Budget Friendly Overnight Oatmeal

By ERIN TURNER

My mother taught me the importance of a good, healthy and filling breakfast every morning.  It helps kick your brain and body into gear giving you energy and alertness throughout the day.   Those days when I don’t listen to my mother’s advice and skip breakfast, I usually pay for it.  By noon, I sometimes have a headache and then I am so famished that I eat everything in sight.  Not to mention the lack of mental clarity and physical energy.

So, now as a mother myself, I am loyal about serving big breakfasts to my boys before they leave for school.  Rarely do they get cereal during the week, I usually reserve cereal for Saturday mornings when they can serve themselves and are all getting up at different times.  But during the week, my growing boys feast on eggs, bacon, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, veggie hash browns, smoothies and whatever else my husband and I create for them.

Budget Friendly Overnight Oatmeal. Erin Turner. Missoula, MT

I am always searching for fun, healthy and mind-boosting breakfast foods so when a friend mentioned a no-cook oatmeal breakfast which she and her husband eat almost everyday and fill with various fruits, nuts and seeds I inquired further.  She gave the basics and directed me to a few websites.  When I searched for “Overnight Oatmeal” on Pinterest, I was overwhelmed with the world of possibilities.  So many flavors and variations.  I fell in love!

With kiddos who love oatmeal, I figured this would be a great adaptation.  After serving it today, it definitely has potential for being at the top of the boys’ breakfast list (although, farm fresh eggs and our own bacon is tough to beat).  What I liked about this breakfast of oatmeal, yogurt, milk and other add-ins was the ease of preparation for me.  I made it the night before and popped it in the refrigerator.  So, in the morning I just pulled them out and put a spoon in the jar.

Being budget friendly makes this breakfast a huge winner in my book as well.  Whole oats are pennies per serving and the other ingredients can be found on sale regularly.  Don’t forget to look for coupons for yogurt which would make this breakfast even cheaper!

Here is how I made 5 Overnight Oatmeals in Mason jars or whatever container/bowl you have:

In each ½ pint jar place the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt (any flavor)
  • 1/3 cup milk (almond or coconut milk would work too)
  • 1/4 cup of whole, rolled oats

Budget Friendly Overnight Oatmeal. Erin Turner. Missoula, MT1

The above is the basic recipe for all Overnight Oatmeals.  Now here is where you can get creative……this is what I added but you can change it up to your preferences!

  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Honey or Maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds

Add all the ingredients to the jar, put lid on tightly and shake well until everything is blended.  Then put in refrigerator overnight.   In the morning, you can add fresh berries or other toppings and serve!

Budget Friendly Overnight Oatmeal. Erin Turner. Missoula, MT2The texture will surprise you.  It has the thickness of oatmeal but the smoothness of yogurt.  And we discovered that it fills you up…this little ½ pint jar will keep your “gas tank” full for a longtime.

I am anxious to create some other flavors in the next couple of weeks.  This recipe will be so fun this summer with all the local fresh fruit….can you imagine fresh raspberries or Flathead cherries in this?  Or peaches?  Oh wow!  And come fall, I’m thinking chopped apples and cinnamon will be sooo good!

This is a super breakfast with lots of variations which should appeal to all people.  For runners, this would be a great pre-run snack giving you lots of energy without feeling like a rock in your gut!  For those of you who don’t like or don’t have time to fix breakfast, this is perfect for you.  And if you’re a parent of students who will be heading into spring testing at school, you can offer your kiddos a huge mental advantage by serving this powerhouse breakfast!

Here are some links to different websites for various ideas and recipes:

Easy Refrigerator Oatmeal Recipes

Mango Overnight Oatmeal Parfait and other Recipes

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 Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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