Eating Breakfast To Save Money?

sugar_pops.jpgFor many of us busy people, breakfast can often become a thing in the past, something we leave out during a hectic morning. Then, in the middle of a busy morning at work, we begin to hit a little speed bump – we feel a bit tired, or our stomach starts really growling, and our eyes look to the clock, wondering when lunch is. By the time lunch arrives, we’re ravenous.

That was me, at least, until I realized that I needed to start eating breakfast. I was worried that it would cost me money, because I’d have to start buying food to eat in the morning. But the surprising part was when I looked at my finances a month after starting on breakfast: I had saved quite a bit of money!

Here’s why. Without breakfast, by the time lunch rolled around, I was very hungry and not thinking rationally about food. I’d go out with co-workers or eat somewhere expensive by myself. After I started eating breakfast each morning, I was much more level-headed come lunchtime and able to make more sensible dining choices. Right there, I began to save an average of $3 a weekday on lunch.

But it was still expensive; I often stopped on my way into work for something to eat, and that was costing me more than the $3 each day I spent on lunch. That’s when the “second rule of breakfast” became clear: eat something small at home before you go. I began to eat a container of yogurt every day before leaving for work, which cost $0.40, and this had the same effect of reducing my hunger at lunch. Overall, I was saving about $2.50 a day.

Of course, this still meant that I was spending too much money eating out each day, but that’s another problem to solve.

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  1. Marsha says:

    Yes! Also the kind of foods we normally choose for breakfast are generally cheaper than lunch or dinner/supper food choices.

    Many nutritionists advocate “breakfast like a king, lunch like a price, and dinner like a pauper.”

    Inexpensive but filling b-fast choice: toast with peanut butter. Very satisfying and quick to make. Just be sure to choose a peanut butter that has no trans fats.

  2. Jihan says:

    I think cereal is a great breakfast and snack. I occasionally find brand named cereals in supermarkets for almost like 4 for $5. I’d usually eat half by the end of the week, but it’s great and it makes me happy. Not to mention, I snack on it without milk.

  3. tentaculistic says:

    Yes, I know this is a 3-year-old post, but I figure with the wonders of Google and the search button, it may still help people. I have recently learned that yogurt is one of the biggest rip-offs at the grocery store!! It is easily $5-8 for maybe 1.5 cups of Greek yogurt, which is crazy. Here’s how to make your own yogurt, for the cost of a half-gallon of milk and a small 50-cent container of plain yogurt.

    Here’s the basics of making yogurt — it’s super easy, and will take you maybe 15 minutes of work.

    1) glass bowl (I got a large Pyrex with a plastic red lid, at the grocery store) – or individual glass jars with lids
    2) big pot
    3) clean dish towel
    4) small single-serve plain yogurt (Giant sells plain yogurt single-serves with live active cultures for 50 cents. Later, you can buy yogurt starter from Whole Foods at $20-$50, but for now 50 cents is a much smaller investment and works just as well)
    5) milk (any fat content is ok, I use 2% b/c it’s a bit richer than skim)
    6) candy thermometer
    7) low-level heat source with no air currents (you can turn on your oven to low and leave the yogurt in there to culture for 7 hours, but I don’t like leaving the oven on when I might wander off and forget it. I use a heating pad, $15 from CVS, which has an automatic shut-off after a certain amount of time, inside of a cardboard box)

    1) Sterilize your equipment. (When making yogurt, you need to think about microbes. There are all kinds of little microbes in on equipment and in milk (although with pasteurization, not as many as in raw milk), and if you use dirty equipment you can end up culturing something entirely different than yogurt, and you could end up pretty sick. So sterilize your equipment first. Fortunately, that’s pretty easy.) Take your big pot, boil water, dunk your glass bowl and leave it in there for a little while, and hold in the business ends of the stirring and retrieving utensils (I use 2 or 3 spatulas). When you’re done sterilizing, carefully remove the glass bowl using the retrieving utensils (don’t slosh boiling water on yourself) and leave it to drain on the clean dishtowel. While you’re at it, clean the plastic lid for the bowl well, using something stronger than soap (I use Lysol cleaning spray), and rinse thoroughly with regular water. Dump out the hot water from the big pot.

    2) Kill the bad bacteria in the milk. Before adding the live yogurt culture, you want to kill all the other things that could be cultured and maybe make you sick. So heat the milk to 185 degrees F (using the candy thermometer – touching it only with a utensil b/c you can burn yourself badly, as my baby brother found out), stirring regularly. (don’t leave it unattended, boiling milk froths up and overflows the pot quickly). Meanwhile, stop up your sink and fill it with cold water and ice cubes if available.

    3) Cool the milk to incubation temperature. Put the whole pot into the cold water bath, stirring constantly, and watching the thermometer closely. As soon as the milk cools to 110 degrees F (yogurt’s culturing temperature), take the pot out of the cold water bath.

    4) Drop in 1-2 Tablespoons of yogurt. Stir.

    5) Pour into sterilized glass bowl. Cover.

    6) Leave for 7 – 10 hours in a still, warm place. Put your heating pad into the cardboard box, turn it on (I use high setting), place the yogurt on top of it, close the box, and leave it still and warm for 7 – 10 hours. The longer it sits, the stronger/tangier it will get, but if you don’t leave it long enough it won’t thicken right. I’ve found that overnight usually works just fine.

    6) Uncover, stir, refrigerate. Put in fridge for 12 hours, to stop the culturing process and make it ready to eat.

    7) Enjoy! You can add whatever you like to it: sugar, honey, agave nectar, stevia, vanilla extract, jam/jelly, fruit… I like to just add stevia for sweetness, buy frozen fruit and Kashi Go Lean (like granola but healthier and not so hard on the jaw), and make little parfaits for lunch. The fruit unfreezes by lunch time, and it’s just yummy.

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