We’ve discussed how to lower the cost of food through cooking, a list of the best warehouse deals, your favorite cheap foods, and even the cost benefits of a vegetarian diet as part of the Summer of Saving series.
All good things, but even with all of this enhanced knowledge, there’s still one big thing missing: piecing it all together, and producing a delicious and healthy, yet cheap meal that inspires you to further embrace this lifestyle shift.
What better way to do that than for everyone to share a list of their favorite cheap meal recipes, with actual cost and instructions on how to make it?
Cheap Breakfast Recipes:
Lets start with breakfast in this post. Before we get to recipes, lets first discuss a little philosophy.
My philosophy on breakfast is to keep it simple (although one of the meals I will share with you may seem contrary to that, it’s pretty simple when you break it down).
I also like my breakfast to be quick, easy, healthy, and nutrition packed, so that I can make it to lunch without feeling starving and in need of a snack.
I know people who skip breakfast altogether, and while that might seem like the cheapest route on the surface, I don’t see it paying off. These people are usually a mess all morning long, are starving by 11 am, eat an early lunch, and then end up having to snack mid-to-late afternoon. If it works for you, great, but I do not believe in skipping breakfast.
Another cornerstone of my breakfast philosophy: whole foods only. If you are eating anything pre-made/pre-packaged for breakfast, you can bet that:
- It’s probably not healthy, and/or
- It’s probably not cheap
Lets move on to the recipes. I’ll share a few of my favorite cheap breakfast recipes and would love to see yours as well.
Note that I am 6’4″, exercise 10 hours/week and have a large appetite – so the cost/portion sizes are probably going to be ceilings for many of you. Try these portion sizes and adjust from there.
1. Apple & Peanut Butter Minimalist’s Dream
A minimalists dream. I love this meal because there is the absolute minimal preparation time that goes in to it, it’s cheap, and it’s super healthy. And it’s just filling enough to get me through to lunch. From a health standpoint, plenty of fiber and good carbs in both the apple and the peanut butter, and good fat and protein in the peanut butter. Very well balanced. I really load up on the peanut butter. You could also substitute almond butter for peanut butter if you want to get crazy.
- 1 organic honeycrisp apple ($0.83)
- 4 Tbsp Trader Joe’s peanut butter ($0.26)
Total cost of meal per serving: $1.09
Preparation Instructions (total prep/cook time = 2 minutes):
- Wash the apple (and remove that annoying sticker, of course).
- Slice it up in to pieces.
- Smear on peanut butter.
- Eat it!
2. G.E’s Oatmeal
Skip the pre-packaged stuff. It is loaded with sweeteners and is overpriced. On a per serving basis, oatmeal is damn cheap. If I have all morning to sit around and wait for oatmeal, I’d go with steel cut vs. rolled oats, but that almost never happens.
- 1/4 cup dry organic rolled oats ($0.09)
- 1/4 cup Costco walnuts ($0.09)
- 1/2 cup Costco frozen blueberries ($0.36)
- 1 tsp ground flax seed ($0.08)
- 1 tsp coconut ($0.08)
Total cost of meal per serving: $0.70
Preparation Instructions (total prep/cook time = 8 minutes):
- Microwave blueberries for 30 seconds to de-thaw.
- Bring 1/2 cup water (per serving) to a boil. Reduce heat and add 1/4 cup oats.
- Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until water has mostly evaporated.
- Add blueberries, flax seed, and coconut.
3. G.E.’s Breakfast of Champions
I decided to save the best and most expensive for last.
I love this breakfast.
It isn’t the cheapest of breakfasts. But gosh darnit, it’s good. And compared to the prices of restaurant breakfasts or pre-packaged garbage, it’s an exceptional value. It packs a nutritious punch. The kind of punch you need when you’re about to embark on a 30 mile bike ride or 4 mile run. And you won’t even need to eat an energy bar sugar bomb mid-way through your adventure.
My only regret is I didn’t start making this until last year, which is quite sad.
- 2 Trader Joe’s cage-free eggs ($0.50)
- 1/2 avocado ($0.50)
- 2/3 cup Trader Joe’s frozen kale ($0.36)
- 1/4 cup graded cheese ($0.15) – personal favorite is Trader Joe’s grass fed, organic white cheddar
- 1 TSP of Kirkland (Costco) extra virgin olive oil ($0.03)
- 1 TSP Cholula sauce (from Costco) ($0.05)
- salt & pepper, to taste ($0.02)
Total cost of meal per serving: $1.61
Preparation Instructions (total prep/cook time = 5 minutes):
- Un-thaw Kale by spreading out on a plate and microwaving for 1 minute.
- Crack 2 eggs in to bowl, add in salt and olive oil, and whisk for 1 minute.
- Heat pan, spray bottom, add in eggs.
- Scramble eggs for 1 minute, or until they are no longer runny (but before the get brown).
- Put eggs on top of kale, shred cheese on top.
- Add sliced avocado, then cover with pepper and Cholula.
Your Favorite Cheap Breakfast Recipes?
The goal of the entire Summer of Saving series is to have everyone contribute to create a resource for others.
So please share your favorite breakfast recipes, ingredient lists, cost of ingredients, and how to make the meal so that we can all benefit and share in your awesomeness!