Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it certainly shouldn’t be the most expensive. Because breakfast is often rushed, plenty of convenience items exist to help you get out the door in the morning, but you’re paying for that luxury in ways that you can easily save money on.
When it comes to not wasting cash on your morning meal, just a little bit of pre-planning can help you keep that money in your bank account for what really matters – dinner. Or you know, paying bills. Follow these tips to rack up the savings, starting with breakfast.
Boil your own eggs.
Individually cooked hard boiled eggs can be obscenely expensive, and you’ll save so much money just by boiling them yourself. According to Harvest Public Media, as of the first few months of 2018, eggs cost roughly $US1.06 to $US1.12 for a dozen. Compare this to spending $US1 or so for an individual egg and you’ll definitely want to boil your own.
But how? Boil an entire dozen at once by covering them in a pot with an inch of cold water, boiling them for 8-10 minutes (depending on how hard you like your yolks) and dropping them in an ice bath. They should last in the fridge for a whole week.
Stock your freezer with goods.
If you’re a defrost-and-eat kind of breakfaster, consider making your own frozen breakfast treats, to save money and eat a little healthier.
Recipes for freezer breakfast burritos, make-ahead freezer waffles, freezer-friendly breakfast sandwiches all take minimal prep time and will keep you satiated (in both your stomach and wallet) for many mornings to come.
Blend your own smoothie instead of buying one out.
If you’re in the habit of grabbing a morning smoothing regularly, stop, get a blender, and stock up on frozen and fresh fruit to re-create your own.
Frozen peaches, mangos, strawberries, blueberries, kale and more should all be readily available in your supermarket’s freezer aisle, add in some yogurt or nut milk, juice or water, and ice and you’re ready to go. Further, the fruit won’t go to waste as it won’t go bad in the freezer.
Brew your own coffee.
Making your own coffee is much more economical than purchasing brewed coffee pretty much anywhere.
A one-pound bag of beans brews about 28 12-ounce cups of coffee (that’s a Tall at Starbucks) and costs around $US10, while buying that amount of coffee could be $US56 or more. Buying in bulk, of course, saves more cash, and you’ll have to factor in the cost of a coffee maker and filters (unless you go the reusable route), but homemade coffee can potentially save you over $US1000 per year.
Or bring your own mug to your favourite coffee shop.
Not going to make coffee? Many coffee shops and cafes offer discounts for customers who bring their own mugs or travel mugs – even if it’s just ten-cents, you’ll save a dollar over ten days, which is something.
Here’s a list of coffee shops that provide a discount when you bring your own mug, according to The Sun.
Fruit makes for a cheap breakfast option.
Fruit is not a bad breakfast, in fact, it’s what plenty of nutritionists eat every morning – it’s a great source of fibre and paired with some nut butter or cheese, includes protein as well. If you commute, grab an apple, banana – only 19 cents at Trader Joe’s -, or berries on your way into the office and have a tub of peanut butter or Greek yogurt ready to go to DIY your own parfait.
Make your own granola.
If you wander into the granola section of any grocery store, you may notice how absurdly overpriced a nicely-designed bag of oats with some flavour and add-ins is. Sure, specialty granolas are great, but making it at home will undoubtedly be cheaper.
Consider following this recipe from The Kitchn for homemade granola and master your own flavour profile for a crunchy breakfast that’s customised to your liking.
Upsize your yogurt.
Stop buying individual packets of yogurt, oatmeal, or whatever you’re micro-sizing when you should be maximizing. Instead, buy a 16-ounce or 32-ounce tub of yogurt and scoop it into your own cups or reusable travel cups if you’re used to eating on the go.
Turn leftovers into a scramble.
The easiest breakfast you’ll ever make is scrambled eggs with leftovers of whatever you ate last night — chicken tikka masala, beef with broccoli, mac and cheese – the trick works pretty much with any food you’d enjoy reheated and turned into breakfast. Reheat the leftovers in the microwave or a separate pan, and once the eggs start to set, toss the bonus ingredients in your egg pan and scramble it all up.
Read more: How 10 famous chefs make scrambled eggs
Join a loyalty program
If making your own breakfast is absolutely out of the question, at least make sure you’re getting rewarded from staying loyal to your morning food and drink source. Starbucks Rewards lets you collect stars with each visit to apply towards free food and beverage, Dunkin Doughnuts offers similar points and coupons, McDonald’s app has daily offers and several smaller, local coffee shops offer punch cards or other loyalty programs to help regulars save a little money every so often.
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