It’s a favorite family breakfast item, but many struggle with the cost of buying instant oatmeal packages. And cooking regular oatmeal isn’t always possible, since it takes more time (not a luxury most mornings) and there’s more to clean after cooking porridge.
Well, there’s a cheaper way to enjoy instant oatmeal – making your own instant oatmeal blend – and that can save you a lot of money.
There’s two ways to make your own oatmeal and each has its own cost savings. Which you pick depends on how much time you want to spend making homemade instant oatmeal. I’ve chosen the quickest method (#2) and it works well for my small household, but the savings are the greatest with the first method.
1. Make Instant Oatmeal with Regular Oats (5 Minute or Quick)
This method will give you the best savings and you can choose to process a whole bag of regular oats at one time, or only a week’s worth of oatmeal. I’d recommend a small amount for your initial batch.
The grinding process is varied in order to obtain a blend of oats that are fine, medium and coarse. This combination will give you a nice blend that looks and cooks like the expensive prepackaged instant oatmeal varieties. Here are the steps:
- Grind about half of the 5 minute oats with a coffee grinder or food processor for a few seconds (fine grind).
- Grind about a quarter of the rest, half that time (medium).
- Do not grind the remaining quarter (coarse)
- Mix it altogether in a large bowl
- Portion 1/2 to 1 cup servings of the dry oat mix into small zip-type closure bags
- Add a teaspoon of brown sugar (optional)
- Add a dash cinnamon
- Close and seal the bags
You now have several home-packaged instant oatmeal bags that are ready to serve. To serve, as you would with store-bought instant oatmeal, add about the same amount of boiling water and stir. There’s no cooking required using boiled water from a kettle; simply stir.
You can also cook the oatmeal in the microwave 1 or 2 minutes; use slightly more water than the oatmeal portion. Top with sugar and/or milk as desired. Vary the amount of water to your desired oatmeal consistency.
2. Make Instant Oatmeal With 1-Minute Oats
This more refined 1-minute oat blend is more expensive than regular or quick oats, but it will save you lots of work making homemade instant oatmeal, because there’s no grinding required – it’s already the perfect ground. You can make it easy for the kids by bagging the dry oatmeal portions in ready-to-serve bags or just serve as needed from a resealable container. To serve:
- Measure 1/2 or 1 cup portions as needed, or prepackage ahead
- To serve, add the same amount of boiled water and stir; or add more water and cook in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes
- Add brown sugar and cinnamon (optional)
Add a Little Variety to Your Instant Oatmeal:
At the cost of prepackaged brands of instant oatmeal, making your own homemade instant oatmeal blend is quite a cost savings. And if you want to add variety to homemade instant oatmeal, consider these little touches:
- Add a little cooked apples or applesauce when serving
- Use maple or pancake syrup instead of sugar on top when serving
- Add 1 tablespoon of raisins to instant packages or when served
- Top with a little frozen fruit when served
Making your own instant oatmeal has another benefit – there’s absolutely no preservatives or additives and I have chosen not to include salt, though this is purely optional. For sugar restricted diets, you can use substitutes. And you can serve porridge with almond, soya or coconut milk for those on dairy restricted diets.
Always store oats in easy-to-reseal air-tight containers to protect it from moisture and critters.