Quick and simple breakfast ideas! This list of cheap breakfast food ideas offers lots of options for the most important meal of the day.
When it comes to planning out meals, most of us just think about dinner.
Then we get stuck in a rut with breakfast…or worse, skip it all together!
I put together a list of quick, simple, and cheap breakfast ideas, so you can change up your morning routine and have some tasty options that come together fast.
These breakfast foods are perfect for busy workday or school mornings, lazy weekend mornings, and everything in between.
Let’s check ‘em out!
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21 Quick & Cheap Breakfast Ideas
Oats are SUPER good for you. Plus they make a very affordable breakfast! They’re a gluten-free whole grain, and contain fiber that helps keep you full.
In addition to the traditional warm bowl of oatmeal, you can make overnight oats so they’re ready for you in the morning.
Or have granola bars or breakfast cookies made from oats to switch things up.
Feeding a crowd?
Set out an ‘oatmeal bar’ where you keep oatmeal warm in a slow cooker, and put oat toppings, such as:
- Fresh fruit: Berries, banana, diced apple
- Brown sugar
- Peanut butter
- Maple syrup
- Nuts: Almonds, pecans, walnuts
- Seeds: Chia or pumpkin
- Dried fruit: Raisins, cranberries, cherries
- Shredded coconut
- Chocolate chips
2. English muffin
English muffins come in several varieties, such as sourdough, whole wheat, multi-grain, cinnamon raisin, and original.
They’re usually quite inexpensive if you buy the generic brand, or shop at a store like Aldi. (My Aldi sells six of them for 99 cents!)
You can make them into a breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese, and sausage or ham if you want.
Or simply top them with butter and jam, or peanut butter and apple butter or banana.
Quick tip: English muffins also make a quick and inexpensive homemade pizza for dinner! Just top with sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings and bake in the oven.
You can buy frozen waffles (they sell some really healthy ones, actually!) or make your own.
If you want to make them fresh each morning, you could make the batter in advance and have it ready to go in the fridge.
Or cook up a big batch on the weekend to heat and eat each day.
This waffle maker is perfect if you don’t want waffles as big as your head.
Waffles are quite versatile, and great topped with fruit, jam, butter, maple syrup, nut butter, or nutella.
We can’t talk about breakfast and not mention toast!
It can be topped with everything from avocado to your favorite jam, nut butter, and fruit.
Similar to oatmeal, it’s a great candidate for a ‘toast bar’ if you’re feeding a big family.
You can whip up a big batch of toast right in the oven by place bread slices on baking sheets and putting them in a 350℉ oven for about 10 minutes, flipping each slice halfway through.
Then set out a variety of topping for people to choose from.
If you like yogurt, a parfait is a fun way to jazz it up!
Layer your favorite yogurt in a glass with granola and fruit. If you’re making them in advance, don’t add the granola until you’re ready to eat.
You can buy parfaits pre-made at many grocery stores, but it’s definitely cheaper to make your own.
6. Slow cooker bake
Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to breakfast already made?
That’s totally possible when you use your slow cooker!
Before you go to bed at night, just put all the ingredients into your Crockpot. In the morning, wake up to the delicious scent of a hot breakfast.
Most overnight breakfast casseroles include ingredients like sausage, hashbrowns, eggs, and cheese. Here’s a great overnight casserole recipe for inspiration!
7. Breakfast casserole
If you don’t want your casserole to cook overnight, you can stick it in the oven when you wake up.
Many casseroles can be prepped the night before, so all you have to do is stick it in the oven in the morning.
They also make really cheap brunch ideas when you want to host brunch for a crowd on a budget.
8. Breakfast burritos
Scrambled eggs, combined with cheese, veggies, and meat like sausage, ham, bacon, or chorizo are a delicious filling for breakfast burritos.
You can make them ahead of time and keep them in the freezer for busy mornings.
Or switch it up and make breakfast tacos or quesadillas instead!
9. Muffins or quick bread
If your family prefers lighter, sweeter food in the morning, whip up a batch of muffins for the week.
Muffin batter can also be turned into quick bread if you want to change things up. Just lower the oven temperature, and bake for longer.
When you want a really simple breakfast menu, muffins are definitely the way to go!
10. Breakfast sandwiches
English muffins, bagels, or toast are all great vehicles for breakfast sandwiches.
Fill them with scrambled eggs, cheese, and ham, bacon, or a sausage patty.
