Do you remember when it was like $10 tops to see a movie? I'm talking ticket, popcorn, and parking meter included. Okay, we didn't have to pay the meter in the sleepy southern California suburb where my mom and dad let me go to movies with friends alone from the tender age of 11, but you know what I mean. It cost a lot of money to drive downtown to go see a Broadway touring company perform a matinee, but seeing a 10 a.m. showing of the latest Disney cartoon? That was cheap.
Those were the good old days, right? Now you practically need a black card just to approach the ticket desk at your local movie theater. Sometimes there are deals on early morning or weeknight movies, but rarely on the concessions. And seeing a movie without something to snack on just isn't a fun time for me. Plus, let's be honest here — movie theater snacks aren't exactly known for being health-conscious. That's why I always bring my favorite healthy snack into any movie I see.
I'm obsessed with these chili spiced mango bites from Trader Joe's. These are the sweet, salty, tangy, savory, spicy snacks of your dreams. (Or, at least of my dreams.) They are shelf-stable, so you don't need to worry about them expiring without refrigeration, they are vegetarian, and they can be obtained at many Trader Joe's outlets (for just $2) or, if push comes to shove, online.
Buy them now: Trader Joe's Dried Chile Spiced Mango (3 Packages), $8
Best of all, these really last. They are chewy the way that candy is, but without the artificial colors or strange chemical component of many movie theater treats (because really, is there anything natural at all in that buttery substance in the pump that is meant for popcorn?).
That means one bag will last you through the subway ride (or car trip) to the theater, the previews, the movie itself, and the credits. You may even have enough left over for a midnight snack after dinner.
Sure, there is sugar in this snack, but there's also paprika, cayenne, and dried mango to offer more nutrients in a more natural way than many traditional movie theater snacks can. Plus, without the movie theater markup, it will mean my trip to the movies only costs a minor fortune instead of a major one.