This is the second part of a series covering my experience with food insecurity. For the introduction to this series, please click here.
We have all grown up hearing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Turns out the origin of that saying has more to do with lobbyists and politicians than it does health. That was both disappointing and not surprising to me all at the same time.
ALL meals are important in the food insecure household.
As adults, we can often go without eating breakfast. In fact, a lot of my mommy friends, from all socio-economical walks of life, routinely skip breakfast for themselves. It’s not a food insecure thing as much as it is an “Oh-my-God-is-that-the-time?” thing.
Kids, though. They are still growing and their metabolism is working overtime. They need breakfast. They need a filling breakfast. Cold cereal and milk seem to be the standard in a lot of households, in fact, I include it in my meal plans (when I remember to make one).
My kids can go through five boxes of cereal a week, though. Michael eats 2 large bowls in one sitting, Lina eats one large bowl, and Auggie usually dumps his on the floor, so he only gets little bowls. They eat so much of it because it’s not filling. It’s also not cheap, so it’s not offered every day. It’s a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday thing due to mine and hubby’s work schedule.
When every meal has to count, though, you can’t afford to waste that much money on a meal that they are going to burn through in just a matter of minutes. It needs to last until lunch, not until they can find a snack because, for some kids in the world, there might not be food for a snack.
Five boxes of cereal- 7.15*
2 gallons of 2% milk- 3.96*
Estimated week total: 11.11*
The Two Oats’ Survival List:
Quick Cooking Oats- 2.46*
Bananas 2 lbs- 1.06*
Estimated week total: 8.15*
That’s a savings of $2.96. May not seem like much but in survival mode, every little bit counts and the quality of food is just better. Mix it up: oatmeal and bananas, oatmeal and toast, oatmeal and eggs, eggs and toast, eggs and bananas.
You can also substitute pancake mix & syrup for the eggs or oatmeal. Eating the same thing every day/every week is not only boring but can be depressing too.
Hydration is also important. We always keep milk in the fridge for the kids to drink, kool-aid packets, and tea. We are fortunate enough to live in an area where the tap water is safe to drink and we drink it often. But we do add kool-aid for the kids and sweet tea for us, for variety.
Always shop sales and clearance racks too. I once got 20 boxes of rice cereal from a Family Dollar for $1 each.
Tomorrow we will tackle lunch and snacks.
*all prices are based on a nearby Walmart via their website using the Great Value brand. Our local stores have dropped their prices to compete with an Aldi that just opened. I elected to go with a nearby store, instead, to better reflect prices.
Prices will vary as will store availability. Food deserts play a huge factor in food insecurity.