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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Dried Cereals

Frugal Kitchens 101

Dried cereals are a big part of breakfast for many families.  Despite raising a larger family dried cereals never did and still do not play much of a role in our food choices.  Aside of the occasional box of dried cereal destined for squares, cookies, snack mix or muffins I seldom have dried cereal in the house.  Part of the reason for this is I really do no see dried cereals as being a frugal choice of food.  This week's Frugal Kitchens 101 will explore a few issues with dried cereals and how you can save if you still want to use dried cereals.

Dried cereals are one of the most heavily processed foods you can buy.  Many are so heavily laden with sugar they really should be declared a candy!  Some dried cereals especially one famous brand for helping you lose weight actually has high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in it.  In additional to the horrendous amount and type of sweeteners in some dried cereals there are artificial flavours, artificial colourants and preservatives.  Dried cereals are also expensive giving very little food value for the dollar.  So that is the bad side of dried cereals.  On the plus side some dried cereals are quite good.  They are low in sugar, don't have HFCS, artificial anything or preservatives but those tend to be on the higher end with respect to cost and may be limited as to availability.

Now you know the pros and cons of dried cereal, how can you save money if you decide to buy dried cereal?  Here's a few tips:

  • avoid any cereal with a prize - I'm sorry you are just paying for whatever prize they stuffed in the box just to get you to buy the cereal.  Chances are very good neither is worth having.
  • generic cereal - Most grocery stores carry 4 generic cereals: corn flakes, puffed rice, puffed wheat and o shaped cereal.  These are every bit as good as the brand name and they are cheaper because the come in a bag rather than a box. 
  • bulk food stores - Bulk food stores usually have a limited range of dried cereals and some of them may even be brand name.  You save because the cereal is not boxed.
  • factory outlets -  Many factories have small factory outlets where their products are sold at a greatly discounted rate.  These stores are on premises so may be a bit out of your way.  The product will be the same as sold in the stores but there may be a flaw in printing on the package or the product will be bagged but not boxed or it will be in a bulk size box.  Check for food factory outlets in your area and areas you may be visiting.

2 food lovers commented:

Mary said...

So glad you found me! I am addicted to cereal, as I rarely have bread in the house. I eat it most mornings, but do buy no sugar varieties, sometimes the pricey ones. I do eat some cooked cereal, but I'm curious now what you eat for breakfast?

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Mary and thanks for visiting. If we are away from home or on Sunday mornings we enjoy a hot breakfast, usually bacon and eggs but quite often get creative. During the week it's usually homemade bagels with cream cheese, yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit, homemade granola or breakfast bars. Yogurt and fruit is the favourite choice.