Who doesn’t want to save money? In today’s economy we all need to be as careful as we can with our funds. Does what we buy truly reflect our values and priorities, or do we buy stuff out of habit?  Transitioning to a vegan diet back in 2005 has saved us lots of money. Full stop. It also saved our health, saved our waistlines from expanding, saved animals’ lives, and help saved the environment because of the negative effects of animal agriculture on climate change. But let’s talk about money.

Popular SAD (Standard American Diet) breakfast foods include easy to grab and go yogurt with some sort of store bought individually wrapped bar, more traditional scrambled eggs; biscuits and gravy; bacon; cold pizza (a personal plant based fav!); doughnuts; pancakes, cold cereal, fruit juice; and bagels with cream cheese. In today’s world, we have to add some new terms: Easy. Portable, Grab and Go. This is a new normal for many busy families. Eating on the run is now part of life. We can still do that and save money.

Breakfast in a healthy vegan lifestyle is crucial; I’m hungry when I wake up and love to eat a huge bowl of hot oatmeal. We buy oatmeal in bulk and cook up several days’ worth at a time. In the morning, I pop a serving into the microwave with a splash of non-dairy milk, and enjoy. Instead of eating it in a bowl, with my husband and talking about our day, I could cook the oatmeal in a muffin tin and ‘grab and go’ with my breakfast. Add sliced apples or oranges in a zip lock bag, and lots of good, hot, black coffee and I’m good to go. Muffin size “meals” are an awesome way to eat on the run.

Cost of organic steel cut oatmeal in bulk costs approximately $4.00 per pound. One pound equals 5 cups. At four servings per cup, or 20 servings per pound, that equals $.20 per serving. Oh my! Even if you ate two serving sizes at once, that would be only $.40 per serving. AND you get all that fabulous fiber, vitamins, phytochemicals, and over all good nutrition.

Box cereal ranges in price from $3.00 to $6.00 per box of less than one pound of cereal. Instant oatmeal, which has all the good fiber and nutrition stripped away, costs about the same as cold cereal and is loaded with added sugar, chemicals, and excess packaging.  More money for an inferior product, that doesn’t make sense to me, you?

Traditional SAD (Standard American Diet) breakfast foods like eggs cost about $3.00 per dozen. Most people eat at least 2 at a time, so that is $.50 per serving with added oil or butter if you scramble or fry them (and all the other stuff you eat along side the eggs).  What do you get for that? Well, contributing to the horrific egg industry and tortuous treatment of chickens as well as animal based protein known for unhealthy outcomes like increased cholesterol. You also get exposure to excess antibiotics and egg-borne diseases such as E. Coli and Salmonella. No thanks.

Cereal bars range in cost but appear to be about $. 50 each. Individual cups of yogurt also cost about $ .50 each. Each has surprisingly large amounts of added sugar, excess wrapping, and typically a lot of chemicals and ingredients you cannot pronounce. A bar and a yogurt cost about a buck a day. Again, more money and packaging for an inferior product.

Same with bagels and cream cheese. Bagels costs about $ .65 each at the grocery store while at a coffee shop they cost closer to $2 – $3.00 each. Bagels are empty calories without vitamins, minerals, and fiber; they have added sugar and excess sodium. Add toppings like cream cheese, butter, eggs, and/or bacon and – oh dear – there goes both heard earned cash and robust health!

Back to home cooked oatmeal. Let’s call it good at $ .50 per day for a super-sized large serving, cooked with bit of non-dairy milk and fruit. Not only are you saving money at o’dark thirty without even thinking about it, you are adding fabulous fiber to your system, and you are eating overall amazing tasty inexpensive heart healthy goodness in every bite! Think of oatmeal as a super food.

Our super-easy, healthy, whole food, plant based oatmeal recipe: 2 cups steel cut oatmeal, 2 cups water, 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk, chopped apple, cinnamon. Mix in large covered casserole dish. Bake one hour at 350 degrees.  Seriously, how hard is that?

Session #7 outlines other costs saving tips which include: an organized shopping list; eating a healthy snack before shopping for food; buying food in bulk (more oatmeal!); stocking basic ingredients, minimizing faux cheeses and meats; loading up on items on sale; shopping once a week; buying dried beans vs cans; cooking in large quantities; and buying less processed and more whole foods.

Ask yourself: What are the costs of not eating a healthy vegan diet? Why not save money. Save your health. Save animals’ lives. Save our environment. Take the risk of feeling fabulous!

 Helpful links and resources:

Consumer Spending Habits

What does America have for breakfast?

America’s Top 10 Breakfast Foods

The easy way to make Steel Cut Oats