Breakfast Contest. I'm Lovin' It!

Three Breakfast Mini-Meals for under $3.00.  Big McDonald’s billboard I see everyday when I drive to work.  I can beat this.  I know I can.

So I went with my mechanical pencil and a scratch pad to the grocery store (PCC) and wrote down prices for all the little things I use to make breakfast. Okay, I’m not going to include that I eat kale for breakfast.  I do.  (see Be Bop Breakfast).

I got three meals for you that are under $3.  And they are way better than anything you would pick up in a sack at Mickey D.’s. And there’s nothing mini about them.

You’re thinking – what about the time-factor Ms. Lair. True true.  But the drive there, ordering, paying and picking up has got to take 15-20 minutes.  Right? So now the challenge is under $3 and under 20 minutes. Plus I’m using all organic food.  No problem.

  1. Steel cut oats with 1/2 apple sliced, 1/4 cup raisins and milk $.75 per serving. That’s right, under a $1!  The only catch – you have to remember to soak your oats the night before so they’ll cook quick in the morning.
  2. On Sunday you throw together a nice batch of Maple Butter Nut Granola and store it in a glass jar.  That’s 15 minutes prep and 45 minutes for the granola to bake while you watch movies or sports on TV.  In the morning, in less than5 minutes, you have a bowl of delicious granola with vanilla yogurt.  Bingo – $.91
  3. This one will take the full 20 minutes – maybe.  Toast two pieces of sprouted wheat bread or rye bread.  Put some butter in the skillet and cook an over-easy egg.  Once you flip it, add a slice of cheese.  Ready your toast with a little butter and some sauerkraut.  Pop the egg on the bread and this ain’t no mc muffin, it’s pro-biotic.  $2.39.

Oh yeah – mochi!  Who could forget Cherry Jam Filled Mochi.  Two pieces with great jam $1.50.

Ok.  The challenge is back to you.  What’s your best under $3 breakfast.  No packaged cereals allowed (yeah, that’s tough).  We’ll have a drawing of all those who respond.  Don’t forget to include how much your breakfast costs! Price it out baby.  Winner gets a copy of Feeding the Whole Family.  Go!

34 thoughts on “Breakfast Contest. I'm Lovin' It!

  1. Omigosh in the summer this breakfast is the start to a heavenly day.

    My Tropical Fruit Salad knocks everyone off their feet (specially seeing what I can do with leftover fruit)
    – 1 ripe organic banana (about 25 cents)
    – 1 cup fresh diced organic papaya ( should be no more than a $1.25 when in season)
    – 1/4 cup toasted organic cashews (no more than .80 cents)
    – 3 tbs shredded coconut (no more than 16 cents)
    – Half the juice of a freshly squeezed organic lime (no more than 25 cents in season)

    All organic, all healthy, and all the more enjoying at only $2.71

  2. Homemade oatlmeal, regular oats, with sliced banana and brown sugar. I eat this almost everyday. Take 10 minutes! I boil it then let it simmer while im in the shower.

  3. Groovy Green Smoothie

    1 Frozen Banana
    1 C. Frozen grapes
    8 oz. coconut yogurt
    1/2 apple (peeled)
    1 1/2 C. spinach
    1/4 c almond milk (or soy)

    Blend Away! Best Breakfast Ever!!

  4. one egg – basically free because I have chickens in my backyard : )
    1 piece of sprouted whole wheat toast – maybe .20 cents – .40 if you are making a sandwich
    spinach cooked after the egg – .25
    butter – .25
    and something I love on my eggs – SALSA – .25

    total= less than a dollar : )

  5. Love your site and I would LOVE to win your book!!!!

    One of my favorites for breakfast is…

    Two slices of multi grain toast ($0.25) WITH

    -a little bit of butter (pennies)
    -1T of ricotta cheese ($0.10)
    -small handful of slightly smashed red raspberries ($1.00) preferably in season
    -drizzle of honey ($0.10)

    and accompanied by a sliced banana ($0.29) and slice of good quality ham ($0.30).

    For a grand total of $2.05! This takes me all of five minutes to prepare, while juggling the needs of two silly kids.

