Potato Chip & Snack Reviews Feed

Introducing a new Bachelor on the Cheap category: Potato Chip & Snack Reviews

ChipsThere's a new category now on Bachelor on the Cheap exclusive and dedicated to Potato chip & snack reviews!
 
No more hunting through the food & drink section!
 
Chips & snacks are so special, they deserve their own category! 
 

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Chip Review: Clancy's Stackerz Cheddar Cheese Potato Crisps

Clancy's Stackerz Cheddar Cheese Potato Crisps
The Aldi Private Label version of Pringles or Lays stackable chips

By Mike Thayer

My name is Mike Thayer and I'm a Chip-a-holic.

I love chips, all shapes, sizes, veggie varieties and flavors.  When it comes to potato chips specifically, I'm partial to wavy chips for dipping.  But I do also hold a special fondness for stackable 'potato crisps.'

Pringles is the King of stackable chips, first introduced in 1968 by Proctor & Gamble and marketed as "Newfangled Potato Chips."  The Pringles line was sold in 2012 to current owner, Kellogg's.

Coming in at Number 2 in stackable chips, is Lays and their "Stax."  The Frito-Lay company introduced them in 2003 to directly compete with Pringles.  Heavier and thicker than Pringles, Stax remains the second best option in stackable chips, primarily because they don't pleasurably shatter in your mouth like Pringles do.

Clancy's Stackerz
Intact stack, minimal breakage

Today I'm trying Aldi's private label knock off of Pringles, Clancy's Stackerz, the cheddar cheese flavor.  Note the unabashed attempt to mimic the Pringles iconic chip mascot a bit on the canister.  The big mustache play...

So how do Stackerz, stack up?  Yes, pun intended...  and c'mon, you HAD to know I was going to go there!

They don't.

Sure, they stack fine, there's minimal breakage in the cannister, the cheddar cheese flavor is definitely there and they deliver a decent potato crisp crunch, but these chips are on the greasy side.  After a few chips, you start to get that oily buildup aftertaste in your mouth.  These chips are kind of a hybrid of the Pringles and Lays, not as thin as the Pringles, but not as thick as the Lays.  Let me sum it up this way, while it's easy to polish off a canister of Pringles, it was easy for me to put the lid back on the Clancy's Stackerz.

Clancy's Stackerz
Greasy chips

Costing me $1.09, I'm giving Clancy's Stackerz Cheddar Cheese Potato Crisps 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  They're reasonably priced, the cheddar cheese flavor is good, but that oily texture is a stackable chip killer.  These are not worthy of a repeat buy, I'll pay the name brand price for Pringles, nothing else competes.

3 stars

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Food Review: Simply Nature Cauliflower Crackers with Sea Salt

20220709_142929By Mike Thayer

Looking to stock up my pantry with some gluten free options, I picked up a box of Cauliflower Crackers w/Sea Salt made by Simply Nature when shopping at Aldi the other day.

I'm trying to get back on the low carb bandwagon, which pretty much means traditional chips are now a big no-no in the diet.  With that low carb approach in mind, I'm also trying to cut back on wheat and corn based products in general.  I'm not gluten intolerant, but I've done enough research and label reading to have learned that overall, cauliflower doesn't pack as many carbs, has more protein and less sugar than wheat.  When it comes to cauliflower vs. corn, corn wins the day on protein, but packs more carbs and sugar than cauliflower and then there's the GMO factor.

I've sampled a few of the Simply Nature line of products before and have been very pleased with them, so I didn't hesitate in grabbing these crackers.

Related: Food Review: Simply Nature Red Pepper Hummus

Related:  Food Review: Simply Nature Organic Multi Grain Tortilla Chips - Bachelor on the Cheap

These are good crackers!  They are small and thin, so they don't really lend themselves to dipping or spreading something on them, but they are tasty.  The cauliflower profile is obvious, so if you're not into the flavor of cauliflower you probably won't like these.  But the bake on the crackers is nice and toasty, with the crackers providing a nice crisp crunch with each bite and the sea salt seasoning is perfectly done.

Simply Nature Crackers
Small and thin, but a nice crisp cracker taste

In thinking beyond simple snacking, these crackers would do well combined with other gluten free snack options in making a party mix.  I think they would also be good with some melted butter, garlic, Parmesan and dill, replacing traditional oyster crackers.

Related: Garlic Parmesan & Dill Oyster Crackers

Costing me $2.99 for a 4 ounce box, I'm giving Simply Nature Cauliflower Crackers with Sea Salt 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  These crackers are tasty, Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly and they're better for your diet.  These crackers are worthy of a repeat buy.

