We all know that cold cereal is an expensive breakfast option. But the problem is that it’s just so quick and easy. All through college I made oatmeal for breakfast basically everyday (occasionally pancakes on special occasions), but never splurged on cold cereal. But for the past 3 years I’ve slipped into complacency and I’ve turned a bowl of cereal into a morning ritual.
Why? You know how expensive it is!
Three years ago I started a job that required me to be out the door by 6:30 every morning. I am not a morning person. My alarm is set for 5:40 and it takes me at least 4 snoozes and 20 minutes to get vertical. It’s a good day if I can drag myself out of bed by 6:00 am. This leaves my with very little time to bother with breakfast. So, since I don’t have the time to cook myself a plate of oatmeal I opt for a much easier bowl of cornflakes (yes, my family eats oatmeal off of a plate since it cools faster and can be eaten sooner than if it’s in a bowl). Then when my family meanders out of bed they make a batch of oatmeal.
In college I once calculated that we could eat a plate of oatmeal for under $0.10 per plate. And that included the milk and sugar.
Now that I have to pay a bit more for our 50 lb. bags of oatmeal and my family’s apatite seems to be growing I’ve calculated that an average plate of oatmeal costs between $0.20 and $0.25.
Cereal – I bought and ate nothing but Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes from Aldi. An 18 oz. box of Corn flakes was $1.49 (8.3 cents per oz.) and a 16 oz. box of frosted Flakes was $1.29 (8.0 cents per oz.). I love Frosted Flakes but they are too sweet for me now that I’m older than 8. So I would mix the two. A typical bowl was about 75% Corn Flakes and 25% Frosted Flakes. I found that I was having to buy a box of each and a gallon of milk about once a week. After adding in the cost of the milk ($1.19-$2.00 per gallon depending on the week) I determined that I was spending about $0.90 per breakfast and my wonderful wife loved to point out that nearly all of the limited nutritional value from it came from the milk.
I got to thinking about these calculations the other day and realized that I was the grocery budget culprit. I have been doubling the cost of our family’s breakfast for the past 3 years.
This thought has been in the back of my mind for years but I wasn’t sure what to do about it. I didn’t have the time to cook a breakfast and couldn’t figure out a cheaper and faster alternative to cold cereal so I just put up with it.
Until yesterday when inspiration struck me.
Over the Eater week Aldi had eggs on sale for $0.39 per dozen so my wife loaded up with 6 dozen eggs. We hardboiled and died at least 2-3 dozen eggs with the boys and have been snacking on colorful eggs for the past two weeks. I’ve never really loved hardboiled eggs but since I’ve been running and working out much more than normal lately I can tell that my body has needed more protein than our semi-vegetarian diet was providing, so I ate them.
While 39 cents was an amazing deal on eggs we can usually get them for 99 cents or less. So I figured that this meant that I could eat 10 hardboiled eggs for breakfast for less than the cost of a bowl of cereal (and it’s got to be better for my body).
Remember the old song from Beauty and the Beast about Gaston eating eggs? I can’t imagine eating 5 dozen every morning, but maybe that’s why I’m not the size of a barge. J
I didn’t have any idea how many eggs it would take to sustain me till lunch but I tested it out this morning and here were the results.
I made 6 eggs last night before bed. Ate one before leaving the house then kept the rest on hand at work and ate one about every hour for the first 3 hours of the day. It was good to be able to space out my meals a bit and have a series of smaller snacks to boost me along rather than having one meal early on then starving by 10:00 without an option for something to eat until lunch. And it only cost me$0.33 tops.
Going forward I think that I’ll still plan on trying to have 6 eggs on hand incase 4 happens to not be enough some mornings. But I’m pretty excited about this new discovery I made. (And I’m sure I can learn to enjoy them at that cost).
What do you eat for breakfast and about how much does it cost?
Recipe: In case your also incompetent in the kitchen – my wife had to teach me this last night so I won’t judge you
1. Put eggs in a pot of tap water.
2. Put the pot on the stove on high heat.
3. When the water starts to boil turn off the heat.
4. Let sit for 10 minutes.
5. Drain the hot water and fill the pot (with the eggs still in it) with cold water.
6. Wait a few minutes then remove the eggs and refrigerate.
7. When you’re ready to eat it just crack it and peal it.
Easy right! Just doubled my list of meals I can make!
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