Instant oatmeal packets are like a staple of many household’s breakfast routines. But many people (unless your kids are about 6 or under) end up eating two packets at a time, since the serving sizes are pretty small. But at two packets a day, and especially when you are multiplying by multiple family members, can add up to a budgeting disaster, and with this economy, the last thing you want to do is waste money!
Here are some tricks you can do to make those packets stretch – or do away with them altogether – when your family loves them so much!
Buy in bulk
The first key is to buy your Quaker (or whichever brand you prefer) instant oatmeal packs in the larger quantity sizes. You will save a lot more money when you buy the boxes of 50+ packets than when you are buying the small boxes of only 8 packets at a time.
Supplement with Quaker Quick Oats
You can buy large backs of Quaker Quick Oats, which are the exact same oats used in Quaker’s Instant Oatmeal packs. For every packet, add the same amount of plain Quaker Quick Oats to the bowl, and you now have double the amount of oatmeal, but are only use one of the expensive oatmeal packets. And as a bonus, you are also reducing the amount of sugar the family is eating in your oatmeal, since there is only half the amount there would be if you were using two packets of instant instead.
Add extra “stuff”
If your kids complain about not having as many raisins or apple pieces, simple add some of your own from the pantry. The raisins are exactly the same (except for all that added sugar powder on them) or chop up dried apple slices into small pieces and toss into the oatmeal before cooking. You can use any kind of dried fruit, just cut the pieces up small enough so they will cook.
Skip the instant oatmeal packets all together
You don’t actually have to use the packets at all. Use Quaker Quick Oats, or your preferred brand of quick cooking oats and make your own oatmeal packets. Doing it this way you can double the portion size for family members as needed, and you can ensure what you include in the oatmeal is healthier. Experiment with different types of dried fruit to make your own creative oatmeal blends. If your grocery store doesn’t have a wide variety of dried fruit, check out your local health food store, which will also have more unusual dried fruit such as cantaloupe, mango and pineapple. Just remember to chop them in very small pieces so they have time to rehydrate in the microwave.
Keep your eye out for coupons to cut your costs on oatmeal. We have some Quaker coupons (both for quick oats and for instant oatmeal packets) right now in our coupon section, on a first come, first served basis.