4 stars

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Food Review: Clancy's Ridged Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips

20220709_111434By Mike Thayer

Out of all the snacks out there available in food land, chips are my go-to.  It doesn't really matter what kind of chip, potato, corn, pita, or tortilla.  They could be regular, with ridges, rolled or puffed.  They could be classic, kettle cooked or flavored in some fashion.  Chips are no doubt a comfort food, the crunch, the savory flavor, the salt...

In the mood for something cheesy but also 'dip-able', I opted for a bag of Clancy's Ridged Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips while shopping recently at Aldi.  A ridged, or 'wavy' chip is my preferred chip for dipping, they hold up better when scooping up dip delights, far less breakage.

In opening up the bag, I got a teasing whiff of the cheddar and the first chip I pulled out to sample was of good size, pretty much matching the picture on the bag.  Popping it into my mouth it had good crunch, the cheddar flavor was bold, followed by the hint of sour cream.  The yum factor is definitely there.

Clancy's Potato Chips
A lot of black spotted chips, not visually appealing

But then I poured some chips into a bowl to prepare for a chip snack with dip.  While the flavors are there, I'm thinking Clancy's doesn't use the best grade of potatoes available.  Check out the dark spots on many of the chips.  No, it's not a sign of spoilage, the chips are completely safe to consume and there's no impact on flavor.  But these imperfections are an indicator of a lower grade potato and bruising, at the very least a not-so-great quality control inspection process. The result is a far less visually appealing chip.  I don't know about you, but I'm not going to put a bowl of black spotted chips out for a party.  Just about every bag of potato chips has a chip with a black spot or two, but this bag, there were numerous spots on many a chip!

Clancy's Ridged Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips
Crunchy, flavorful, but a lot of black spots

Costing me just $1.88 at Aldi for a 9 ounce bag, I'm giving Clancy's Ridged Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  They're very reasonably priced, the chips have good flavor, a nice crunch and they hold up to dip well enough, but the visual appeal of the chips just isn't there and so they're not a repeat buy.  I'm an Aldi fan, so this is a rare occasion where the discount brand doesn't measure up to a name brand product or even a store brand like Kroger - where you won't find so many black spotted chips.

3 stars

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Needing to satisfy that chip crunch, without eating chips...

By Mike Thayer

Hi, my name is Mike and I'm a chip-aholic.

So I'm really trying to cut back on the carbs and it's all too easy to pile them on when eating chips, inhaling all those empty calories as well.  Being disciplined and staying away from chips isn't a problem, but the cravings are still there.  Where is a chip sponsor when you need one?.....  What I wouldn't give for a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos!

But the discipline remains... 

So I said to myself, "Self, I must have an alternative!"

Pork rindsEnter, pork rinds.

ZERO CARBS.

This used to be a go-to snack for me, but I've gotten away from it.

Well it's a go-to snack again!

Plain Chicharrones aren't the most flavorful things, but boy do they satisfy the chip crunch!  It's a big crunch, just enough saltiness, and a bite really does alleviate the chip craving, without the carbs.

The plain pork rinds work in a pinch, but it's time to stock the pantry with some flavored varieties.  Chip makers have expanded beyond the typical BBQ and 'Flaming Hot' options, now providing flavor options such as Chili Lime, Salt & Vinegar and Queso!

All ZERO carbs!

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Chip Review: Lay's Salt & Vinegar Flavored Potato Chips

By Mike Thayer

Lay's Salt & Vinegar Chips
Is there enough salt & vinegar?

During a recent road trip and making a quick stop to put some fuel in my truck, I grabbed a snack out of my "Go" bag to munch on for the last leg of the drive. That's one thing I like about road trips, driving down the Interstate, it's a great time to think about things and reflect while listening to some great classic rock tunes and enjoying a savory treat.

Regular readers know I'm a sucker for a good chip and on this day, I selected Lay's Salt & Vinegar flavored chips to snack on.

Here's the description of the chip from the Lay's website:  It all starts with farm-grown potatoes, cooked and seasoned to perfection. Then we add just the right balance of tangy vinegar. So every LAY'S® potato chip is perfectly crispy and delicious. Happiness in Every Bite.®

Lay's Salt & Vinegar Chips
Good, but not the best Salt & Vinegar chips out there

That's a pretty accurate description, you get a nice potato chip crunch, you get the salt and the taste of tangy vinegar, overall it's a nicely balanced chip.  But it's not the best salt & vinegar chip out there.    I will take a bag of Miss Vicki's Sea Salt & Vinegar Chips over Lay's.

