Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Ever hear that before? It can also be the cheapest and healthiest (which is preferred for staying on budget), or the least healthy and pretty expensive.
I only have one word for the cheapest, healthiest breakfast ever.
Oatmeal. Yep. Oatmeal. I love the stuff. (I got the idea from my idol Ben Franklin – he used to eat oatmeal /gruel for breakfast AND dinner when he was being frugal – which was most of the time.)
You can keep the overpriced Sugar Crusted Cartoon Character Flakes and Puffs With the Cheap Surprise Toy Inside. Just give me a bowl of steaming hot oatmeal, a little cinnamon, and maybe a few raisins. (That may be a hard sell for families with young kids, but it’s worth a shot.)
If you skip those instant single packets and go for the store brand big round canister – you know what I mean.. you can make yourself a hot breakfast meal for say … oh, around 15 cents? Cheap breakfasts leave you with more leftover money, which can go towards paying off debt.
I just bought 4 canisters of old fashioned oatmeal for a total of $6. I probably could have gotten it even cheaper by buying from the bulk bin, but those canisters are very handy. That’s 31 servings per canister… Less than $.05 per serving! Add a handful of raisins (1/8 cup,$2.69 a pound = 34 servings = $.079) and a dash of cinnamon ( I am guessing at about $.02 worth) and I have a hot, healthy breakfast that will keep me going all morning for about 15 cents.
Worried about time? Geez, I run the oatmeal through a coffee grinder, and it cooks up in a minute. I boil the water, stir it in, turn it off, and head to the shower.
It sure beats that greasy Egg MacSomething-or-other bargain at the drive thru.
So you don’t like oatmeal? You really want that egg sandwich on the road? How long does it really take to fry yourself two REAL eggs, toast a muffin and slap a piece of cheese in there on your way out the door? You just saved about $2. Even with the recent recall you can get eggs for about $1.79 a dozen. (I just bought mine at .99 a dozen for jumbos at a local store that puts them on sale every 5 or 6 weeks.) Make your own coffee and pour it in a travel mug and you save another buck. (Unless you usually drink the super frothy cappuchino/venti latte -watchamacallit, then you probably save another $2 – $3!)
Need to save time in the morning? Cook those eggs ahead of time, stick them in the fridge, and heat them in the microwave. You don’t REALLY think they cook the eggs to order do you? They come to the restaurant in big boxes, frozen in giant stacks with wax paper between them, just like hamburgers.
If you really want to, you can cook eggs in the microwave. Those are way better cheap breakfast ideas.
An awful lot of money is wasted on convenience in the name of time. There are a lot of ways you can conserve time and still keep your budget in line.
Invest your time and do the thinking once, and save the time and money many times over. And never skip breakfast!
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with ACCC today