    I also do a variation of this which includes peanut butter (or other nut butter) with bananas instead of raspberries.


  6. An adaptation from something I found in a magazine once:

    Breakfast Sundae

    About 1/2 c Greek yogurt (fat-free or regular)
    1 banana sliced in half lengthwise
    strawberries/blueberries/apple/peaches (whatever is in season) about 1/4 c each
    1/4 c granola of choice (I like the Back to Nature one with little bits of chocolate in it but homemade is great, too)

    put banana in bottom of bowl, yogurt next, then other fruits and top with granola

    Super filling and yummy and quick.

    banana .25
    granola ($4.00/bag,14 (1/4 c) servings per bag) .28
    berries .50 for each kind, so figure 1.00 (now, prob. cheaper in season)
    yogurt (Chobani fat free plain $3 for large container, 6 servings, .50 per serving) .50

    Total: $2.03 per serving

  7. French Toast

    1/4 Tbsp. of non-dairy butter $.10

    2 eggs from hens in the backyard $.60

    Two pieces of sprouted wheat bread from Trader Joe’s = $.40

    bulk Cinnamon from the co-op $.15

    real maple syrup from Trader Joe’s $.40

    Yummy easy breakfast for $1.65 and under 20 minutes. At least when I do it it takes less than 20 minutes.

  8. I like:

    (steamed, baked, micro, boiled) night before –
    Sweet potato or Yam chunks .75

    cinnamon .2
    dried cranberries .25
    sliced almonds .50
    dash maple/honey/molasses etc. .25
    splash soy/rice/nut milk, or O.J. .25

    Mash together, very nutritious Approx TL: $2.00

    1. c. Brown Rice .25
    scramble egg .25
    sundried tomato .25
    green onion .25
    carrot shreds .25
    feta .50

    put some butter in a pan and warm the rice briefly, then the eggs, mix it up a bit, and toss in the rest for just a sec. finish w/ chz.
    TL approximately $1.75

    Just about any veggies mixed w/ brown rice and egg and a touch of cheese w/ some nuts or seeds is DELICIOUS. I call it Breakfast Rice.

    The Daily –

    1 C. plain yogurt .50
    1/2 og. apple chunks .75
    raisins .25
    slice almonds .50
    flax seeds .10
    cinnamon or cardamom .05

    TL approximately $2.15


    plain yogurt .50
    med. og. banana .75
    walnut pieces .50
    honey .25
    flax .10

    TL $2.10

    1. C. shredded carrots .75
    few tbs. plain yogurt .50
    any other fruit you have on hand .50
    raisins .25
    flax seeds .10

    TL. approximately $2.10

  9. Howdy- not a recipe but I would like to make your recipe with toast but in order to do that I would really like to learn how to make my own bread- with the recipe from your book- please- oh, please make a video… or two on how the heck to make the bread. I have tried the “no knead” method with various results.
    I already ate my steel cut oats (from your book) – with flax meal, walnuts and a little brown sugar – mmmmm – can’t put a price on that!

  10. Your Maple Nut Butter Granola along with fresh whole milk homemade plain yogurt with a touch of maple syrup for sweetness. Of course it has to be served with fresh brewed (loose) Scottish Breakfast tea with a touch of milk and honey. Nothing could be better! I think the cost for everything rings up around $2!

    PS – love every recipe we’ve ever made of yours…I would so love a copy of your book…thanks for the chance!

  11. Egg and nopals burrito.
    1 gluten free rice tortilla $0.56
    2 farm fresh free range eggs $0.66
    1 catus(nopal) pad $0.65
    1 oz organic cheddar cheese $0.43
    TOTAL = $2.30

    Heat greased skillet 2 mins + saute nopal 2 mins (nopal should be prepared and diced before hand) + add 2 eggs cook for 5 min + heat tortilla 2 mins + add cheese and wrap up 1 min TOTAL = 13 minutes

  12. a good ol’ breakfast smoothie

    (making a bit of a guess on the prices)

    banana 0.25
    frozen strawberries (from June) 0.25
    mango 0.50
    plain yogurt 0.50
    honey pennies
    milk or juice 0.10

    = between $1.60 and $2.00, I think!

