3 Ways to Save Money on Quick, Convenient Breakfasts

Breakfast can be a pricey meal. It's a meal that motivates heavy advertising from big food manufacturers, because they know it's hard for people to eat breakfast in the morning and consumers will pay more for convenience. But these conveniences come with a cost — have you looked at cereal prices lately? Yikes! If you're pinching pennies, here are three ways to get that convenient breakfast for less — and all three have one thing in common: Oats.

Yes, what are the three major breakfast items that go for a lot in the grocery store? Cold cereal, granola bars, and instant oatmeal. Instead of buying these — make them. You'll save some money and have a healthier end product. Here's a look at all three.

1. Cold Cereal (Granola)
Cold cereal is a sticker-shock item. $6 for a box of fluffy sugar puffs? Wow. Homemade granola is tastier and more filling, and while it can still be on the expensive side (especially when it's full of nuts and dried fruits) it can save you money. Here's our cost analysis of granola:

Make or Buy? Granola

And a couple recipes:

Peanut Butter and Honey Granola (pictured above)
Olive Oil Granola
15 Recipes, Tips & Ideas for Delicious Homemade Granola

2. Granola Bars
Granola bars are another item that really racks up at the grocery store. $5 for a few little wads of oats and peanuts, glued together with high fructose corn syrup. You can do better than that! Here's the breakdown of making homemade granola bars, costwise:

Make or Buy? Granola Bars

And some recipes...

Recipe: Crunchy Granola Bars
4-Ingredient Banana Oat Bars
Copycat Recipe: DIY Nutri-Grain Fruit and Nut Bars

3. Instant Oatmeal
We don't have a cost breakdown for homemade vs. storebought instant oatmeal, but the savings here are pretty significant. This is perhaps the easiest project, too. Here are the instructions:

How To Make Your Own Flavored Instant Oatmeal (pictured above)
Good Question: How To Make DIY Instant Oatmeal?

What are your favorite ways to save money on breakfast?

Related: Danny Seo's 5 Tips for Saving Money at the Organic Grocery

(Images: Faith Durand; Sarah Rae Trover)

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