Fabulously Frugal: Start your day for less with these budget breakfast ideas

Chia seeds with overnight oats and fruit is a quick, healthy, filling fix for breakfast that’s easy to make and easy on the bank account. Photo by Sarah Cronk/Kingstonist.

Frugalists, it’s often said breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I believe COFFEE is, but we also must eat and feed the family, too!

Without a lot of time in the morning, cereal is often our go-to. With shrinkflation and rising grocery costs, cereal has become quite expensive, even if you try to sneak the no-name cereal into the Froot Loops box and fool the kids! (Note: my kid wasn’t fooled!)

In previous menu columns, we’ve chatted about breakfasts here and there. Today, I’m sharing some creative ways to have breakfast on a budget. Some may require advanced prep work, but all are done simply, without fancy equipment.

Egg muffins

Pre-cook your eggs and maybe some veggies (1 egg, 1 tbsp of milk, 2 tbsp of veggies per muffin cup) in oiled muffin pans available from a dollar store to make pucks of eggs suitable to put on a toasted English muffin. Freeze them in bags. Re-heat the pucks in the microwave while you toast the English muffin for a quick breakfast that’s far cheaper than cereal and has no sugar. Alas, no vibrant marshmallows, but what the heck are those pastel cubes made of anyway?

Chia Seed and fruit pudding

Put 2 tbsp chia seeds, 3/4 cup of any kind of milk, and 1/4 cup of frozen mixed fruit in a container with a tightly fitting lid (I use 1 cup mason jars). Shake and refrigerate for a grab-and-eat nutritious breakfast every morning. Bonus, this breakfast has zero sugar and lots of fibre!

Yogurt and Fruit

Yes, you can buy the individual cups, but there’s often more sugar than actual fruit in them and they’re expensive. Frozen fruit mixed into yogurt in your own containers will make you a healthier breakfast and save some dollars.

Fruit and yogurt are a classic combo, but throw in some granola or honey and you’ve got what tastes like dessert but is really a healthy and affordable breakfast option. Photo by Karly Gomez.

Pancakes

Make up a batch and freeze between sheets of parchment paper (the parchment at the dollar store is the same thing and half the price). Reheat individual pancakes in the microwave in the morning. Bonus points if you add some fruit and whole grains or seeds to them. Add syrup and that’s a fast breakfast!

Wraps

Scramble up some eggs with veggies (spinach, peppers, frozen peas, really there’s not much you can’t put into eggs). Put in wraps with some cheese. Freeze individually, wrapped in parchment and then in large zip-lock bags. Re-heat in the morning in the microwave while your coffee is brewing. Delicious!

Quiche

This is one of my favourite recipes and needs no crust: https://www.budgetbytes.com/bacon-broccoli-cheddar-crustless-quiche/. With bacon, eggs and veggies, everyone will love this! Pie pans are available at the dollar store.

French Toast

Make ahead and freeze individually. Reheat, and for a ‘good-for-you-boost,’ serve spread with peanut butter and sliced bananas instead of syrup. A great way to use up stale bread and any kind will work. Raisin bread with cinnamon is excellent and will appeal to the kids. 

Overnight oats

Simply mix oats and milk in a 1 to 2 ratio and add sweeteners, or other add-ins, such as dried or fresh fruit, nuts, or seeds, according to your tastes. For one breakfast serving of overnight oats, start with 1/4 cup oats and 1/2 cup milk. I like mine with vanilla extract and a couple of sliced strawberries. I’m not going to tell you to add Nutella, but you sure can! I use mason jars to make my healthy breakfast, making several days at a time. You can keep these in the fridge for up to five days.

Smoothies

A great way to use up the frozen bananas we all have in our freezers that we know we’re never going to get around to making into banana bread! Peel and slice and add to the blender with milk of some kind, maybe some strawberries or other fruit, some seeds, nuts or nut butter and you have a healthy breakfast for on the go without even turning the stove on.

The nice thing about smoothies is how they can be a simple blend-and-go option, but also a fun and tasty experiment in flavour combinations and fancy mocktails! Photo by Heidi Walley.

Flyer deals of the week

Farm Boy:

While usually expensive, they do have great savings on chicken this week!

  • Chicken – whole, in-store butcher: $2.99/lb
    (Cut these up and you have an entire bird for the cost of just two breasts or have a roast chicken for dinner with leftovers for wraps for lunches.)

Food Basics:

  • Chicken breast – boneless, skinless, in-store butcher: $4.66/lb
  • Lamb – whole legs, fresh, in-store butcher: $3.98 each
  • Ham, Irresistibles brand, spiral, smoked: $4.44/lb (would make great meat for sandwiches)
  • Shrimp – frozen: $5.99/340 g package or ring
  • Broccoli: $0.88 each
  • Potatoes: $1.67 per 5 lb bag
  • Onions: $1.67 per 2 lb bag
  • Carrots: $1.67 per 2lb bag
  • Blackberries: $1.88/package
  • Cantaloupe: $1.88 each
  • Cheese – Selection brand brick or shreds: $4.44 each
  • Eggs – Selection brand, large: $8.99/30 eggs
  • Broth – Campbell’s brand, selection of varieties: $1.25 each

No Frills:

  • Sirloin tip roast – fresh, in-store butcher: $4.88/lb
  • Turkey – frozen, various sizes: $18 each
  • Pineapples: $1.88 each
  • Butter – Lactancia brand: $4.87/lb (This is a stock up price. Store extras in a zip lock in the freezer)
  • Cranberry sauce, Ocean Spray, whole: $1.59 each
  • Frozen vegetables, PC brand, assorted varieties: $2/bag
  • Stove Top stuffing: $1.25/box

FreshCo:

  • Ground beef – lean, value pack: $10/kg
  • Sausages – breakfast or dinner, Johnsonville brand: $4 each for various package sizes
  • Charcuterie meats – Maestro brand, assorted varieties: $4.99
  • Cooking oil – Bismak brand: $2/1L bottle
  • Perogies – frozen, Cheemo brand: $2.49/various package sizes
  • Pomegranate: $2.49 each
  • Cilantro, fresh: $0.99

And EVERYWHERE will have chocolate on sale this week!

Happy Frugality!


Kingston resident Sarah Cronk offers tips on money-saving strategies and the best deals to be found in local grocery stores in her bi-weekly Kingstonist column, Fabulously Frugal. Have any questions for Sarah or things you’d like her to investigate in terms of cost savings? Let us know! Email Kingstonist Editor-in-Chief Tori Stafford at [email protected].

One thought on “Fabulously Frugal: Start your day for less with these budget breakfast ideas

  • HI, great column and ideas. Giant Tiger is also a great place for bargains and the quality is good.
    Fruit and veg are great prices.
    Nan

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