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Oatmeal, Cheap and Tasty

Rolled or Steel Cut – Organic oats from Whole Foods are $1.69 per pound. The rolled style are cut, then steamed before being rolled. These cook slightly quicker and have a creamier texture than the ones on the right that are just cut. Neither one of these has any resemblance to the  cardboard and sugar taste in a package of instant oatmeal. Both are far cheaper than any convenience food.

Organic oats from Whole Foods are everyday priced at less than 9 cents per ounce. A package of oatmeal on sale and in 30-package quantities can be as little as 30 cents per packet, which contains less than an ounce of oats, sugar and manufactured flavorings – 4 to 5 times the price of bulk organic any day of the week.

Read my toasted oatmeal recipe if you want some tips about how to make oatmeal, where I’ve added some ways to save time or fit the breakfast making into your schedule, so that you can see that making oatmeal from ‘scratch’ takes little more time than boiling water and ripping open the bag.  And much less time than making an extra stop at Target, after searching flyers and weekly specials, to nail the the best price.

I serve my warm cereal with the absolute finest Bulgarian Pro-biotic Yogurt, (White Mountain Bulgarian), the sweetest blueberries available in winter – Whole Foods 365 brand, frozen wild blueberries and organic milk. And my breakfast is still CHEAPER than packaged instant oats. Look at the breakdown, below: Cost of Packaged (Instant) vs. Home-made (Mine).


Ingredients in roughly equivalent quantities Instant (cents) Mine (cents)
Oats: 2 packets, 8/10th of an ounce at best (46 grams)

Organic steel cut oats: 8.7 cent per oz. (46 grams)

ORGANIC WINS: everyday price nearly 4x cheaper

65.6 14.28
White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt: 2 Tbs 11.53
Frozen Wild blueberries:   1/2 oz. 21.5
sugar and additives: .85 oz. in flavored packets; guar gum, salt, calcium carbonate, caramel coloring, Vitamin A palmate, reduced iron .4 oz. in traditional oats. non-dollar costs? none added; no total cost
Milk, 1/2 cup (reg for instant; organic for mine) 5.86 11.29
My breakfast with ORGANIC MILK is still CHEAPER 72 CENTS 59 CENTS

The argument for organic food is that it’s better for the environment. Everyone agrees. Everyone can also agree that organic is not worse for our bodies. The usual argument against organic food is that it is SO DARNED EXPENSIVE, but look PACKAGED OATMEAL is the bloated one. Shall we calculate this out for a family of 4, 6 or 8? The savings over a year’s time? Or a lifetime?

Someone is selling Americans, particularly the poor, the idea that they can’t afford good food. What they really can’t afford is processed food, the extra cost of which goes not to farmers but big companies.

Instead of just voting once every four years for the candidates I think might help improve the food supply in this county, I vote every time I go to the store. I vote for organics.

Just imagine how the price of organic food would come down if that was how everyone grew food.

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