Tips for saving money on breakfast cereal as suggested by the ThriftyFun community.
Buy 1 cheaper unsweetened cereal and mix with one presweetened cereal for less sugar and less money.
You can't go wrong with generic brand unsweetened oatmeal for a good cheap breakfast. Add sweeteners to taste.
I like to eat raw (uncooked) oatmeal with milk and fruit. I like it much better than the cooked stuff. I've learned that many Germans eat oatmeal this way too. Very cheap breakfast and nutritious.
I buy generic and also use coupons and I go to 3-4 grocery stores and not to do all my shopping when we are out of money and stuff. We go to Amelia's and when I am at Wal-Mart, I might pick up some stuff (some stuff is cheap some are not) go to Boyers and check out the meats they have a buy 5 packs of meats with red stickers for 19.99 and then Redners. I check the newspaper (Sunday) and see who has a great deal. My mom got my hubby the paper 7 days a week for Christmas and he loves it. Especially the sports section and I like the comics. The paper is for the Boyers and the Redners stores.
We always buy Millville Quick Oats and Millville Bran Flakes at Aldi's. There's no difference in the taste of either compared to the name brand cereals.
If there is a "bent and dent" or salvage grocery nearby, check there for deals on cereal (and everything else). I often buy name brand cereals for $1.25 per box which would have cost at least $3 or $4 in the regular grocery. Some might be out of date, but even with cereals several months out of date, I have never gotten a stale box. The stuff seems to keep veritably forever if it is still sealed. Also, cereals with certain prizes or advertisements related to a movie release (for example, a box of Captain Crunch with a Shrek 3 movie ticket offer) are often pulled off the shelf of regular groceries as soon as the movie has left theaters, and are sent to salvage groceries.
This doesn't just go for cereals. There are more deals to be found at bent and dent stores than I can mention! I can't imagine NOT shopping at these places! I just got 4 large Old El Paso soft chicken taco dinner kits for 50 cents each, 24 rolls of Scott tissue for $8.99, Country Time lemonade drink mix for 99 cents, McCormick Turkey Rub for 79 cents, etcetera.
I would be careful of the "bent & dent" store cereal. I tried to be frugal and bought too much cereal ahead of time and it first got WORMS then the worms hatched into MOTHStry cutting pre-sweetened cereal with sugarless cereal. It is normally sweet enough for 10 kids instead of just 1! Add some fiber grains to the pre-sweetened or other plain brands.
Have you ever made your own healthy granola? Simply take a large mixing bowl and add regular oatmeal and other seeds, nuts, and dried fruit. Next mix together a tiny bit of quality oil, honey and a teaspoon of real vanilla, then pour this honey and oil mixture into the oatmeal mixture and stir it well until everything is coated. Next, spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet (about an inch high) and toast in a low 250 - 300 degree F oven for an hour or so until the mixture is golden brown and toastie then removes it from the oven to cool. But before the mixture has totally cooled, be sure to stir it so it breaks up into little bite-sized chunks. After it's totally cooled, store this granola in a tight-fitting Tupperware type of container.
Here's some of the tasty ingredients you can add. Choose the ones you like best:
Oatmeal, flax seeds, oat or wheat bran, sesame, sunflower or flax seeds, raisins, coconut, dried cranberries, dried apples cut into tiny pieces, and don't forget cinnamon.
Mix together any kind of grains, nuts, and fruit, you'll soon come up with your family's favorite recipe for homemade granola and, believe me, this is one treat you'll want to eat again and again. I like to add a dollop of vanilla yogurt on mine.
Quite some time ago, when I first noticed the price of cereal going up, I set a personal dollar limit I would pay for any box of cereal, no matter whether it's on sale or not! My limit is $2.00.
It may sound nearly impossible to accomplish this, but it's really rather simple if you know where to look and what to look for. First, I only buy generic, unless we happen to really like a name-brand product and it is on sale for under $2.00. Which it is seldom worth it to us to pay even a few cents more when the generic is almost always cheaper - even if the name-brand is on sale! And, to us, there's really no difference in quality or taste.
The next thing is, where to shop. I usually do all our grocery shopping at Aldi, so the $ limit on cereal works out perfect, and (again) the quality is excellent or your money back (store policy!). I've also found the dollar stores to have acceptable cereal, but in smaller boxes. It's only a dollar, though! The last store is Gabriel Brothers.
Cereal is always cheapest at Aldi and it tastes just as good as name brand. In my area, it is $1.79 a box. The cheapest sale name brand is usually $1.89.
When my kids got old enough to read, they always wanted the name brand cereal. A lot of times I'd buy generic and put it in the name brand box. Do I feel guilty? No, I saved money to be used for something else. They were teens before I told them the truth. Hey, it ain't the first one I ever told them: the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy-etc., etc.
