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Make a tasty breakfast for less

Eating a balanced breakfast every morning can be challenging, especially when you are on a budget. Here are some tips and tasty breakfast ideas to try.

Planning your breakfast

For a balanced breakfast, choose foods from at least two of these food groups:

  • Whole grains: Whole-wheat bread, whole-grain cereal and oatmeal.
  • Fruits: Frozen, canned in water or natural juices, dried or seasonal fresh fruit.
  • Vegetables: Use up leftover veggies or choose fresh or frozen types.
  • Protein: Beans, lean meats, chicken, fish, tofu and eggs. Eggs are one of the most budget-friendly and nutrient-packed foods you can eat.
  • Dairy: Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt or cheese.
  • Oils: Add small amounts of better-for-you oils like olive or canola oil or soft (tub or squeeze) margarine.

Limit foods with saturated fat or Trans fat. These fats can increase your risk of heart disease.

  • Saturated fat is found in bacon, sausages and other fatty meats, butter, whole and reduced-fat milk or yogurt, most cheeses, cream and half-and-half, coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil.
  • Trans fat is found in stick margarine and other foods with "hydrogenated" oil as an ingredient.

Limit added sugars. Syrups, juice drinks, pastries, sugary cereals and breakfast bars are high in added sugars.

Stretch your dollars with these yummy breakfast ideas:

Fruit smoothie - about 99 cents per serving

Blend bananas, berries or other fruits with half cup fat-free or low-fat milk.

Food groups: Fruits and dairy

Vegetable omelet - about 32 cents per serving

Add leftover cooked veggies, like broccoli, spinach, green peppers and mushrooms to a two-egg omelet.

Food groups: Protein and vegetables

Oatmeal - about 52 cents per serving

Buy a large package of rolled oats instead of costly single-serve packages. Top cooked oatmeal with banana or apple slices, raisins or dried apricots. Or, add canned fruits packed in water or natural juices. Eating a portion of one cup cooked oats (half cup dry oats) controls calories and stretches your dollar.

Food groups: Whole grains and fruits

Cereal and milk - about $1.38 per serving

Choose a whole-grain cereal with fat-free or low-fat milk. Top with fresh, seasonal fruit.

Food groups: Whole grains, dairy and fruits

Breakfast bar - about $1.25 per serving

Purchase breakfast bars in bulk. Choose bars with whole grains and real fruit as ingredients. For a balanced breakfast, enjoy with a piece of fresh fruit or six ounces of fat-free yogurt.

Food groups: Whole grains and fruits or dairy

Yogurt and granola - about 69 cents per serving

Buy cups of fat-free yogurt on sale or purchase it in larger tubs. Mix six ounces (three-fourths cup) yogurt with about two tablespoons of granola. Low-fat, store-brand granola tends to be cheaper.

Food groups: Dairy and whole grains

Cottage cheese and fruit - about 87 cents per serving

Buy low-fat cottage cheese in a tub. Top half cup with fresh fruits like melon, pineapple or grapes. Or, add canned fruit, like peaches or pears, packed in water or natural juices.

Food groups: Dairy and fruits

Whole-grain pancakes or muffins - about 64 cents per serving

Save money by making your own pancakes or muffins. Choose recipes that use whole grains (like whole-wheat flour), fat-free or low-fat milk and healthy oils like canola. Serve with fruit.

Food groups: Whole grains and fruit