You can pick up a snack size bag for around $1.99 at most convenience stores, but look for Miss Vicki's first.  I'm giving Lay's Salt & Vinegar chips 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. The flavors are good, but not the best, they are worthy of a repeat buy but they are a plan "B" chip in this flavor profile. 

4 stars

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Food Review: Cheez-It Puff'd

20220327_154955By Mike Thayer

I love Cheeze-It crackers!  Drawn by that intense cheddar flavor, Cheeze-it crackers are often found in my pantry.

So when shopping in Walmart the other day and seeing a display of the "New!" Cheeze-It Puff'd, I 'had' to have some...  Yes, the marketing display worked on me...

Described as cheesy, airy & puffy, I was looking forward to trying these.  I like Cheez-it crackers a lot, I like cheese puffs, so this combination intrigued me.

Cheez-It has packaged these into three varieties, Double Cheese, Scorchin' Hot Cheddar and White Cheddar.  Checking over the display, I went with the double cheese.

These are not worthy of a repeat buy.  They are cheese puff-like in texture, kind of shaped to resemble the classic cracker yet airy and puffy (a true meaning in empty calories but I don't care, it's a snack), but they lack the same intense cheddar flavor as the original Cheeze-It cracker.  The product looses some of that robust cheddar cheesy goodness morphing into the puff form I guess, and I bought the "Double Cheese" variety!  Given the puff texture, the 'chip' lacks a real crunch, it's more of a light crisp at the beginning of each snack bite.  But you know how Cheetos Cheese Puffs kind of melt away in your mouth, almost like cotton candy but in a very good cheesy way?  Not so much with these...  And depending on your cheese puff outlook and if you like finger licking good, these don't leave behind near as much of a neon orange residue that a Cheetos Cheese Puff does. 

Costing me $3.18 at Walmart for a 5.75 ounce bag, they are reasonably priced - perhaps an introductory price - but lacking the same robust cheddar flavor as the original cracker, Cheez-It Puff'd are NOT worthy of a repeat buy.  I'm giving them 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  At six servings per bag, that breaks down to 53¢ per serving, not bad, but not good enough to buy again, it's an "eh" chip snack and I'm not going to bother sampling the other flavors.  I'd much rather have the original cracker and if I'm going to go for puffs, it's Cheetos Cheese Puffs.

3 stars

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Food Review: Bare Toasted Coconut Chips

Bare Coconut Chips
Great flavor!

By Mike Thayer

These are tasty baked snacks!

Simply made with coconuts, cane sugar and sea salt these things are delicious and are a great alternative to chips.  Perfectly toasted, there are no added oils and no preservatives.  The only ingredients on the label is all real deal, just the coconuts, cane sugar and sea salt.  No long list of ingredients you can't pronounce!  What?  Tasty AND healthy?

Bought as part of a variety pack with the other flavors being apple and banana - also very good, but I have to say the coconut was my favorite.

Available at Walmart for $6.98 for seven packages of snacks, they are a bit pricey at $1 per bag but given how tasty they are, are worthy of a repeat buy.  I'm giving Bare brand Toasted Coconut Chips 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  The 1/2 ounce bag is not a generous portion and the cost per bag considering the volume prevents this from being a 5 star snack.

4 stars

Bare Variety Pack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chip Review: Backroad Country Seasoned Veggie Chips

By Mike Thayer

Backroad Country Seasoned Veggie Chips
A nice change-of-pace chip

So I was shopping in Yoder Meats on East Central in Wichita last week, my favorite local butcher and while waiting on my cheese order to be sliced up, I did a little browsing in the store.

It's like the bag was calling out to me....  "Try me, try me!"  I'm a sucker for trying just about any kind of chip and the variety of potato, spinach and tomato crisps looked appealing.

I've had some 'veggie' based chips in the past that taste like Styrofoam.  These crisps are pretty good, lightly seasoned with a good crunch and you can distinguish the different flavors from chip to chip - the potato, the spinach, the tomato - it's not a food coloring thing.  And understanding that no chip is truly healthy, with no added sugars and zero transfats, this chip is a cut above most others when it comes to eating a little more guilt free.

They're not as robust in flavor as Nacho Cheese Doritos, they're not as deep in crunch and texture as Kettle chips, but these are a nice change of pace chip that satisfies a chip craving and at only 120 calories per serving that's a very reasonable snack!  I'm giving Backroad Country Seasoned Veggie Chips 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  If you like Veggie Straws, you'll like these.  Pick up a bag at Yoder Meats, just $5 for a 7 ounce bag!

