As you’ve probably read in some of our other posts, Al and I typically spend less than $60/month on food. One of the ways we do this is by making a lot of food from scratch. But what about breakfast? Oatmeal is a great, inexpensive option, but sometimes it’s nice to have a box of cereal ready to grab for a quick eat-and-go breakfast. I’ve always been a huge cold cereal lover, so Al and I switch back and forth between hot oatmeal and cold cereal throughout the week. However, cereal can get quite pricey and is one of those things that is a bit hard to make at home (have YOU ever tried to make Rice Chex?). So how do we allow ourselves this extravagant indulgence and still keep our food costs so low?
Easy. We make our own granola.
Granola is one of those foods that is expensive to buy but oh so easy and inexpensive to make (much like our beloved pesto). When Al and I were newlyweds and in between jobs, I decided I needed to find a recipe that had the cheapest and fewest ingredients, required ingredients I already had at home, and was super simple to make. I searched and searched, and after a few experiments, lots of substitutions (and a few flops), I finally squeezed it down to the cheapest, simplest, easiest, most consistently-successful-while-still-tasty granola recipe that we have been using for the last 5 years. Al says he likes this simple recipe better than any of the others with gourmet ingredients and fancy add-ins, so I think that’s enough reason for it to be a keeper!
Consider this a foundational, base recipe that can be eaten as is, adjusted, and added to as much as you like.
Since this is supposed to be a crumb-saving recipe, the big question I know all of you are wondering is: “How much does this cost?” We’ve broken down the cost of the ingredients for one batch below based on the prices we pay at our local Aldi. Naturally your costs may vary depending on your cost of ingredients.
|Cost/serving (at 20 servings/batch)||$0.15|
*We have an electric oven and due to our solar panels, we pay nothing for the energy to bake this granola.
If Al and I each ate granola every morning for breakfast, we would be spending approximately $9 for the whole month. Not too bad considering that store-bought granola usually costs about $3-4 per box which works out to be double the cost per serving or more (depending on how fancy of granola you choose).
So if you’re looking for a healthy way to save money on breakfast (and are getting tired of oatmeal every day), granola might be a good way for you to shave down your food budget without compromising health, taste, convenience, or time. Sounds appetizing to me!