Save money by making your own instant hot cereal packages

Every time I start watching what I eat I realize I don’t have enough measuring cups and spoons. I’m not dieting, I’m watching my nutrition, and that means weighing and measuring everything that goes into my mouth.

Fast and easy Homemade Oatmeal Packets - portion control made easy

Fast and easy Homemade Oatmeal Packets – portion control made easy

Portion Control Made Easy

In the past attempts to improve the food I eat I’ve started off with passion; measuring and recording every morsel that passes these lips. But after some time I’d get tired of pulling out and measuring everything and so I’d start using my best judgment about the size of the serving I was eating. Turns out, that’s what got me in trouble. Now that I’m weighing and measuring again, I have a realistic look at fat, carbohydrates, and more.

To help get myself past the excuses and be more successful this time, I’ve decided to portion out some of my food. Breakfast for example is generally 1/2 cup of cereal (my current favorite is an organic multi-grain hot cereal that’s amazingly delicious – more than just oats, it also has Rye, Barely, and Wheat) and 1/8 cup of dried fruit (I used dried cranberries but you could also use apples, raisins, blueberries, etc).

It sounds simple, but pulling out the packages and the measuring cups can sometimes make me consider just pouring some cereal in a cup and calling it good. Instead, I’ve bought some waxed paper bags (I’m trying to go plastic free as much as possible) and I’ve portioned out enough cereal for the rest of the week.

This also gave me a chance to change up the ingredients – some days there are nuts instead of fruit. I could also change up the type of cereal, add brown sugar or another dry sweetener, etc. I also pop in a bit of cinnamon some days, nutmeg others, and some days I add a bit of vanilla extract to the water before I cook it. It’s never dull and boring!

Save Money

You will save money making your own instant oatmeal packages even with the cost of the wax paper bags. Buy in bulk and you’ll save over purchasing the individual sizes. Just be sure you  put your cereal in an air-tight container and use before the use-by date on the package.

Storing Homemade Instant Hot Cereal Packets

I wrapped up the new homemade instant hot cereal packets and stuffed them into an airtight jar. On the top of the jar I wrote the directions in liquid chalk so if someone else in the family uses them they’ll know how much water to add and how long to cook it.

Now I only have to do this once a week or so and clean-up is done in a minute. No searching for measuring spoons or cups and as quick as instant oatmeal! But even better, I control the ingredients so there are no preservatives and my breakfast with 1/2 cup fat free milk is 225 calories and is ready in 3 minutes!

It took me about 5 minutes to put together the week’s cereal, and I could have done many more days, but I need to go shopping. I can’t wait to do this with salad fixings and other things I use every day.

What food do you think this would work for in your home? Kids, hubby, yourself?