Trim the Budget: Breakfast Bargain


 Breakfast is a great meal to incorporate those low cost basic foods..  Grains make a nutritious and filling meal.  I am always looking to simplify my weekday breakfast routine in my home. I like to get breakfast done and over with quickly so we can move onto the important issues of the day.  One food my children like me to have on hand is Instant Oatmeal.  I like to have it because I know they will get a good and filling breakfast quickly while making a minimal amount of mess in the kitchen while they are at it!  

Today’s post will be on how to make your own instant oatmeal and a cost comparison of making your own to buying the little packets of Quaker Instant Oatmeal.   

Bulk Instant Oatmeal (the recipe can be found HERE ): Here is how you make it....

Gather together your ingredients

Take half the oats (10 cups) and run a few cups at a time through your food process or blender to make smaller

Combine them with the other 10 cups of oats and add the powdered milk, cinnamon and salt

Stir well and put in a gallon size jar

To make a serving combine ½ cup of the mix with 1 cup boiling water



Put something over the top of the bowl (I use a small plate) and let is sit for a few minutes

When it is done, stir  and it is ready to serve

You can add your sweetener of choice and a little milk for a yummy, quick, hot breakfast  

Now for the cost: 

Using the method of calculating costs of items that I posted in the last Trim the Budget blog post I came up with these numbers: 

$1.33 Powdered Milk
$2.09 Quick Oats (this was the price for the non organic oats) 

The cost was $3.42   

I did not calculate the cost of the cinnamon and salt but I don't believe it makes a significant change in the total amount.

At $3.42 I calculated this to cost 4 cents per ounce.   

Compared to buying a box of 10 instant oatmeal packets (Quaker Oats brand, regular, no flavoring or sugar added, total weight for one box was 11.8 oz) at: $3.84 per box (generic brands could be cheaper) brings the cost to 32.5 cents an ounce.  Even if you could find them cheaper the cost would still be very high compared to making it yourself.   

One last note of interest, the store bought instant oatmeal also has MSG added to it.  It is the second ingredient after oats.  The sweetened types also have sugar added, the second ingredient after oats with the MSG following in 3rd place.   

Homemade is not only way less expensive but much healthier as well! 



  1. What a wonderful idea. Thank you so much Crystal for sharing this with us!!!

    God's Blessings,

    Amy Jo

  2. Can you use rolled oats instead of quick cooking oats?

  3. Thanks for sharing. I'm gonna try this too :)

  4. Awesome! My kids love oatmeal in the morning and we often have it. This would be something we could use. I will have to try it. Thanks for posting this.

  5. I've made this the last couple years - I absolutely love it. I add diced dried fruit - apples, peaches, strawberries, blueberries,ect... and a smidge more water to compensate for the fruit absorbing (or you can rehydrate the fruit first then stir it in. Yummy!!!

  6. I'm also wondering if you can use rolled oats or traditional oats in place of the quick cooking oats...

  7. This is great. I can't wait to try it. I can't wait to share this with my friend, Vicki. We always try your recipes together. Thanks also to the comment about using dried fruit, as my girls favorite is the apple cinnamon. Thanks for all you do. God Bless.

  8. I have realized breakfast options are slim around my house. I can seem to find balance between healthy, time saving, and something the kids will eat. I was considering buying those little packets to encourage them to eat something. But I suppose I could just make it. Your work is incredible I don't have the patience to do these calculations. Brownie points to you for such a great blog!!

  9. I have been printing your monthly calendar for menu planning forever, but had never visited your blog until this week. I just made this oatmeal mix tonight and my daughters think I am a rockstar! Thanks for sharing with us. You are an inspiration.



  10. We have milk allergies so we are going to try Soy milk powder. What do you think?

  11. jojo, I would think soy milk powder would work.. but I have never tried it.. but can't see why it would be a problem..


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