  13. I’m actually pretty boring when it comes to breakfast. I would rather spend time making lunch or dinner. I’m gluten intolerant and found this wonderful rice hot cereal called “Rice & Shine” (someone could argue that it’s “packaged”, but steel cut oats usually come in a “package” too). It’s probably not encouraged on this site, but I microwave it. It cooks up in 3-3.5 min. It costs about $.20 per serving. I eat it with a little agave and rice milk (probably about $.50 for the two items). Hmmmm, keeps me from getting hungry all morning. $.70 total!!

  14. I layer couscous, vanilla yogurt and frozen berries and tsp of ground flaxseed in a large mug (or take out mug) the night before and – voila! Grab and go! It’s ridiculously cheap. Under $.50

  15. Open-Faced Breakfast sandwich

    · 1 egg (Organic brand 18 pack from Costco, cooked over easy, medium, or scrambled – depending on preference
    · ½ Whole Wheat English muffin (from our local grocery store)
    · 1 piece Low-Fat Jarlsburg Cheese (from Costco)
    · 1 Breakfast “Sausage” Soy Patty (MorningStar Farms brand from Costco)
    · 1 piece ham from grocery store’s deli
    · Salt/Pepper to taste

    1. Cook egg in a pan to you desire.
    2. Toast English muffin (my hubby prefers to toast his in a toaster oven with the cheese on top so it melts
    3. Cook sausage in pan or microwave
    4. Put cheese on top of toasted English Muffin (if you didn’t toast it with the cheese on-top)
    5. Place either ham or sausage on top of cheese
    6. Put egg on top and garnish with s/p to taste.

    1 egg = .16
    ½ English muffin = .25
    1 slice Jarlsburg cheese = .20
    1 MorningstarFarms breakfast “sausage = .41
    total = $1.02

    or (with ham)

    1 egg = .16
    ½ English muffin = .25
    1 slice Swiss cheese = .20
    1 slice deli ham = .15
    total = .76

    eat by picking it up or cutting it up w/ fork/knife!

  16. Breakfast burrito, yummmm!!!

    1 whole-grain tortilla ($.25)
    2 eggs ($.75)
    shredded cheese ($.50)
    spinach ($.05)
    tomato ($.25)
    avacodo ($.25)

    $2.05 tops in under 5 minutes

  17. I just have to comment again to say I am loving all these suggestions and am going to print out the comments to mix up my breakfast routine. I would have never thought of sweet potato or rice and eggs and so many other yummy-sounding breakfasts. Thanks everyone!

  18. OK, this is an organic muesli. $1.14 per serving

    This makes 3 servings:
    Organic Rolled oats 1 cup = 40 cents
    2 cups hemp milk = 2.00
    ½ cup organic sunflower seeds = 52 cents
    Handful of organic Raisins not sure of cost = I’ll say 50 cents

    $3.42 for 3 servings, so 1 serving = $1.14

    You could add a couple organic dates, chopped, if you’d like. That would keep you under $3.

    Put all ingredients in airtight container before bedtime. It’s ready in the morning! You let it sit overnight in the fridge and can warm it up in the am, if you want. I like it cold. And I use hemp milk, but you can use whatever you want, and it might be cheaper, actually.

  19. My favorite breakfast
    The Raita can made ahead of time, kept in the fridge from a week, and takes about 5 minutes.

    1 slice Famous Daves Bread (.25 per slice) toasted
    1 oz Raita (Nancy’s yogurt 3.69, cucumber 1.79, mint 2.19, lemon juice .99=8.66/16 servings=.54)
    1 Roma Tomato (2.99 per pound/4=.75 per serving)
    1 fried, poached, or scrambled Egg (Chino Valley Organic Omega-3 Brown Eggs, 4.29 per dozen/12=.35 per egg)
    1.89 per meal

    Riata: 5 minutes
    Slicing tomato: 1 minute
    Cooking egg 3-5: minutes
    Toasting bread 3-5: minutes
    Total time: 16 minutes max

  20. Oh have I got a recipe for you! A bit of an estimate on cost though. French toast with whole wheat bread slathered in almond butter and drizzled with honey on top. To die for!
    Butter 25cents
    2 slices of whole wheat bread 40cents
    2 eggs 45 cents
    Almond butter 50 cents
    Honey 50 cents

    I really I hope I win that awesome book!!!!

