Breakfast is an important meal in our house, and it is usually a cheap one. Breakfast is simple, so it is a good meal for practicing to economize!
How many pancakes with maple-flavored syrup can you make with a $3 container of store-bought syrup and $5 box of pancake mix? Could you get 3 or more breakfast meals out of it? I know a family of 6 can, so that’s 18 individual breakfasts for $8.
Now, if I make the syrup and the pancake mix from my own ingredients, it will cost me about $1.50 to make the same number of breakfasts.
However, if we bought 3 meals for the 6 of us at Denny’s, it would be a minimum of $30 plus tip per meal, times 3 meals = $90 for those 18 meals (not including coffee, juice, or tip).
So, here’s the comparison (per person, per meal):
pancakes at Denny’s (value menu) – $5 each
pancakes at home from boxed pancake mix & bottled maple-flavored syrup – $0.45 each
pancakes at home using pancake mix I put together ahead of time and syrup I make on the stove with sugar and maple extract – $0.08 each
Homemade maple and butter (flavored) syrup is SUPER cheap, and it is delicious. Jonni McCoy included this tip in her book Miserly Moms. I probably paid $10 or $12 for that book in 1997, and I’ve saved thousands of dollars over the years. If you could only buy one book to learn to be frugal, this is the one! Here’s a link:
Egg and Bacon Breakfasts
A carton of 18 eggs at Costco costs $2.09–about $0.12 per egg. Precooked bacon costs about $0.19 per strip. My typical breakfast of a boiled egg and 2 strips of bacon costs me about $0.52. Keurig-style coffee pods can be bought for $0.50 each, and I usually have one of these every day; so my total homemade breakfast costs $1.02.
When I’m lazy, I’ll buy that same breakfast in the cafeteria at work. The eggs and bacon are $0.80 each or $2.40 for food, plus $1 to fill my coffee mug, which is a total of $3.40.
Savings (bringing my breakfast from home) of $2.38 per day on breakfast can add up quickly (bought for $3.40 minus brought for $1.02 = $2.38 saved):
$2.38 per day, $11.90 per week, $59.50 per month, and $714 per year. I repeat: I save $714 per year (for just me – double that for hubby and me)! You just can’t dismiss a savings of $1,400/year from a little grocery shopping, organizing (bagging the bacon, 2 strips per snack-size zipper bag), and boiling of eggs, right?
Sometimes, I love a fancy breakfast of omelettes or quiche. When I make those, I use a little ham or sausage from leftovers, a few peppers and onions, shredded cheese, and some broccoli or spinach with 5 of those $0.12 eggs. My best, most flavorful quiche/frittata probably costs $1 to $1.50 to make. It easily serves 4 people for between a quarter and $0.40 each!
Even though this family has begun to eat more of a ketogenic diet, we still economize on breakfasts without grains. I have great ideas for keto-friendly breakfasts in this post.
Are you thinking about ways to economize on your breakfast meals? Send me your ideas! Comment below.