MADE FOR EACH OTHER
"Clean eating," the trend of consuming minimally processed foods, doesn't have to be expensive or difficult, especially first thing in the morning. With the proper pairings, it's possible to enjoy a delicious, healthy breakfast for just a few dollars a day.
BANANA AND NUT BUTTER
A banana with a spoonful of nut butter is a perfect on-the-go breakfast option. Throughout the year, banana prices usually remain under $1 each. A small banana contains protein (about 3 grams) and a whopping 12 percent of the fiber needed daily. While nut butters can get pricey, peanut and almond are two of the most affordable. Two tablespoons should be plenty, so a $3 to $6 jar lasts a while.
OATMEAL AND MAPLE SYRUP
A large, 42-ounce canister of oatmeal (just over $4 at Target) can feed about 30 people for just over 13 cents a serving. A tablespoon of maple syrup, which brings the total to less than $1 a serving, adds a touch of sweetness -- without all the sugar of instant oatmeal packets.
OATMEAL AND BANANA
Oatmeal can be topped with just about any food, but a banana makes one of the best cheap additions to this already hearty meal. What's even more convenient (and frugal) about banana oatmeal is that half a banana will suffice. The other half can be eaten with lunch or thrown in a smoothie.
BOILED EGGS, SLICED AVOCADO, AND CAYENNE PEPPER
Avocados can be served as a tasty and decadent side for boiled eggs or added to a smoothie. They typically sell for $1 to $2 each but are brimming with healthy fat and nutrients. A touch of cayenne pepper adds spice for just a few cents a serving.
SCRAMBLED EGGS AND GREEK YOGURT
What do you get when you mix eggs with Greek yogurt? A cheap breakfast packed with protein. One egg costs about 25 cents and has roughly 6 grams of protein. One tablespoon of Greek yogurt adds fluffiness and 5 grams of protein for about $1 an ounce.
GREEK YOGURT, HONEY, AND CINNAMON
While honey isn't exactly cheap, a 35-ounce jar can serve up to 47 people. At a price of less than $10 at Target, that amounts to just 21 cents a serving. Cinnamon is a cheap spice that combines with the honey to help perk up plain Greek yogurt.
ALMOND MILK, CINNAMON, AND MAPLE SYRUP SMOOTHIE
Some rave that these ingredients taste like a cinnamon roll in liquid form. When blended with ice, they come together to make a cheap, creamy smoothie. Almond milk has less fat than cow's milk and is generally cheaper, starting at about $2 for a 32-ounce carton. Maple syrup is the priciest ingredient in this smoothie, and only a tablespoon is needed to add flavor.
PEANUT BUTTER, BANANA, AND ALMOND MILK
Smoothie recipes often call for expensive ingredients, but just a few, cheap ingredients can be combined to make blended drinks that rival specialty-shop smoothies. Just toss together peanut butter, banana, and almond milk for a delicious smoothie in minutes.
ENGLISH MUFFIN AND HUMMUS
Hummus may be popular as an appetizer or snack, but in many parts of the Middle East, it's a standard breakfast food. Take a cue from the Mediterranean diet and add a spoonful or two of hummus to an English muffin for a quick, healthy breakfast. Prepackaged hummus will last through up to 10 single-serve breakfasts for less than $4. Homemade hummus can be prepared from scratch for about the same price. The main ingredients in hummus (chickpeas, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, and tahini) are available in supermarkets for less than $2 each.
TOMATO AND HERB OMELET
Parsley, cilantro, and basil give an omelet flavor plus an abundance of nutrients. Whole bunches of these herbs are usually about $2 and last for several weeks. Tomatoes, both the organic and non-organic varieties, are affordably priced throughout the year but especially cheap in the summer. Freshly sliced or chopped, they can give an omelet color for $2 a pound.
CINNAMON AND CREAM OF WHEAT
For a large family, punch up Cream of Wheat with a pinch of cinnamon and sugar to taste. The prepackaged porridge usually comes in 28-ounce boxes for $4, which makes up to 24 servings. The homemade variety requires milk and ground wheat. The latter isn't hard to find in the bulk bins for $1 to $2 a pound.