Healthy Eating on a Budget: Breakfast for $1.50 a serving
I’ll admit that I’m not always good about eating breakfast, but it’s typically because I’m pressed for time. On days when I plan, I feel full and satisfied. On days that I don’t, well, I either go hungry or a make a pit stop on the way to work. This is where it gets tricky–most of those breakfast foods aren’t healthy or cheap.
Odds are your morning purchase will cost between $5 and $8, depending on your coffee order. Instead, let’s save a few bucks with my favorite fast and easy breakfasts that are balanced, tasty, and budget-friendly.
Smoothies are great because they can be made in less than 3 minutes. If you’re even more pressed for time, you can take them with you! They’re perfect for all ages and can be made single-serve in a Magic Bullet or in a blender for the entire family. Each recipe makes one serving.
Tips: Substitute juice or water for milk if you prefer. You can also add a scoop of protein powder to an adult’s smoothie–vanilla in the fruit/vegetable version or chocolate in the peanut butter version. This adds $.50-$1 per breakfast, but it’s a great option for upping your daily protein consumption.
This whole grain choice can be eaten hot or cold and is a great way to get heart-healthy fiber in your diet. It’s also fast and portable when you use recycled jelly jars or containers. Overnight oats can be made the night before or several days in advance. For hot oats, measure out your dry ingredients and nut butter in advance and just add hot water and milk when you are ready to eat!
Tips: When I make overnight oats, I like to grab a flavored yogurt and add fruits and toppings that match. For example, I’ll combine apples + pecans + sprinkle of cinnamon for a flavor like apple pie. For hot oatmeal, I’ll take a premade jar to work and use the Keurig machine – just add water, stir, and eat! You can even use the creamer at the coffee station if you forget the milk. (No shame, I may or may not have done this in the past. Deduct $0.15 per serving if you do this.)
Last, but never least: Egg Cups
Sometimes you just need a savory meal in the morning and only a classic breakfast food like eggs will do. Make these egg cups in advance and just toss them in the microwave to reheat. Recipe serves 4 at 2 egg cups per serving.
Tips: You can add ½ cup diced lean ham to up the protein on this meal (add $0.20). If you are craving a breakfast sandwich, grab a whole wheat English muffin, mini bagel, or wrap (add $0.30-$0.80).
There you have it! These five fast and easy breakfast ideas have nearly limitless variations—all for $1.50 or less per serving.
Mandy is a registered dietitian and in-store nutritionist for Giant who is passionate about showing people how to eat healthy (and deliciously) on a budget. As a mom of two teenage boys she knows firsthand how difficult it can be to stay on budget, keep it interesting, AND keep it healthy-ish. Let Mandy check prices and create a plan that will satisfy your taste buds, your wallet, and your schedule. In her Healthy on a Budget series, she will convince you that it’s NOT “too expensive” to eat well.