NUMBER THREE: STOP EATING OUT
Sigh. This one really pains me. Making my own coffee and buying cereal only when it’s on sale is easy. But I love eating at diners. Love them. I love waking up right before the breakfast special is about to end so I can get the best deal possible. The problem with resisting eating out for breakfast is multifold: (1) It’s awesome not having to cook your own breakfast (2) It’s so cheap when you really look at it for the amount of food you’re getting (3) It’s delicious. But when you actually look at how much breakfast items will cost you, you can see that you will save money. Here are some things to consider when you’re buying items for your breakfast needs.
- Eggs: If you’re not particularly picky about what you eat (read: you don’t need to eat organic eggs), purchasing eggs is a great way to save money. I regularly purchase a dozen eggs for a dollar. If you eat two eggs a day, that’s less than .17 cents/day on your eggs. If you don’t have time to cook in the morning but want eggs on the run, hard boil them! Eggs are great because they will last in your refrigerator for awhile and they’re so fast and easy to cook/prepare regardless of what you’re making with them.
- Toast: Bread is always on sale and I will never pay more than $2.00 for a loaf of bread. We only buy whole wheat or multi-grain breads nowadays. Keep your eye out for deals: we were able to purchase three loaves of healthy bread for $3.00 from an Entenmann’s outlet. We store the extra loaves in the fridge to keep them fresher for a longer period of time. Keep your bread in mind if you want to change things up for french toast.
- English Muffins: We buy English Muffins when they are on sale for $1.00. Sometimes it’s just easier to toss in an English Muffin—plus, face the facts, they taste good. We store additional packages in the freezer.
- Pancakes/Waffles: We tend to buy the mixes when they are on sale and these mixes last for a long time. You really need to think about which is cheapest for you. If you buy water-only mixes, you might save money not needing other ingredients like oil and eggs. Again, buy syrup for these items when it is on sale. It goes on sale regularly. Know your prices to know what a good deal is!
- Potatoes: I actually never make potatoes for breakfast and only eat them when I go out to eat. If you love your home fries, I would suggest making them when potatoes are on sale. For example, if you know that you will be making potatoes for dinner, save some for breakfast at a later date.
- Bacon/Sausage: We only buy bacon and sausage when it is on sale. (Sausage is easy to freeze if you want to stock up.) Bacon needs to be less than $3.00/package and sausage needs to be even cheaper. We also don’t make tremendous amounts so that we get to enjoy it for a longer period of time. Generally, we only make 2-3 slices for each of us when we’re making bacon. If you can tolerate turkey bacon, which I cannot, this is generally cheaper than :ahem: real bacon.
- Cereal: Read my previous entry regarding cereal. 🙂
- Coffee/Tea: Read back two entries regarding coffee. But the same applies for tea if you’re a tea drinker. Only buy tea when it is on sale and if you can’t afford specialty teas, you’ll have to give them up for awhile if you’re trying to save money.
If you really want to go out for breakfast, I would suggest making sure you have the money ahead of time and saving it for a special occasion like a birthday. (I mean, who wants to cook on his or her own birthday? I don’t ever want to cook so I definitely do not want to cook on my birthday.)
The only thing I would hope someone could chime in about would be oatmeal. I don’t eat oatmeal because I don’t like it so I generally don’t know about pricing regarding oatmeal. Eat on, friends.