Sharon in KY, I'm also from KY and when my son was a little boy he loved Kraft Shells and cheese and refused to eat anything homemade. My solution was that I bought one box of the shells and cheese and when I prepared it, I kept the box up high in the cabinet and every time I made shells and cheese for him after that I would just pull that box down and set it on the counter as I was cooking. He always ate it and loved it. I didn't tell him until he was grown what I had done. Sometimes you have to be sneaky to get kids to eat nourishing food. This was just one of the many things I did and do not regret telling those "little white lies". I love this website and appreciate all the great hints and advice I get here!
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When you buy the box of cereal at the store, keep it fresh and prevent bugs from getting in your cereal by storing the cereal in a Tupperware cereal container.
I'm surprised no one mentioned coupons. They are definitely harder to find now...they used to be in the Sunday paper almost every weekend! Now, when they do have them, I ask friends and family if they don't use theirs, and I will buy extra copies of the paper if there are also other coupons that I want more of. Then, I save them for the store around here that doubles coupons up to $1.00. It's even better if they are running a deal like "Buy $20 of Brand X cereal, get $5 to use on your next order." When I combine that with the doubled coupons, I can get brand name cereal for sometimes less than $1 per box! I go back several times that week to take advantage of the deals. We eat tons of cold cereal in our house, so we never need to worry about bugs/worms/etc. Yuck! I never knew that was possible until reading some of the other comments!
I go to Sav-A-Lot stores.I usually pay half there,than in the regular stores.
But,putting generic foods in the name brand containers,doesn't always work. Believe me,I know.
When my kids were little,I tried putting a cheaper brand,into Miracle Whip jar,and Jif Peanut Butter jars,but all three kids,knew it was not what they were used to.Of the mayonnaise,I had to end up throwing it out. I gave the PB to my sister-in-law.
My oldest daughter,still won't drink anything,except Pepsi.Weezy
I do like the idea of unsweetened and sweetened mixed together and may be doing that here very soon with the kids whether they like it or not..
Eat it or starve!
Unfortunately for us cereal runs about 4.00 to 6.00 a generic bag here.. in Maine. In our area stores. Even Walmart. And how I wish we had a bang and dent store, we had one in Utah and I miss it immensely!
Oh well part of moving to another state!
Back West has cheaper stuff all in all, in my opinion.
Here in Maine we are expensive, and I like that recipe for making granola cereal, I will be doing that this week too! Saving this email for those two ideas...thanks for the tips.
All mothers must have used the trick of putting generic food items into brand name containers because I did it, too.
I like the idea of using uncooked oatmeal as cold cereal..think I'll try that since I love oatmeal.
you can get coupons at the cerals web sites and print out or get on there mailing list to recieve them via email or usps mail. our flea market has a few venders who sell name brand cereal at a dollar per box so i get 10 to 15 boxes. i always check the dates for freshness first. then bring them home cut off the part of the box that tells the nutrition ifo and name tape it to the bag and put all of them in the freezer to kill any germs that might of made its way into the box but not the sealed bag and keep it in there for up to 2-3 weeks just pull out the bags we plan to eat from.
talking about swaping the boxes so kids think its name brand that made me remember when my mom did that with the cows milk we bought from neighbors years ago. i would not drink it knowing it was not store bought. she saved a store jug washed it and put the milk in it and i never knew until years later she did that. and it taste the same too.
here are some coupons
We now shop at Sav-A-lot food stores. Their cereal and many other items are less than the other stores around here. I check all the sales and we have saved money.
start your kids on the no-name, discount brands when they are young...i.e. since when they are babies and you wouldn't have a problem with the brands.
something a friend of mine does with her older kids is she will "give" a set amount - say $2 a box...if her kids want something else, they pay the difference. She does it for everything ~ snacks, eating out, clothes, etc and it relly teaches her kids the meaning of a dollar and money management. they treat the money different when it is theirs.
I like the expensive Kashi brand. Get it at either Walgreens or CVS on special @ $2.00 ea. Thats more
than half the regular price. Big Lots has it sometimes at
big savings, as well as the popular brands. Evie
If you have too much oats, rice, bran in fact anything that may develop weevils, grubs or moths store it in the freezer. I also store flour, breadcrumbs and gravy mix in the freezer.
I ended up saving hundreds a year on cold cereals... I quit buying them. We were eating more cereal for snacks than we were for breakfast. So, my kids now have toast, bagels, eggs, or oatmeal for breakfast. I used to spend approx $15 every two weeks. That is $375 a year. Yes, we are spending more money on bread, bagels, jelly, etc, and it may or may not have evened out. But I feel that my kids are getting a healthier breakfast than they would with just cold cereal.
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