4 Inexpensive Breakfasts in Under Five Minutes
For breakfast, would you like a greasy McBreakfast or an expensive caffeine boost from CoffeeBucks? Or would you like something that is not only fast and cheap, but actually might be good for you?
I know that time is a precious commodity in the mornings, but there are options beyond the drive through. Some of these recipes can be made even cheaper, if you’re willing to put in a few extra minutes somewhere along the way.
Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal
This first recipe I found on Joseph Hall’s blog. He has several other options for improving on plain old instant oatmeal (Peach Ginger, Strawberries ‘n’ Cream, Cranberry Orange) — but I’m an old-fashioned girl when it comes to flavors and I love this option.
3 tablespoons chopped dried apples
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 to 3 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup plain instant oats
According to Joseph, all you have to do is the following:
Add dry ingredients to a pint- or quart-size resealable bag. Seal and shake to distribute evenly. Unseal, press out the air, and reseal. When ready to serve, pour into a bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to sit for at least a minute before stirring. Add more water, milk, cream, etc as you like. Add sugar or salt to taste.
Time and Expense: Even if you count washing the dishes afterwards, you’ll only barely graze the five-minute mark. You can make numerous batches ahead of time and even take them along to work if you can get hot water there. Want to make this option as cheap as possible? Wait for apple season to roll around, buy your apples at the lowest price possible and then dry them yourself.
I know the name sounds a bit weird, but if you have a little time in the evening, I recommend whipping up a batch of these muffins — they’ll make several days’ breakfasts and will last for quite awhile in the fridge. You can customize the recipe as you please and they are a great grab-and-go breakfast.
Basic muffin mix
2 cups all-purpose flower
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup milk
2 eggs, well-beaten
Mix ingredients until well-blended. Pour into greased muffin tin. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.
While mixing ingredients, I add about 4 slices bacon — cooked and crumbled. You can swap in just about any pre-cooked meat, or even vegetables. I go with bacon because I like a little protein to get me started and I can use turkey bacon if I’m in a hurry — it comes pre-cooked. There are plenty of fruit-based muffins as well.
Time and Expense: This recipe takes a little planning ahead, but you can have up to 12 breakfasts made and ready to go in about 30 minutes. With the exception of bacon (a relatively cheap meat), these ingredients are not only cheap but also versatile.
Crockpot Breakfast Casserole — Southwestern Style
Crockpot cooking is the epitome of easy cooking: Toss stuff in, stir and leave it over night. Open it up in the morning, and you’ve got breakfast. This is a great option if you’ve got plenty of hungry mouths to feed — we’re not talking about breakfast for me and my cat here.
1/2 pound breakfast sausage
1 small can green chilis
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese
1 teaspoon butter
Grease the crockpot with the butter. Layer meat, veggies and cheese, repeating until you’ve used all the ingredients — your last layer should be cheese. Beat the eggs and pour over the mixture. Cover the crockpot and turn on low. Cook for 7-8 hours. Serve with salsa or sour cream.
Time and Expense: While there is a little bit of prep necessary, there’s only five minutes needed in the morning to dish up and serve this breakfast casserole. And you can mix up the ingredients and use up what you have on hand. The only real must is the eggs.
The Breakfast Shake
This recipe is one of the easiest I know of that you can customize to what you actually have around. I’ve been known to just use up little bits of several kinds of fruit or to swap in frozen condensed juice with no problems. Fresh fruit is also an option, but you’ll need to substitute ice cubes for a portion of the yogurt or milk.
1/2 cup frozen fruit
1 cup yogurt or milk
Break larger fruits (like bananas) into pieces. Blend ingredients for about 30 seconds. Add sweeteners as to taste.
Time and Expense: While you can mix up a batch of shakes for practically cents per serving, this is one of the messier breakfast recipes I know of — especially if you’re feeding small children. It can still be made and cleaned up in under 5 minutes, but cleaning the blender might wind up left for later.