Save Money on Breakfast

As I walked through the office this morning, I was amazed to see how many people come into work and go directly to the cafeteria and purchase something for breakfast. From what I saw this morning, the purchases range from bagels to yogurt to bacon and eggs.

Opportunity to Save.
Rather than purchase breakfast at the office, I typically bring a package of instant oatmeal every day. One box of oatmeal costs me a few dollars and it will last me about two weeks. There are days, although they are rare, where I will spend a few extra minutes at home and make myself something before leaving for work. As an added bonus, bringing or making your own breakfast is usually a healthier option as well.

Okay, so why is this something that I even noticed? The reason that buying breakfast every day stands out to me is because while the cost of these items is relatively small on a daily basis, over the course of a week or month those little costs add up. The $2 or $3 might not sound like a big deal. How does $10-$15 per week sound? How about $40-$60 per month?

True Cost.
How many of the people spending $40-$60 per month on daily breakfast purchases are commenting that they just cannot afford to set aside savings on a regular basis? As I discussed last week, money management is crucial to eliminating debt and building a secure financial future.

Rather than spending that $60 on daily breakfast items, spend $10 on a few boxes of oatmeal to last you the month and put the other $50 into savings. Even if you cut back and only buy breakfast one day per week, you will still have a considerable amount of money to direct into savings or debt repayment each month.

Is that daily breakfast purchase really worth delaying the day you can be free from debt or be on course for financial independence?

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11 Responses

  1. Saman says:

    I actually use the instant oatmeal trick quite a bit! It does save a ton of money and is so much healthier for you!!

  2. mnc says:

    @Saman: When making it at home, I like to throw some fresh (or even frozen) fruit in as well. At the office, it is an easy meal or afternoon snack and it helps to have a hot water dispenser on the coffee machine.

    I usually buy a few boxes and throw them in my desk drawer. It works well in a pinch if I cannot get time to eat lunch too.

    Thanks for stopping by the site and sharing your thoughts.

  3. Saman says:

    Speaking of freezing fruit, I love to make smoothies. I’ll prepare all of the ingredients and freeze them in single serving bags. When I want one, I’ll take it out of the freezer as soon as I get up. It will be thawed in a few minutes and ready to be blended – it’s a quite and health breakfast that you can drink on the way to work!

  4. mnc says:

    @Saman: That is a great idea to make single serving bags that are ready to go. Usually the fruit is reserved for weekends when I have more time before heading out the door but planning ahead would make it much more convenient.

  5. Lulu says:

    I bring my lunch to work also and just heat it up in the microwave. The other people in the office seem to think the microwave is just to heat up stuff they buy for lunch. If I don’t have food to bring in then I make a sandwich. We have bottled water that is paid for by the office which I drink all the time. The funny thing is that the other people BUY bottled water from the vending machines…..makes no sense to me.
    I get made fun of sometimes if I only have something like a peanut butter sandwich….but hey I don’t have money to throw at the vending machines or the expensive food court……and my stuff tastes better anyway.

  6. Breakfast is the one meal of the day that I’m consistently frugal. You could save even more money by making your own packages of oatmeal rather than buying the pre-made packages of instant oatmeal. It will be healthier too because most varieties of the pre-made packages are usually loaded with sugar.

    • mnc says:

      You’re absolutely correct. Do you use steel-cut oatmeal or something else? I’ve read quite a bit about buying steel-cut oatmeal in bulk but have never actually tried it.

      Any recommendations?

      • I haven’t tried steel-cut oatmeal. It is supposed to be better for you but it is also more expensive. Regular quick oats are good enough for me and still much healthier than most of my meals.

        • mnc says:

          Hmm, I’ll have to consider this but I will never forget the time when I was little and my grandparents were watching me on a day I was home sick.

          My grandma asked me if I wanted some oatmeal and she brought me a bowl of plain oats that was on the watery side. It was nowhere near the bowl of flavored instant oatmeal that I had been anticipating. 🙂

      • crankybella says:

        One nice option for steel-cut oats is to cook a big batch in a slow-cooker (crock-pot) overnight. Here’s a google search listing a ton of recipes. My fave is steel-cut oats with dried apples and chopped walnuts. Adding nuts provides some extra protein. If you add ground flax-seed, you’ll get extra fiber as well.

        After its done, put portions into portable containers (I’ll also put in a pat of butter and a squeeze of honey), then refrigerate. Pull one out before going to work. Healthier than the instant stuff, and tastier.

        • mnc says:

          That sounds delicious! I’ve got to get out and find myself some steel-cut oats so I can begin experimenting with different recipes.

          Thanks for the link to the recipes.

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