Y'all. Y'ALL. I am SO sorry for my recent absence/lack of posts/general laziness. Early last week, I woke up feeling great, ready to go meet my Mom for lunch, and that afternoon, was hit with THE most godawful stomach bug. Yep, norovirus. It downed me for 4 days, and, for several days afterwards, I was stuck on the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce & Toast) per doctor's orders. Needless to say, I was NOT feeling up to blogging/cooking/doing much of anything besides sipping Gatorade.
I'm better now, though, and I've got a bunch of posts planned out. Being sick and unable to really eat anything will make your mind race and think about all kinds of food! For instance, I eat a LOT of instant oatmeal. Oatmeal is healthy, can be prepared quickly, and I can take the little packs anywhere I go - all I need is a microwave or a hot water dispenser! Lately, I've gotten to where I like to eat oatmeal before going running, so I've been going through a LOT of oatmeal packs.
Well, apparently, I've been wasting a TON of money buying little instant oatmeal packs. At our local Winn-Dixie, a 10-count box of Quaker Instant Oatmeal packs costs $3.99. Granted, I could save a little bit of money and buy the Winn-Dixie brand, for $2.99. This comes out to about $0.30 - $0.40 per pack!
However, a GIANT canister of quick/instant oats costs only $5.29 for Quaker, or $3.59 for the Winn-Dixie brand. And I can get 30 servings of instant oatmeal out of that can, for only $0.12 per packet. Once I factor in the flavorings I like to add, it's right at $0.20 per pack - WAY cheaper than what I was paying! I didn't factor in the cost of the bags, since I buy them at Sam's and pretty much always have a ton of them. Honestly, if I bought the ingredients somewhere like ALDI, I'd probably save even MORE money!
I like the brown sugar & cinnamon flavor, so that's what I've used here. However, you can easily customize your oatmeal with things like dried fruit, nuts, or even bacon bits!
DIY Instant Oatmeal
adapted from Amy Loves Her Life
1 42oz container quick-cooking oats ($3.59)
Light brown sugar ($1.19 for a 16oz box)
Ground cinnamon ($1.69 for 2oz)
Combine 1/2 cup of the oats with 2 Tbsp of brown sugar and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. Place in a Ziploc bag. For smaller portions (for instance, if you have kids), just do 1/4 cup oatmeal, 1 Tbsp brown sugar and 1/8 tsp cinnamon.
To cook the oatmeal, dump the bag out into a bowl, add about 3/4 - 1 cup of boiling water, and let sit 3-4 minutes. Or, you can add water (or milk!), stir, and microwave for 2-3 minutes.