  21. I just had salad for breakfast. Not traditional anywhere, but it was what I wanted.

    1/2 head romaine lettuce $.42
    1 T olive dressing $.30
    crispy onions $.75 (these are so yummy!)
    canned chicken $.67
    light mayo $.15 (I’m guessing on this one)
    seasoning $.15 (again a guess)

    $2.44 Total

    mix the chicken, mayo and seasoning – 1 minute
    throw everything into a bowl and toss – 1 minutes

  22. oatmeal (1/2 cup from the giant box i buy at costco)
    frozen strawberries (3 from the giant bag i buy at costco)
    1/4-1/2 cup of milk (from the work fridge so it’s free)
    total cost (this is a guesstimate but i believe it’s under $1 based on bulk purchase)
    and the best thing is i’m full until lunch

  23. I like potatoes cubed and mixed with vegetables and egg.

    1 tlbs olive oil (.10)
    1 potato (.50)
    a few sliced mushrooms (.50)
    some chopped kale (1.00)
    1 egg (.50)
    salt and pepper, sometimes a smidge of chili powder (a few cents)

    Heat the olive oil and add cubed potatoes and salt and chili poweder, let them cook for a few minutes (sometimes I cover them to help them cook a little more) then add mushrooms and cook a little, then add the kale, stir for a minute, you may need a little water when you add the kale, then make a hole in the middle and cook the egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    Prices are based on our farm CSA organic vegeatbles and eggs, and I estimated rounding up.

    Total 2.60

    With a slice of whole wheat bread, it is delicious, maybe that puts it up to $3

  24. A Richmond,VT Summer Breakfast

    Cultivated strawberries gone wild that just keep growing free and sweet in the backyard (and warm if the sun is shining)! $.00
    On Vermont Butterworks Farms Organic Whole Milk Plain Yogurt 8.0 oz $1.00
    Topped with local organic maple syrup $.25-$.50 (depends on who’s eating kids or grownups!)
    A smattering of Nutty Steph’s Local Granola $.50-$.75

  25. I like to batch/automate cooking – breakfast especially.

    Two Quick Favorites:

    Oatmeal buttermilk pancakes using organic oatmeal and backyard-raised eggs purchased from a co-worker. $2.34 for 18 pancakes=$0.26 a pancake. Add $0.30 for a little over a tablespoon of pure maple syrup. Throw in some butter for a few pennies. Pancakes do take time so I make a double batch on the weekend -we eat a meal that day and freeze the rest for the weekdays. Average time to make and package a double batch for freezing is 45 minutes. This will last me and my 4 year old for 2 weeks of weekday breakfasts (45 min/10 days) which averages 4.5 minutes per weekday. Add defrost time of 55 seconds per serving for a total of ~5.5 minutes of preparation time per serving. Total Cost Estimate for two pancakes, butter, syrup = less than $0.90.

    Steel Cut Oats in the Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker.
    Another shortcut I love is to prepare a large quantity of steel cut oatmeal, enough for an entire week, in a 10 cup capacity rice cooker using the porridge cycle. It costs about $0.40 for 3 cups of organic steel cut oats. This makes more than 8 servings for us, at $0.05 a serving. The add-ins are what kill you for this meal 🙂 – milk, raisins, cinnamon, coconut, dates, almonds, flax seed meal (we don’t add sugar) – let’s say $0.40 for a splurge. Total cost is less than $0.50 per serving. I measure out the oats and water and place in the cooker the night before. Press two buttons to set the timer and cooking cycle – this takes 3 minutes. I have it programmed to finish cooking for 6AM. In the morning I open the rice cooker, take out what we are going to eat, and put the rest away in the fridge for the rest of the week. On the “leftover” weekdays it takes about 1 minute for this to warm up. I’d estimate that the total prep time per serving works out to about 3 minutes, including time to add in the toppings. Total cost per serving, to be generous, is $0.65. BTW, this can be done with Quinoa or any other grain to make a great breakfast porridge.

