We are serious about breakfast in our house. You won't find sugary cereals or pop-tarts in our cabinets, not because we don't like them, but there are just so many other better options. Not only are they filled with an abundance of sugar and other undesirable processed ingredients, they just don't cut it when it comes to providing great nutrition and fuel for my family.
I can absolutely tell when they have had a junky breakfast if they are with someone else. They get cranky easily. They quickly hit a tired slump. They don't seem to think as fast. They just aren't themselves. A healthy breakfast should be good brain food to start your day off on the right track. I wanted to make a list of healthy and frugal real food breakfast ideas to keep us thinking about how we can feed our families well and not rely on the processed stand by options found in the boxes. The best part about this list is that they don't cost a lot of money either and can even be used for quick dinners. Breakfast food is typically frugal by nature anyway, which is awesome on the pocket book.
Most of these are quick options suitable for everyday weekday breakfasts, while others take a bit more time and should be made on the weekends. A great way to eat a substantial frugal breakfast all week long is to make many of these in advance and reheat throughout the week. Pancakes, egg casserole, crepes, yogurt, oatmeal, banana bread, muffins, and breakfast burritos can all be made ahead and reheated. It's one last thing a busy family has to think about.
Cheap oatmeal breakfast ideas
Oatmeal is a very inexpensive grain that actually contains a fair amount of protein along with healthy carbohydrates. It can be used in a variety of ways from a basic bowl of oatmeal to more interesting ways like pancakes and muffins.
- Topping ideas: frozen berries, bananas, apples, cinnamon, chia seeds, flax seeds, peanut butter or nut/seed butter, nuts, honey or maple syrup
Cheap egg breakfast ideas
You just can't beat an egg for breakfast when it comes to being filling and protein-rich, as well as super tasty. We have some sort of eggs several times a week in our home.
Scrambled, fried, poached, or soft boiled eggs
Breakfast casserole: can be made with less sausage if budget is tight
Eggs with sautéed vegetables or leftover vegetables from previous dinner
Egg sandwich: one fried egg sandwiched between two pieces of bread
Eggs with salsa
Eggs with sliced avocado: Look for avocados at Aldi for a great price.
Hard boiled eggs: a great on-the go option and perfect for batch-cooking
Breakfast burritos: whole wheat tortillas, scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, salsa if desired
Egg in a hole: cut a hole in a piece of bread. Place the bread in a buttered skillet. Add an egg to the hole. When set, flip and cook on the other side. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
Cheap potato breakfast ideas
Potatoes are one of my favorite foods and I love that they are so incredibly cheap. It is a tradition in my house that we serve crispy hash browns every single Saturday alongside our eggs and bacon or sausage. We look forward to it every week.
Cheap toast breakfast ideas
Toast with peanut butter or other nut/seed butter (natural: peanuts and salt)
Toast with peanut butter, sliced bananas, chia seeds, and honey
Avocado toast with salt and red pepper flakes
Toast and gravy: for a more frugal option, omit sausage and use 3 T. reserved bacon drippings instead.
Toast with cream cheese and sliced tomatoes
Toast with melted cheese
French Toast (make when you have homemade stale bread to use up): eggs, milk, splash of vanilla, splash of maple syrup, cinnamon. Dip bread in egg mixture and cook on buttered griddle. Flip when brown.
Cheap fruit breakfast ideas
Choose inexpensive fruit like apples, bananas, and seasonal on-sale fruit and use them in a variety of ways.
Homemade yogurt with fruit (bananas or home grown fruit are the most frugal)
Banana with peanut butter
Apple with peanut butter
Cottage cheese and fruit (buy fruit when on sale or grow in your back yard)
Smoothies: get fruit when on sale or freeze your homegrown berries
Other cheap breakfast ideas
Hot cereal such as cream of wheat
Pancakes: You can sub whole wheat for the white flour if you like.
A good mug of hot homemade broth with any of the above on the side
The best ideas are always in the comments from my readers. What are your favorite frugal real food breakfast ideas? I'd love to hear from you!