Friday, July 25, 2008

Frugal Healthy Breakfast Ideas

A regular dose of sugary breakfast cereals just isn't good for anyone's health, even if you get them "free with a coupon combined with a sale." However, the typical farm hand breakfast, such as I grew up eating every day, will get you on the fast track to fat fast! Now, if you work like a farm hand, that's different. However, few blogger housewives like me do. Besides, eggs, meat, and bread with real butter aren't cheap either.

I was fascinated by a study done by Amy Dacyczyn featured in her book, The Tightwad Gazette, comparing prices of typical breakfasts. It was no surprise that the high-end meals were pre-packaged, name-brand products which we know are full of junk. On the lower end were the following, all from scratch:
  • cornmeal mush
  • bulk-purchased oatmeal
  • pancakes
  • muffins
  • waffles
  • French toast
  • scones
  • corn bread

Some of the mid-priced meals included eggs and toast, store-brand English muffins, store-brand toasted oat cereal (plain, no sugar), and Cream of Wheat.

She included the given assumption that these meals would be accompanied by jams, milk, juice, syrup, and so on. Just with this list and their condiments, a frugal mom has a whole plethora of ideas for crafting healthy breakfasts.

Our family took the middle-of-the-road approach to breakfasts in order to mix things up a bit and add some variety. Our typical week includes:
  • eggs in some form or other on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
  • grain-based menus, such as bagels, toast and peanut butter, English muffin, or oatmeal, on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • special menus such as smoothies and muffins or pancakes and sausage on Saturdays
  • pre-made, warmed-up oatmeal or cheap cereal on Sundays.
We have used these breakfast menus for years and have had good results with satisfaction, health, and less expense.

Remember that balance is the key when striving to be healthy on a budget.