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How to Make Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets & Save Money

Posted By melissa On 06/12/2012 @ 2:35 pm In Frugal Living | 19 Comments

Most of us are looking for a quick breakfast in the morning before heading out to take the kids to school or to go to work. Many people rely on pre-made breakfast staples such as boxed cereal or pre-packaged oatmeal, both of which can be fairly pricy. While you may not be able to make your own breakfast cereal without a fair amount of work, you can make your own oatmeal packets quickly and not only save some money, but also eat healthier.

Prepackaged oatmeal packets typically come 8 in the box and cost upwards of $3 to $4 a piece. You could try to save by shopping Amazon for oatmeal packets in bulk, currently 52 packets for $19.99, or approximately 38.5¢ per packet. I think we can do better.

Make your own to last a month and a half in 20 minutes time and save some money in the process

Here is the recipe we typically use:

  • 1/3 cup instant oats
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1/8 to ¼ tsp. of cinnamon

Assembly style, lay out 45 plastic baggies and fill each with the oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Seal.

In the morning when you are ready to use the packet, simply pour one packet into a deep bowl and add either 2/3 cup milk or water. Stir together and microwave for 1.5 minutes. Stir again and microwave for 30 more seconds.

If you would like oatmeal with a bit more pizzazz, add 1 TBSP raisins or Craisins and/or 1 TBSP chopped walnuts.

How Much Money Will You Save?

Your savings will be significant even if you just pick up the basic ingredients at the store, but you can drive down your costs even further by buying your ingredients at a warehouse store such as Costco.

I buy a 10.7 oz. container of cinnamon at Costco for less than $4. Since 45 packets of prepared oatmeal only require 1.86 ounces of cinnamon, my cinnamon for this recipe only costs .69 cents.

The brown sugar typically runs $3 for a 16 ounce bag. There are 114 teaspoons in one bag, so the sugar for 45 bags of oatmeal will cost approximately $1.18.

A 42 ounce container of oats is approximately $3.50 and contains enough oatmeal for 45 packets.

All told, you are spending $5.37 to make 45 packets, or .12 a packet. Over the course of 45 breakfasts, you are saving $14.62.

Eat oatmeal for breakfast 5 days a week for 50 weeks of the year, and you are saving $81.22. If you have 3 children and they eat oatmeal 3 mornings a week over the course of the school year, you are saving $116.92 during the year. Of course, if you add in raisins or Craisins, your costs go up slightly, but you are still saving significantly over having the convenience of the packets already premade for you.

Will making your own oatmeal packets rich? No, not by itself, but every small change that you make like this will help you keep more money in your pocket to save, invest, or use for your next vacation. Plus, it’s a heart healthy breakfast you can make very quickly!

Do you make your own oatmeal, instant or otherwise? What are your favorite fixings to fancy things up?

(Photo: simplemoth [3])


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