Food is a big expense (along with housing and transportation). That’s why now in this inflationary cycle more than ever saving on food costs is super important! I promised you that I can save you money and today I am going to show you how to start your day and eat healthy and fight inflation too with savings that can surpass 40% of your bill. Catch up with Part I here and now on to Part II with money-saving breakfast ideas.
Today is the day to learn about breakfast…“the most important meal of the day!”
Groceries by the Numbers
Saving money on groceries is my favorite subject to write about. Last year, my wife and I spent about $415 a month on groceries (our family of two). Here in the U.S., every month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issues its Cost of Food Report and as of September 2021, the national average for a family of two (moderate spending) was $655.70 per month. So patting ourselves a bit on the back here, we are doing pretty well saving about 37% off the average right from the get-go!
But even a low spending plan by some on average was $530 a month. And so we are even still below that by 18%!
For a family of four (two adults and two children), the numbers are pretty dramatic right now. Spending averages between $890 a month ($10,680 per year) and $1,062 per month ($12,744), according to the USDA for a moderate budget. There’s plenty of room to cut back and save and still eat healthy!
Basic Ways and Rules to Save
Here’s just a quick reminder if you really want to save on groceries. Start with these rules to live by:
- Make a needs list and shop in your own pantry first before heading to the grocery store
- Know and track the sale cycles and sale prices, and stock up when you see them
- Always use loyalty cards, discounts and coupons (digital is the easy way) every time you shop
- Buy generic/store brands and don’t be “brand loyal”
- Check your receipt before you leave the store for any errors
You can read more in detail every way to save that I suggest on these posts:
13 Ways We Save Money on Grocery Shopping Without Really Trying
25 Grocery Shopping Tips to Save Money
Your Grocery Budget: How to Make It and Stick to It
How to Stretch Your Money on Food for Your Family
Money Saving Tips to Combat Inflation in 2021
10 Do’s and Don’ts to Save Money on Groceries
Your Money-Saving Breakfast Shopping List
Let’s begin with breakfast. First, pick your favorite local grocery store, the one you feel has the best pricing based on everything you already know and have learned…
For me here in New Jersey, that’s ShopRite, but for today’s tips I am going to use Walmart because they are located all over the U.S. and the pricing I can use here is available everywhere as a barometer to shop and use.
The breakfast list for a family of four and prices to look for (prices are from 11/18/2021 here in central NJ but they can vary by store and location):
- Bread – Great Value 22 oz. loaf @ $0.88
- Eggs – 2 packs of Great Value Large White Eggs, 12 count @ $1.31 each
- Cheese slices – Great Value Singles American Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, 24 count 16 oz. @ $1.87
- Half gallon of milk – Great Value Whole Vitamin D Milk, 65 fl. oz. @ $2.26
- Cereal – 2 Great Value Crunchy Honey Oats Cereal, 18 oz. @ $1.33 each
- Orange juice – Great Value Original 100% Orange Juice, 64 fl. oz. @ $1.64
- Sausages – 2 packs of Banquet Brown ‘N Serve Fully Cooked Original Sausage Links, 6.4 oz. 10 count (frozen) @ $1.24 each
- Pancake mix – Great Value Complete Pancake & Waffle Mix, Buttermilk, 32 oz. @ $1.68
- Pancake syrup – Great Value Original Syrup, 24 fl. oz. @ $1.33
- Butter – Great Value Salted Sweet Cream Butter, 16 oz. 4 sticks @ $2.58
- Jelly – Great Value Concord Grape Jelly, 30 oz. @ $1.33
- Jam – Great Value Preserves Strawberry, 18 oz. @ $1.84
- Bananas – 2 Bananas @ $0.56/lb., average $0.22 each
- Coffee/tea – Folgers Classic Roast Single Serve Medium Roast Instant Coffee Packets, 7 count @ $0.90 and
Great Value Tea Bags Family Size, 24 count @ $1.48
- Tomato – Tomatoes, 3 pack @ $1.50
Total cost for one week of breakfast for family of four: $27.49
Menu: 28 Money-Saving Breakfast Meals for 7 Days
Vary your menu day to day. For mine, I am using alternate mornings for breakfast eggs dishes as a starter.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday
Begin with an egg dish for four (8 eggs). You can do whatever your favorites are: scrambled, sunny side up, poached, etc. You will use an average of 2 eggs per person (you can actually use slightly less if scrambled and get by with 7 instead of 8). I sometimes melt in a couple pieces of the American cheese, too.
Serve sausages (4-6 sliced)
Toast (6-8 slices, about 1/3 loaf) with butter, jam, or jelly
Slices of fresh tomato for garnish or taste
Four 6 oz. glasses of orange juice and/or milk, coffee, or tea
Tuesday and Thursday
Cereal for four – serve bowls with fresh banana sliced and milk
Four 6 oz. glasses of orange juice and/or milk, coffee, or tea
Get fancy! Make pancakes or waffles (if you have a waffle iron) and serve 2-4 each with syrup and drinks (orange juice, coffee, and/or tea).
Of course you can mix this menu around to fit your needs. Serve more or less of anything I have suggested because your stock will last more than just this one week on most items here. Preserve everything that can last and cut your food bill for the next week(s) as well!
Average Cost of Breakfast
What is the average cost of your breakfast if you follow this? The average cost for 28 breakfasts is just $0.98 per person per day or just $3.92 per day for a family of four!
Is It Healthy for You?
If you are not egg-adverse or have a dislike for the menu items, then this can work for you and it is healthy. Feel free to substitute some items that you particularly love in any category. Cereal type you like or a fruit of choice (perhaps raisins)? It will change the numbers only slightly and you can still hit and stay around the $4.00 per day number with relative ease.
If you’re like lots of folks, you rush out the door with no breakfast and maybe even stop at some place on the way for a bagel or doughnut and coffee. No surprise that you are spending a fortune every week doing that and blowing your budget plan sky high when you do. Stop doing that and use these money-saving breakfast ideas.
If you are shooting to save 40% off your food bill in 2022, targeting $4.00 a day breakfasts for a family of four is a really good start. Think about this:
If you spend on average as American families do now for four about $1,000 a month, then spending just $4.00 a day (or $120 a month) is only about 12% of your monthly food bill! Even on a new total budget of just $600 a month you are only spending 20% on breakfast if you make some changes.
That leaves a great amount to spend on the rest of your menu (about 80% of it!) each week and if you do it, you’ll still be able to save lots of money. And that’s my next post of suggestions coming on Tuesday so stay tuned! We will look then at lunches and dinner choices for healthy eating and big savings, too!