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In this issue: Back to School Tips and Savings
Q:

How do you get your kids back into the routine of eating a thrifty but healthy breakfast as school starts?

A:

Tip #1 from Elena in Ann Arbor, MI

Buying school lunches can be really expensive, and so can throwing away breakfasts that the twins don’t eat. Last year, our nine-year-old twins started making their own breakfasts and lunches during the week. We made a list of the food groups they needed to have in each meal. Then, we grouped their favorites according to food group. "No, Virginia, strawberry jam is not fruit. Yes, Cheerios is a whole grain cereal even though Grandma gave it to you as a treat when you were little!" We don't have to pay for school lunches anymore, my mornings are much calmer, and there are no more complaints about what is in their lunches - because they packed it themselves!

Tip #2 from Mia in Evanston, IL

We need a frugal, fast breakfast in the morning that my son will eat. I always cruise the sales and double them up with coupons so I don’t have to skimp, but I save money. If I find his favorite cereals for a deal, I’ll stock up quite a bit. My son eats Cheerios cereal, with a little Reese’s Puffs sprinkled on top. Keeping it stocked up from sales also means there’s always some in the cupboard when I need it.

Tip #3 from Su in Los Angeles, CA

Here's a frugal treat kids love, because they can make it themselves!
Honey Nut Cheerios, Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
Set out ingredients:

Honey Nut Cheerios
In-season fruit (I always buy fruit in-season to save on the grocery bill - it always tastes better, too)
Vanilla yogurt (creamy ones like Yoplait tastes best)
Honey (a squeezable Honey Bear works best)

Let the kids drop a tablespoon of Honey Nut Cheerios into the bottom of a parfait glass or sturdy tulip glass, then drop a spoonful of vanilla yogurt on top, followed by a layer of fruit, then more cereal, followed by more yogurt and fruit. Sprinkle Honey Nut Cheerios on top, and drizzle with honey. Voila! A wholesome, quick breakfast that the kids have fun making and will enjoy eating!

Tip #4 from Sarah in Iowa City, IA

Especially in the summer, I lose money to waste as fruit ripens faster than my family can eat it. Wanting to get the most out of my grocery dollar, I started peeling turning-brown bananas and put about half a banana into each sealable plastic baggie along with strawberries, peaches, or other fruit that were starting to get too soft, then put the baggie into the freezer. I make about ten bags at a time. When the kids need a quick and healthy breakfast, I pull out a smoothie-baggie, add low-fat vanilla yogurt (I usually buy large bulk yogurt on sale), half a cup of low-fat milk, and sprinkle it with their favorite cereal like Kix or Cocoa Puffs for crunch, added nutrition, and fun. Voila! Instant smoothie.

Editor's Picks: Back to School

With school coming, a healthy breakfast is even more important! Studies show that kids who eat breakfast tend to do better in school and have fewer disciplinary problems. Here are some ideas that won’t break the bank:

OTHER QUICK, INEXPENSIVE IDEAS

Plan ahead
Bars are wonderful on-the-go breakfasts you can prepare ahead of time, and can stretch your grocery budget. For recipes, click here.


Quick lunch bag treats
Instead of candy bar, slip in a wholesome but tasty granola bar or fruit snack.

Previous Issues

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August, 2008

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December, 2008

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