Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Need Breakfast Fast?

I’m not sure if there is anything more costly in a grocery budget than the need for quick breakfasts and portable lunches. These items can be a huge drain on our food budgets because we often aren’t prepared for them and will buy quick foods like hot pockets, frozen burritos, pop tarts, lunchables, and fast food, to fill our need. But there is a frugal way to go about these. And since I happened to have a reader ask me about this very thing I thought I’d address it in a couple of posts.


It’s a mad rush in the mornings whether you’re on your way to work, the kids are off to school, hubby needs a lunch or you have some other commitment. But a little bit of prep, say a day on the weekend where you can prepare for the week, will yield you peaceful mornings and a little less rush.

Batches of muffins can be doubled and made ahead. I usually let them cool completely and then freeze them in individual freezer bags for a quick breakfast. Then all I have to do is take them out and set them on the counter while I shower and by the time I’m ready to leave they are thawed. Then I grab a banana or apple and off we go. You also have the bonus of no artificial colors or flavors and individual control over the sugar and fat content. Here are a few that we like…

Very Vanilla Muffins
Blueberry Muffins
Bran Muffins
Banana Muffins

If muffins aren’t your thing there are other option too. Bars are easy to make and freeze ahead. We do these the same way as the muffins by slicing them into serving sizes and then freezing them in individual freezer bags.

Blackberry Breakfast Bars
No Bake Granola Bars
PB & J Energy Bars
Cherry Power Bars

And if that’s not enough you can go the traditional egg route with these recipes….

Breakfast Burritos
Breakfast Bagel Sandwiches

Another idea is when you are making a batch of pancakes or waffles, to double your batch and freeze the extra. Make sure they have cooled completely and freeze them flat, not bent up. Then you have your own batch of Eggo's in the freezer.

There are lots of alternatives when you’re in a time crunch in the mornings. If you put a little bit of advanced effort in, you’ll be so pleased at how smooth your morning goes.

So I hope that helps and later this week I’ll talk about lunchbox ideas.


Duckygirl said...

Great tips!!

Extra french toast is also great to freeze and then remove the ones you want and pop them (completely frozen) into the toaster. Easy peasy!


Leslie said...

That is exactly what I needed...Thanks so much for turning it into a post. I look forward to your future posts!!!

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

I LOVE this post!!!

Tell me... what have you used in the blackberry bars? Anything besides blackberries? Anything slightly cheaper if I want to make it even more frugal?

EEEEMommy said...

I need to get better about this. My kids all eat cereal, and I skip breakfast (unless there's chocolate birthday cake leftovers). Not so good for any of us!

sweetlittlelife said...

I recently came across your blog and I must say, I'm addicted! I love your ideas and creativity! Thank you for all of your effort!

Becky @ BoysRuleMyLife said...

Just this morning I was telling dh that I needed some quick bfast ideas before school starts! Thanks for your perfect timing! :)

WunderMom said...

You can also partially cook bacon on the weekend and keep it in the fridge. (I cook it mostly or sometimes all the way.) Then on weekday mornings you pull it out of its baggy and pop it in the micro for about 30 seconds. Tastes like you first made it.

Brandy said...

I love this post! These are fabulous ideas and a great alternative to cereal or ready-made items. (Although I do love my bagelfuls!)



Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the links to the breakfast bar recipes. I've been looking for new ones to try lately and those sound perfect.


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to comment on the Cherry Power Bars now that I've made them. When I looked over the recipe I thought 2 cups of sugar sounded like quite a bit so I cut it in half and lightly packed the sugar instead of firmly packing it. When I simmered the cherry puree I added 1 tbsp of sugar instead of 2. The bars were delicious and definitely sweet enough for a breakfast bar or afternoon snack. My family loved them and have asked me to make them again. Thanks again for sharing the recipe. It's definitely a keeper.
Next time I might try swirling some cream cheese (with an egg and some sugar beaten into it) into the cherry puree before adding the top layer of the oatmeal mix.

Amy L said...

HI! New here and reading through your blog! GREAT ideas.
Anyway I am planning to make the vanilla muffins but the recipe states specifically butter. Have u tried with margarine?
I am just trying to keep cost down a bit.

Thanks for the wonderful blog.


Gayle said...

I usually use margarine instead of butter purely because it's cheaper and I haven't had any problems.