In this era of sugary cereals, Pop Tarts, frozen waffles, and Egg McMuffins, breakfast has become the least frugal, least nutritious meal of the day for many families. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Start your morning well by following some of the inexpensive, wholesome suggestions listed here.
- Make a batch of homemade pancakes or waffles on the weekend, then freeze. These can be easily reheated in the toaster or microwave all week long. Preparing your batter completely from scratch is the most frugal option, but even using a mix is cheaper than buying these products pre-made.
- Whip up some delicious, nutritious smoothies by blending whatever fresh fruit you have on hand with yogurt, milk, or orange juice.
- Prepare old-fashioned oats on the stovetop or in the microwave. They’re cheaper, healthier, and tastier than instant oatmeal, but the preparation time isn’t significantly longer. Serve with a variety of toppings, such as fresh or dried fruit, honey, milk, brown sugar, or nuts.
- Assemble a platter of whatever fresh or dried fruits, cheeses, and nuts you have on hand.
- Create wholesome breakfast parfaits by layering yogurt with fresh or dried fruits, applesauce, nuts, homemade granola, coconut, wheat germ, or other toppings. Use large cartons of plain yogurt, which is more frugal and more nutritious than flavored, single-serving cups. If plain yogurt is too bitter for your taste, sweeten it with honey, molasses, or brown sugar.
- Bake your own tasty breads, muffins, cakes, or cookies. Even if you use a mix, your creations will still be cheaper than buying packaged baked goods (“from-scratch” is still the most frugal option, though!)
What are your favorite frugal, nutritious breakfast options?
Originally published November 30, 2007