Money-Saving Tips: Change Your Breakfast Habits
Fewer of us are skipping breakfast now than ever before as we are more educated on the importance of this first meal of the day. However, the way we are getting our breakfast may be costing us more than it should, especially if we are not mindful of how we spend our money with our breakfast habits.
Below are the three main changes to my breakfast habits that have helped me save some dollars, along with tips and examples:
- Make Your Own Breakfast
- Get Healthy Things Over and Done With in the Morning
- Use Your Creativity
1. Make Your Own Breakfast
The most obvious money-saving tip is to make your own breakfast. It's that simple.
More and more people are opting to get their breakfast from coffee shops and other food joints and eating on the go or at their desk. Many people also probably love the idea of popping into their local stylish Starbucks to grab their daily dose of caffeine and food.
However, if you are finally paying attention to the amount you spend daily, it can actually equate to a lot of what I like to call “loose” money spent on our morning habits.
The Monthly Cost of a Store-Bought Breakfast
For example, a cup of coffee at my local coffee shop costs about $1.80 (and this is one of the cheaper versions), and a simple bun at a local bakery costs $1.50. Sometimes, if I feel like indulging in a better breakfast, I would have a breakfast set, which consist of a cup of coffee, a toast and egg, costing about $5.40 per set.
All in all, the cheaper daily breakfast ($1.80 coffee and $1.50 bun) would set me back about $66 in one month (assuming there are 20 working days). The more expensive breakfast is even more shocking, costing about $108 per month.
Breakfast at Home
If you buy a regular loaf of bread costing about 2 bucks, it can last you easily a week (depending on how you eat it, of course). Making your own breakfast in the morning is super easy, if you take the effort to make it into a regular routine.
In addition, you do not need to sacrifice your love for coffee if you are willing to spend some time learning how to make a cup as delicious as the one made by your local barista. You can read my other article below on some simple ways to make your own barista-style coffee.
- Simple Things You Can Do To Get Barista Style Coffee
Getting that barista style coffee is simpler than you think. Learn some essential tips to self brew the best coffee you have ever tasted!
Home Breakfast Ideas
Some of my favourite and quick breakfasts which take just under 5 minutes to make are:
- Grilled Bread With Olive Oil
- Bread With Nutella, Banana and Chia Seed
- Egg in the Hole
Grilled Bread With Olive Oil
I like to use the fatter French loaves to make this.
- Basically, you just need to cut the bread into fat slices, spread butter onto both sides of the bread and grill it on a pan.
- Once both sides of the bread are grilled, drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and then add a pinch of sea salt (which I think is essential in bringing out the taste of the olive oil).
- On weekends, when I have a little more time, I will also add chopped avocado and red onions to the grilled bread for a more delicious and healthy breakfast meal.
I prefer grilling to toasting the bread in the oven because the bread is crunchy on the sides, but yet still soft on the inside. If you toast it in a small oven, the whole slice of bread can get really hard and dry.
I guarantee that this simple recipe will taste like heaven on Earth (especially if you use good-quality olive oil).
Bread With Nutella, Banana and Chia Seed
The name says it all—it is really just a slice of bread with Nutella spread topped with slices of banana (but it’s oh-so-delicious!). If you want to be even healthier, you can add some chia seed for that added nutrition and crunch. I buy my organic chia seeds from this website called iHerb, which (to me) offers the best prices so far.
Egg in the Hole
- Spread butter on a slice of bread (or you can also use mayonnaise) and then use a cookie cutter to make a hole in the centre.
- Fry the bread on a pan on both sides until it is slightly brown, and then add an egg in the centre.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add cheese or other mixed herbs (if you want to reduce salt intake) to the egg.
Other Quick Breakfast Ideas
You can also pre-make your breakfast every weekend and freeze them to be ready in time for the week ahead. Many people like to make breakfast muffins (my favorite is the broccoli with cheese egg muffin) or their own granola bars. There are tons of recipes online, such as this popular recipe from Allreceipes.com for chewy granola which requires no baking.
2. Get the Healthy Things Over and Done With in the Morning
As people are becoming more health-conscious, many businesses are tapping on this expanding need by setting up healthier food establishments such as salad stops and juice stations.
For me, I find that these food establishments help to provide a quick and easy fix when I feel like I fall short on my diet. My tendency to spend money on a 6-dollar cup of juice increases when I need to feel less guilty about an unhealthy breakfast choice earlier in the day.
My take on this is that if we think eating healthier can be a chore at times, we should just get most of it over and done with in the morning. We can feed ourselves with as much of the required nutrients at the start of the day instead of relying on food establishments, which are really not easy for our pockets.
So how can we incorporate healthy eating without the morning hassle?
Find More Convenient Forms of Food
Beetroots are known to be really good for the body, helping to lower blood pressure and improving blood circulation. However, it can be a chore to cut the beetroot (it looks almost like a murder scene when you are done) and also a little difficult to juice because it is quite hard.
So an alternative way to get the benefits of beetroot is to buy beetroot powder. There are many brands offering this (again, you can check iHerb). Consuming beetroot in powder form can really improve your daily compliance. Just add the powder to your juices, or simply mix it with water and drink.
For me, my morning drink is usually a mixture of 1 tablespoon of beetroot powder and 1 tablespoon of chia seed, which is simple and healthy.
Juicing is, of course, the best and most common way to incorporate good nutrients into your daily diet. Juicing can be hassle-free if you plan ahead of time and use the right tools.
For example, I usually buy fruits that are easy for me to stay compliant to my morning juicing habits. My favorite fruits which are easy to juice include:
- blueberries (great source of antioxidants)
- pomegranate (pre-prepare this by cutting the pomegranate into half and the hitting each half with the back of a spoon to get the seeds out and store in a container)
- golden kiwi
I may also add dried apricots or cranberries for added taste and benefits. Two of my favorite combinations are:
1. Refreshing Yogurt Drink
- 2 bananas
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of pomegranate
- 1 golden or green kiwi
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups of yogurt drink
- 1/2 cup of water (if the yogurt drink is too thick or too sweet)
2. Avocado Milk Shake
- 1 ripe avocado (check if it's ripe by pressing on the avocado to see if it's soft)
- 2 to 3 cups of milk (depending on how thick you want the milkshake to be)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of good quality honey
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence
- 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil (optional)
The total cost of each drink is about 5 bucks but it's for a serving size of 2. If you buy from outside, it can easily be double the cost.
During weekdays, when it's too troublesome to use a juicer, I will use either my handheld blender or Nutribullet to do the juicing. It's quick and easy to clean. If I am running short on time, I will just bring my smoothie to go and drink it while on the way to work.
Do you do juicing at home?
3. Use Your Creativity
One money-saving tip that some people (including me) use is to get through a loaf of bread or a box of cereal for breakfast for the whole week (instead of buying breakfast outside). It’s not a bad idea, but if you do not add an element of variety to your breakfast, you can also get bored quickly and be tempted to indulge in a store-bought breakfast. Therefore, it is important to be creative when making your breakfast.
For example, you don't always need to eat bread with fruit jam or peanut butter. There are infinite ways to eat your loaf of bread (refer to my earlier recipes above). You just need to take a little effort and creativity to feed yourself better.