You can use an actual breakfast sandwich maker to make one fresh and hot.
Or make up a big batch and stick them in the freezer to reheat throughout the week.
Pancakes are almost always a crowd pleaser!
And they don’t have to be saved just for weekends, either.
Pre-make the batter and keep it in the fridge if you want to quickly whip up pancakes each morning. Or cook up a ton of pancakes in one day, and keep them in the fridge or freezer.
Quick tip: If making ahead, place small sheets of wax paper between each pancake so they don’t stick together.
To make life really easy, most stores carry pre-cooked pancakes in the frozen section that you can just microwave.
And here are a couple fun alternatives to traditional pancakes:
12. Homemade granola bars
Making your own granola bars is MUCH cheaper than buying them at the grocery store.
And they’re not as hard as you’d think!
I like this versatile, no-bake recipe that you can customize to your tastes.
Or try these fun, baked oatmeal cups, or energy bites to switch things up.
13. Egg bites
Egg bites are sort of like an omelette, but muffin-shaped. They’re really easy to make in advance to keep in the fridge or freezer.
Best of all, they’re packed with protein, customizable to your tastes, and super delicious.
Just whip about 10 eggs with salt and pepper, then add in cubed ham or cooked ground sausage and your favorite veggies.
Pour the mixture into a muffin tin, and bake for 16-18 minutes at 400℉.
14. Smoothie or smoothie bowl
A smoothie is a great way to have a healthy, filling breakfast on the go.
You can make it extra filling by using protein powder or greek yogurt, or simply combine fruit with milk or juice for a lighter option.
A fun alternative to drinking a smoothie is to make a smoothie bowl.
You blend together some of the ingredients, but then top it with unblended ingredients such as fruit, seeds, honey, coconut, or even granola.
You can check out 11 different smoothie bowl ideas here.
Eggs are one of the most inexpensive forms of protein, which makes them an awesome addition to any cheap grocery list.
They can be scrambled, poached, fried, hard-boiled, or made into an omelette, quiche, or frittata.
This simple egg cooker makes cooking eggs SUPER easy and fool-proof.
Whether you buy refrigerated or frozen biscuit dough, or make your own with Bisquick or from scratch, biscuits can be served sweet or savory.
Top them with gravy, butter and jam, honey, or turn them into a breakfast sandwich.
If you’re not familiar with hash, it’s basically potatoes browned up and then mixed with eggs, meat, cheese, or veggies.
It comes together faster than you’d think, and is a very frugal breakfast idea.
Grits are most commonly eaten for breakfast in the South.
They’re a hearty breakfast, and can be sweetened with sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
Cream of wheat is a similar option, too.
19. French toast
If french toast sounds like a complicated fancy breakfast dish you can only get at a restaurant, it’s totally not!
All you need to do is soak slices of bread in a mixture of eggs, milk, and cinnamon or nutmeg. Then brown them in a skillet over medium-low heat.
Top them with powdered sugar or maple syrup and enjoy!
You can also make french toast ‘sticks’ by slicing the bread into strips.
(Or buy french toast sticks in the freezer section of the grocery store. Your kids will love them!)
Like english muffins and toast, bagels can have many different toppings.
Keep it simple with butter or jam, or add protein by using peanut butter or cream cheese.
You can also make breakfast sandwiches out of them, or turn them into a delicious breakfast pizza for a cheap breakfast on the go!
21. Cereal or granola
If you prefer a really quick, simple breakfast, don’t forget about cereal!
You can choose a protein packed, healthy variety, or revisit your youth with Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
If you don’t have time for a bowl and a spoon, consider munching on some dry trail mix instead.
Ready to try some new breakfast on a budget options?
I hope this list of good recipes for breakfast has given you lots of inspiration for changing up your breakfast routine.
Whether you like a sweet savory breakfast dishes, there are so many easy recipes to make (or make ahead!)
To make mornings go more smoothly, try some healthy breakfast meal prep.
Make a batch of hard-boiled eggs, breakfast burritos, or waffles to eat throughout the week.
P.S. Struggling with your morning routine in general? This Makeover Your Mornings course will really help you get it together, and start your day on the right foot!
For other easy meal ideas, be sure to also check out:
- 10 Easy Cheap Meals that ANYONE Can Make
- 40+ Dirt Cheap Meals to Make When You’re on a Budget
- 15 Quick & Easy Dinners Using a Rotisserie Chicken