkin, hemp seeds
Dried fruits
  • In moderation, dried fruit can be a great source of fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins.
  • Use a handful at a time to limit the amount of sugar
  • Pack a great dose of energy and boost to your low blood sugar after physical activity
  • Our favorite examples: raisins, craisins, dried blueberries, dried strawberries, dried mangoes, dried cherries, dates, dried pineapple, figs, dried apricots, banana chips, coconut flakes
  • The addition of complex carbohydrates adds a boost of energy and keeps you full longer.
  • Our favorites examples: Cheerios (or organic version) – you pick the flavor, Chex cereal, popcorn, pretzels, mini graham crackers (think Teddy Grahams), granola, and puffed-rice cereal
Sweet tooth
  • Use sparingly, to help round out the mix
  • Keep in mind when choosing your sweet add-in: if this mix will be going with you on an outside adventure and it’s hot outside, any chocolate or yogurt will melt!
  • Our favorite examples: peanut butter, yogurt, butterscotch, carob or chocolate chips, M&Ms, mini marshmallows, yogurt-covered raisins, chocolate covered nuts,
  • sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, curry, ginger, cardamom, cayenne pepper (if you like a kick of heat)


Here are some of our favorite combos:

Old-fashioned Gorp:





plain Cheerios

salted popcorn



Pacific Coast Trail Mix:




yogurt chips (these looks like white chocolate chips)

dried blueberries or strawberries


Monkey Munch:



banana chips

chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chips)

coconut flakes


Comment below: what are your favorite trail mix combos?



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Easily Make Your Own Trail Mix
Print Recipe
Save money and unknown ingredients (such as added sugar or preservatives) by making your own trail mix. It's super easy!
Prep Time
10 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Easily Make Your Own Trail Mix
Print Recipe
Save money and unknown ingredients (such as added sugar or preservatives) by making your own trail mix. It's super easy!
Prep Time
10 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
  1. Combine all ingredients into a bag or container and shake to mix. Store in an air-tight container and enjoy!
Recipe Notes
  • We recommend using organic ingredients when possible
Share this Recipe


  1. You always save so much money making these types of things yourself. Plus it is always to your liking.

  2. what a great idea i cant wait to make this for my kiddos

  3. Linda Manns Linneman

    I really enjoy trail mix. Thank you for the great recipe. We can put in it whatever we want and enjoy. I will be trying this soon. It is nice to have a nice healthy snack

    • You’re welcome, Linda! Trail mix is a staple in our house, and we love to mix and match and play around with the ingredients. We have come up with some fun combos!

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