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My Cheap and Healthy Breakfast

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Simple Dollar brings up a great point on how he saves money by eating breakfast. I do the same. It's a very healthy habit to get into and can be one of the cheaper meals of the day.

My breakfast may not be the cheapest. There have been points in my life where I enjoyed a hearty bowl of Ramen noodles. That was fairly cheap. Cereal is another cheap option and can be more healthy - it has less sodium and it's possible to get some fiber and protein. However, I like a hot breakfast, so I've moved on from cereal.

I tasked myself with finding a new breakfast that is quick to prepare, at least arguably healthy, and hot. The solution is the old egg, lean deli ham, and cheese sandwich, but with a couple of twists. I hardboil a dozen eggs for the whole week on the weekend. Each morning I can grab a couple of eggs quickly. I take out the yolk of one of the eggs to give me an egg white to yolk ratio that I prefer. The bread of the sandwich isn't a typical roll or English muffin. I splurge on some high protein, low carb tortilla shells making either a taco/burrito-type. I then combine the tortilla, cheese, a slice of ham, and the egg on a plate and then put it in a microwave for 20-25 seconds. The total prep time might be 2 minutes and that's because it takes me a few seconds to open and close all the bags.

Economically, is it really that cheap? For the 5-day work week, I use about a dozen eggs ($1), half of a package of ham (1/3 of $4 at WalMart or $1.33), about 1/5th of a 24 cheese package (1/5 of $3.50 or .70), and a package of tortilla shells (usually about $2). Add it all up and it's just over $5 for the week. At a dollar a day, it gives me a very high protein, low fat, low carb delicious meal.

Last updated on October 27, 2006.

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6 Responses to “My Cheap and Healthy Breakfast”

  1. Jonathan says:

    For the absolute cheapest, I like to eat oatmeal. You can get it for really cheap in bulk at natural foods stores. It keeps you full for a long time.

    But usually, I just do bagels and cream cheese, or cereal :)

  2. My fiancee eats oatmeal with some apple pie spice. She swears by it. I don’t find it that appetizing, but to each their own.

  3. NLG says:

    Cheese slices? Processed cheese slices? I would upgrade to some nice aged cheddar ASAP :)

    The only problem with your meal is the lack of fibre (I have the unfortuante experience of being married to a dietician). You should add some spinach or whole grain tortillas to the mix.

    Personally I’m all about the granola and dried fruit in the morning.


  4. I really should upgrade the cheese, but it gets expensive quickly.

    I checked out the tortillas and they have 8 grams of fiber. Often the “low-carb”, high protein have a fair amount of fiber so that the carbs don’t count in Atkins’ diets. I don’t think it broke it out to soluable and insoluable, but it’s not bad. I also try to add a little Fibersure to my drink when I remember it.

    The granola and dried fruit is my snack food. I make up a pile of Trader Joe’s High Fiber Cerial with some Kashi GoLean, dried cranberries, almonds. I mix that with yogart just before eating and done. The beauty is that you can pick up everything at Trader Joe’s relatively cheaply.

  5. […] months ago, I wrote about a cheap, healthy, quick, hot breakfast that I had incorporated into my daily schedule. It was high on protein and fiber and low on carbs. […]

  6. Jen says:

    Actually, I have a solution for your cheese dilemma (gheesh, why can’t I spell that without spell-check!). Anyway, look around, and you should be able to find a block of medium cheddar for around $6! That ends up much cheaper than processed cheese.
    And, if you don’t mind a tiny bit of corn starch (be sure you have no corn allergnes), shred it and freeze it in one-cup portions. Put the cup of shredded cheese in a container/baggie, sprinkle just a tiny bit of corn starch in the bag, and shake it like crazy. This plumps-up the cheese and keeps it from sticking together. (Did you know that the average bag of shredded cheese contains cellulose = WOOD fiber?!! I like the corn starch alternative.)
    Yes, I get that it will no longer be a SLICE of cheese, but with it being shredded, it will melt very nicely. HTH!

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