Do you ever skip breakfast?
If so, congratulations! You’re eating the ultimate frugal breakfast: a breakfast of nothing!
Of course, while that might be a nice frugal victory, we all know that we shouldn’t skip breakfast. It’s very often described as the most important meal of the day. When you eat breakfast, you’re literally breaking the “fast” that took place while you were sleeping. You consumed no nutrients since the prior day, so your body needs to be nourished to get a new day started on the right foot.
It has been shown that people who skip breakfast, and make up for it later in the day, tend to consume more food later when they eat. Additionally, when hungry, they tend to be more likely to eat higher-calorie, less-nutritious food as well. Furthermore, without breakfast, we just don’t have the right energy in the morning to optimize our health and attitude as we get the day going.
Ok, so we know that we must eat breakfast. But how can we do it cheaply, and nutritiously?
For me, the choice is oatmeal. Now, I have to say that I never grew up eating oatmeal. I ate more of the processed, sugary cereals that line supermarket shelves than I probably should have. Let’s chalk that up to the ways of the 1970′s and 1980′s (I just can’t blame my Mom and Dad!).
These days, however, it’s almost like a habit to start the day with oatmeal. While I occasionally have a homemade, nutritious smoothie, it’s oatmeal that’s usually for breakfast.
Why oatmeal? Well, besides tasting good (at least to many of us), oatmeal has the following 3 big benefits:
1) Helps you lose weight by controlling cravings
2) Helps reduce LDL cholesterol
3) Is good for diabetics, as it slows the digestion of starch
4) Provides a good source of protein, fiber, and nutrients
And here’s the part that’s exciting to the frugally-oriented: it’s very inexpensive.
I recently bought a canister of quick oats, in a non-name brand version, and paid $0.99 for 16 ounces. This comes out to about 11 servings of 1/2 dry cup of oats, which represents exactly how much I have in the morning.
Basic math tells me that I paid $0.09 for my morning serving of oatmeal. That’s it. Nine cents!
Now, I do like to doctor up the oatmeal a bit, and supercharge it with additional nutrients. I usually, depending on the day, add one, two, or all three of the following:
- 1/2 tbsp flaxseed – cost $0.04
- 3 strawberries – cost $0.40
- 1 banana – cost $0.20
- Sprinkle of cinnamon – cost $0.01
The total cost of this breakfast ranges from $0.09 for the basic version to $0.74 for the fully-loaded version.
It’s been a great way to start the day for me, as I’m getting nutrition and doing it at a reasonable cost – without too much prep time.
What about you? Do you have any breakfast favorites that are both quick and relatively nutritious, that would appeal to the frugally-oriented among us?
This article was included in Festival of Frugality #233 at Learn Save Invest