Money Matters

Cutting Back on Breakfast Costs

Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day, and it’s now also quickly becoming the most expensive. The avian flu is contributing to record-high egg prices, with increases of over 130 percent in parts of the country. Meanwhile, cereal has surged by 20 cents per pound, a significant rise that outpaces all grocery costs over the last five years.

Cereal and eggs are a big part of an American’s diet. In fact, 90 percent of U.S. consumers buy cereal and eat approximately 250 eggs each every year. Unfortunately, that means these price hikes will take a big bite out of a family’s already tight grocery budget.

To keep you and your family’s favorite breakfast food on the table without scrambling up your finances, review these savvy grocery shopping tips.

1. Buy in bulk.

Both eggs and cereals are better buys in bulk, depending on how quickly your family consumes them. You can save an average of 60% on popular cereal brands like Frosted Flakes, while premium brands like Kashi fetch savings of 25% compared to grocery stores. For those incredible eggs, a 24-pack of organic eggs from Costco costs about $6.99, compared to $4 to $5 for a dozen organic eggs from traditional grocery stores.

2. Stack savings.

Don’t settle for sales — save even more when you stack manufacturer’s coupons on top of store sales.

3. Compare prices.

Savvy shoppers know to compare prices between grocers before buying cereal, eggs and other food staples. However, make sure you extend your comparison to drugstores, too. Stores like Walgreen’s and CVS often have bargains in food.

4. Mix brand names with generic.

The bright colors and flashy cartoon characters leaping from cereal box labels are targeted at children. What’s more, top brands are positioned at a child’s eye level on grocery shelves, making this the most dreaded aisle for parents! These factors contribute to high costs for brand-name cereal, so try store brands instead for up to 50% savings.

5. Don’t be fooled by colors.

When it comes to nutritious food, the color white is increasingly linked to foods we shouldn’t eat – bread, flour, sugar – and some consumers even extend the bias to eggs. However, there is absolutely no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs. A different breed of hen lays brown eggs, are larger and require more feed compared to hens laying white eggs. As a result, brown eggs often cost 25% more compared to white eggs, and consumers just assume the cost difference has to do with more nutritional benefits from earth-toned eggs.

6. Swap boxes for bags.

Bagged cereal can cost $0.40 less per ounce compared to boxed cereal.

7. Make something new.

To reduce the cost of your grocery expense, consider swapping eggs and cereal for other breakfast options peanut or almond butter toast with sliced bananas and orange juice. Oatmeal is another great breakfast choice.


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