  26. Yummy, quick, nutritious, and gluten free

    This recipe is for one serving:

    1 egg lightly beaten $0.25
    2 – 3 tbl. cooked short grain brown rice $0.20

    Heat half a tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan. Add the rice to the pan and heat it up just a bit then add the egg and scramble. Continue to cook until the egg is done to your preference.

    Top with plenty of organic bean spouts, [(I use a alfalfa, clover, radish, broccoli mix) $.015 – $0.50 (depending on if you sprout your own or buy them)]

    and sprinkle with salt and toasted sesame seeds that have been ground in a mortar $0.10

    Serve with organic fruit of choice. $0.50 – $1.00

  27. My favorite cheap, quick, and healthy breakfast at the moment is
    ..yogurt(plain) (.60/serving) with
    .. homemade granola(recipe is made in crock pot with 5 c. oats 5 c. nine grain, coconut oil, small amt. maple syrup, honey, large shredded coconut, and toasted pecans…not sure on the price for a serving) and best of all it is topped with
    …home canned nectarines from a friends’ orchard. FREE. They are amazingly wonderful.

  28. Banana Smoothie
    1 banana (frozen into chunks)
    1 1/2 c milk
    1 tsp cocoa powder
    1 tsp honey
    1 T peanut butter

    Blend and ready to go!!! Way less than $1!

  29. 3 black olives and 3 green olives chopped

    1 slice of Canadian or turkey bacon

    1 egg

    About five leaves of fresh spinach chopped

    A few shakes of ground red pepper

    ½ slice of low fat pepper jack cheese

    1 thin multi-grain bun by EarthGrains


    Fry bacon and add whipped egg while it is frying – add remaining ingredients (minus cheese) to the top of the egg. When egg is cooked on the bottom fold the whole thing over and flip it to cook it all the way through. Add the slice of cheese to the top and place on toasted thin bun and “get ready to rumble. “ 🙂 It only takes a few minutes to prepare.

    As close as I can figure. The entire sandwich will cost less than $1.25

  30. Raw Blueberry Ice Cream (yes, for Breakfast. The dc think we’re being naughty for eating ice cream for breakfast!)

    2 frozen bananas, chopped
    1-2 cups frozen blueberries
    about 1/4 c hemp seeds
    about 1/3 c ground flax
    honey, to taste (couple Tablespoons?)

    sometimes need to add a bit of almond milk for moisture

    I blend until smooth in a food processor. I usually start just with the bananas, chopped, until they are smooth, then I add the rest of the ingreds thru the chute until a beautiful purple colored ice cream.

    Can add other ingreds for nourishment(coconut oil) or toppings (coconut, cacao nibs, chopped nuts, etc), but this is the basic recipe. Or trade blueberries in for raspberries and have pink ice cream instead. Endless combinations.

    Obviously, price will vary depending on the (healthy!) additives.
    This recipe makes at least 3 servings, at a cost < $1.75

  31. Great post!! I am starting a cooking class for young moms. I went to my local WIC office and posted flyers. I think cooking, let alone basic healthy cooking is a dying skill. My focus is low cost and healthy, so these ideas are awesome! I am doing this class completely on my own and encourage others to do the same with in their community. If you have been blessed as I have with the knowelage and skill to prepare healthy food for your family, help your fellow sisters who may not have had a mom or grandma who cooked. Help them to eat and cook healthy and feed their children healthy, so the tradition can be handed down!

  32. Well I looked through and everything we eat is already listed except for whole grain muffins… I usually make 2-3 dozen whole grain muffins sweetened with honey and applesauce… my fav is cran apple pecan. Becuase I am a mother of 5 little kids a lot of times I will make them the afternoon before or the night before and stick them in the fridge to have a couple mornings in a row with a serving of Organic yoghurt and/or some fruit or a smoothie. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have your cook book…. because I love your site.

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