Frugal Breakfasts: What’s the best option?

We’ve gone through a few breakfast options in our household, but after a lot of experimentation have settled on a few staples. The obvious choice, if you’re aiming to cut down on groceries, is to not buy Fruit Loops, Nutrigrain, or expensive mueslis – but how do you figure out the cheapest option (that’s still healthy of course!!).

Weet-Bix was our first step (a common NZ staple) and at 50cents per 100g isn’t BAD, per say – but when you have a 6’1″ husband, they can go through a litre of milk with it ($1.60 from my last bill) and the cost can expand really quickly! At that cost, the hubby is cut off, and we only buy this for the Little One’s breakfast (and maybe the OCCASIONAL adult snack).

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As for us, as soon as it hits colder weather, we are on a diet of porridge every morning. Just like WeetBix, it’s a filling, slow-release energy breakfast that keeps you going well until lunchtime. At 29 cents per 100g it’s cheaper than WeetBix weight wise, but the major savings are in the reduced milk-usage. Where WeetBix needs a ridiculous amount of milk, a little goes a LONG way for porridge. For my husbands breakfast alone, I’ve calculated it as approx $3 for WeetBix, or $1 for porridge, including milk. (Guys, that’s the equivalent of a 6 pack of beer each week!).

Porridge is made with a 1:2 oats to water ratio, and just heat gently while stirring often for about 10 mins until it looks right. 1 cup of oats is about right for Matt, while 1/2 cup is plenty for me – so each morning it’s 1 1/2 cups oats, 3 cups water. Done.

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We put a little Muscovado sugar on our porridge to brighten it up, but normal budget brown sugar will do the same for only a few cents difference. I just prefer to buy Fair Trade any opportunity I get though!! Another alteration some people like to make is mixing in dried fruit and/or cinnamon. Another sweetener option could be honey.

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About once a week we will also have a bit of a treat, with Pancakes for breakfast! It’s also super cheap, as we buy our flour bulk, and only costs a marginal amount for both of us. I’ve worked it out as:

25 cents flour

96 cents milk

30-70 cents approx egg (cage or free range depending)

$1 toppings

TOTAL: $2.51-2.91 (or about $1.25-1.50 each)

This is my favourite pancake recipe. Ignore the “makes about 12” because that is a blatant lie. It makes about enough for two people though, and turns out great!

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It’s from this old cookbook that I’ve had for many a year.

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Another great option is bread or toast. We make our bread fresh so it’s waiting for us in the morning. It’s also a great way to wake up with that delicious smell wafting down the hallway. Another option if you have old bread is french toast.

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