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Cheap Breakfast Ideas

Updated on February 5, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.


It maybe the most important meal of the day but cheap breakfast ideas are necessary if you are going to keep your grocery budget less than the national debt.

Trying to juggle healthy foods, quick foods, and inexpensive foods can be overwhelming, especially if you have a family. Cereal may be quick but it isn't inexpensive or healthy. Pancakes are inexpensive and healthy but they aren't quick. Organic scrambled eggs and whole grain toast is quick and healthy but not so inexpensive. Is it possible to have all three factors come into some sort of magical alignment without the world spinning out of it's orbit?

Sure it is. It will take careful planning, and a little organization on your part but the inexpensive, quick, and healthy breakfast is perfectly doable. In fact, you can even have a variety of foods. Don't think you just have to eat oatmeal every day!

(c)marye audet 2009
(c)marye audet 2009

What Is a Nutritious Breakfast?

Ideally a nutritious breakfast would be made up of protein, complex carbohydrates, and a little healthy fat. It would be about 1/6 of your calorie needs for the day, maybe a little more. So, for a 1,600 calorie a day intake, breakfast would be 300 calories. The rest of your calories would be spread out over snacks, lunch and dinner.

The healthiest foods always start with the words 100 percent organic. Each of the items below is best if it is organic.

Primarily Protein Foods

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Dairy
  • Soy (although too much soy may not be good for you)
  • Beans
  • Nuts

Primarily Complex Carbohydrate Foods

  • Whole wheat
  • Oats
  • Brown Rice
  • Most whole grains
  • Fruits

Primarily Healthy Fats

  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Cold pressed oils
  • Coconut oil (cold pressed, organic, extra virgin)

Other Foods

  • Honey
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Agave
  • Maple syrup
  • Fruit spreads


Learn to Plan Ahead

By planning your breakfasts ahead of time you can use the inexpensive breakfast ideas to create the kind of breakfasts that you might enjoy in a really good Bed and Breakfast. Think of doing as much during your time off as possible.

It is important to use time saving techniques such as:

  • Cooking in large quantities
  • Freezing
  • Creating mixes
  • Use the slow cooker

By doing these things you will save time during the busy weekday mornings and still be able to ensure that you and your family get a healthy start to their day.


Make Your Own Convenience Foods

You can make your own mixes out of organic ingredients. These can save you time and money. Buying a commercial pancake mix is neither healthy, nor cheap but if you make your own with organically grown items it can fit the three requirements of cheap, quick, and healthy.

Awesome Healthy Pancake Mix

Use organic ingredients in this for a healthy, inexpensive mix. Make the pancakes on the weekend and stack them separated freeze them in freezer bags. This recipe is based on one from King Arthur Flour.

Whole Grain Pancake Mix

  • 3 cups organic old-fashioned rolled oats1/2 cup uncooked organic brown rice
  • 4 cups organic whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 3 tablespoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

Grind the rice and the oats up in the blender until they are almost a powder.

Add to the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Store tightly sealed in a cool, dry place.

To make:

Add 1 cup of mix to a bowl. Stir in:

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon organic oil (coconut works great-warm it until it is liquid)

1 egg

Allow to stand for 10 minutes while you heat the griddle. Make pancakes as usual, flipping when tiny bubbles form on the top.

Makes 6 pancakes, approximately


Quiche is a healthy breakfast food that is easy to make ahead in individual sized tart shells and freeze. When you are ready, just pop them in the microwave for a minute or two and you have a great breakfast on the go. You can use any quiche recipe. Just pour the filling into homemade or purchased tart shells and bake until done, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then freeze in an airtight container.

Homemade Instant Oatmeal

If you love the convenience of instant oatmeal but not the price you can easily make your own; better, healthier, and less expensively.

The basic ingredients are:

  • 1/2 cup organic quick oats
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbs sugar, brown or white

To this you can add any combination of the following organic ingredients:

  • Raisins
  • Dried apples
  • Dried peaches
  • Dried pineapple
  • Dried apricots
  • Dates
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Coconut

Place this in a snack sized storage bag and seal. To make oatmeal just pour the mixture into a bowl and add ¾ cup boiling water or milk. Stir and allow to stand for a minute.


More Cheap Breakfast Ideas

Other Cheap Breakfast Ideas

  • Cottage cheese with fruit and nuts sprinkled over the top
  • Yogurt, Whole wheat toast, and a piece of fruit
  • Apple slices dipped in peanut butter
  • Homemade sausage biscuits
  • Scrambled eggs, tomatoes, and cheese rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla
  • Smoothies
  • Homemade granola with fruit
  • English muffin pizzas
  • Whole grain muffins
  • Treat yourself to homemade donuts once in awhile.

There are hundreds of cheap breakfast ideas if you take the time to do some research and are willing to spend a couple of hours on the weekend to make items ahead of time. You may be able to save enough money to pay for your summer vacation every year by using these ideas and adding your own to them.


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    • adrienne2 profile image

      Adrienne F Manson 5 years ago from Atlanta

      Hi Marye, I love the English Muffin Pizza breakfast idea. This is a great great, full of breakfast ideas. Have voted up!

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 5 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      I hope you like them

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      You are making me hungry here! Everything sounds so wholesome and nutritious. I recently started buying pumpkin seeds, and I love to add them to oatmeal and use them in salads.

      Thanks for the great ideas - I will use many of these! Voted up and useful.

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Great breakfast ideas! Sure will try them. Voted up and shared with friends.

    • nwarriar profile image

      nwarriar 6 years ago from Quebec, Canada

      A fun to read Hub. Crucial information is presented in an easy to absorb manner. A few like Apple slices dipped in peanut butter and English muffin pizzas made me drool. Thanks for sharing!

    • ratnaveera profile image

      ratnaveera 6 years ago from Cumbum

      Great Hub indeed! I am always interested on nutritious breakfasts with minimum quantity. Here I can find some great ideas to follow them. I am going to bookmark this wonderful Hub. A lot of thanks to the author of this Hub, Marye Audet. Voted Up!

    • instantlyfamily profile image

      instantlyfamily 6 years ago

      Good ideas!

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 6 years ago from Virginia, USA

      Great ideas! I am ready to try some new ideas so your article is just in time. I wish I could get ahead of myself and freeze something but lately everything I make gets eaten too fast. I can't get ahead of the demand.

    • stayingalivemoma profile image

      Valerie Washington 6 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

      I love pancakes and so do my boys. We make pancakes for them every chance we get. They're also great for dinner too (breakfast for dinner is awesome).

      My boys like syrup on their pancakes, but me, I like my pancakes thin with marmalade on them(like toast)....voted up of course.

    • rochelj profile image

      rochelj 6 years ago from USA

      I bookmarked this page for future reference.

      Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and sometimes it's hard to find something to eat in the morning. this is a great guide. thank you!

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      Nice information that is real,thanks for sharing.

    • licot profile image

      licot 7 years ago

      wow its so simple to prepare make for your own...thankz for this info...superb information!!!

    • FirstStepsFitness profile image

      FirstStepsFitness 7 years ago

      Welcome to HubPages ! Great recipe ideas and love your donut recipe ideas as well :)

    • mwaky profile image

      mwaky 8 years ago

      good information

    • lafenty profile image

      lafenty 8 years ago from California

      Great ideas for breakfast. The pancakes sound delicious. Will try it out on my grandkids.