4 stars

While in the store I also picked up a March Butcher Bag of meats!  My selection included 80/20 ground beef, a bone in pork butt, boneless/skinless chicken breasts and sirloin steak!  I got a boatload, OK, well a BIG bagful of meat for just $38!

Yoder Meats is a 5 star butcher!

5 stars

The Yoder Meats location I shop at is at 6458 E. Central, Wichita, KS. 67206.  The service there is always friendly, knowledgeable, conversational and professional! 


Phone: 316-201-6409
Email: yme@yodermeatsks.com
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Saturday

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Chip Review: Lay's Cheddar Jalapeno Chips

By Mike Thayer

Lay's Cheddar Jalapeno
Cheesy chips with a kick

During a recent road trip and making a quick stop to put some fuel in my truck, I grabbed a snack to munch on for the last leg of the drive. That's one thing I like about road trips, driving down the Interstate, it's a great time to think about things and reflect while listening to some great classic rock tunes and enjoying a savory treat.

Regular readers know I'm a sucker for a good chip and on this day, I selected Lay's Cheddar Jalapeno flavored chips to snack on.

Here's the description of the chip from the Lay's website:  Lay’s® Cheddar Jalapeno brings the crispy bite you love from your favorite Lay’s® potato chip with the delicious combination of cheddar cheese and jalapeno. This product is sure to deliver a cheesy, with a kick, flavor!

Lay's Jalapeno Cheddar
Cheddar Jalapeno Popper flavors in a chip

That pretty much tells the story, it's an accurate description, no embellishment.  This is a very nicely balanced chip, an excellent cheddar cheese bite with the kick of a jalapeno.  It's kind of like a cheddar jalapeno popper in the form of a chip!

Costing me $1.99 for the snack size bag at a QuikTrip, I'm giving Lay's Cheddar Jalapeno chips 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  The flavors are spot on, delivering "popper" flavor and they are definitely a repeat buy.  Purchasing a full size bag of these is in order.

5 stars

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Chip Review: Lay's Kettle Cooked Buffalo Chicken Dip Flavored Chips

Lay's Kettle Cooked Buffalo Chicken Dip Flavored Chips
These are SO good!

By Mike Thayer

I'm a sucker for kettle chips, any flavor.  If I'm grabbing a bag of chips, it's probably going to be something kettle cooked.  You get a superior chip crunch and a deeper flavor with kettle chips and it's good to see more flavor varieties hitting the grocery store shelves.

So at a Subway back in January, I ordered a Baja Steak & Cheese Sandwich and as part of the combo meal deal, I got a bag of the Lay's Kettle Cooked Buffalo Chicken Dip flavored chips.  I'd never seen them before, never tried them, so as a Buffalo wings fan, I HAD to try them! 

These chips ROCK!

Truth be told, I think I liked these chips better than I did the Subway sandwich!  What a great chip bite full of robust flavor!  I got that great kettle cooked crunch and then was immediately hit with Buffalo dip flavor followed by a cheesy cheddar finish.  A good Buffalo dip has first off, some heat and you get that with cayenne pepper notes.  It also includes the presence of vinegar and garlic, both notably present.  Adding to the mix are the flavors of paprika and onion complimented by yes, buttery notes.  The flavors are all well balanced and I like that it's not an in-your-face Buffalo hot that ruins your palate.  This is a nice heat, allowing you to enjoy chip after chip.   Hmmm, it's like Lay's knew what they were doing huh?

The bad part about these chips is that they're almost exclusive to Subway on an everyday basis and it's only in the 1.375 ounce snack bag size.  Apparently you can't get them anywhere unless it's one of those "limited time" deals like at Walmart but they sell out of an 8 ounce bag inventory at $2.68 each lickity split.  As soon as you find out they have them, they sell out and are out of stock with no future orders coming in.

Lay's Kettle Cooked Buffalo Chicken Dip Chips
A repeat buy, but pretty much only if you want to go back to Subway

I'm giving Lay's Kettle Cooked Buffalo Chicken Dip Flavored Chips 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  They are without question my favorite kettle cooked chip, unseating Miss Vickie's Jalapeno.  Hopefully Lay's decides to quit teasing the chip consuming public with limited time and exclusive offers of these chips, because they most definitely are worthy of a repeat buy.

5 stars

Related: Food Review: Subway's Baja Steak & Cheese Sandwich

 

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