Thursday, August 18, 2022

Frugal meal of the day: More Porridge?


Oatmeal can be gussied up fancy or eaten plain. It can be eaten hot or cold or made in a large batch and parceled out over many, many days.

I like mine with raisins and dried cherries. Yeah, I know...I am soft because I wallow in luxury. 

Measuring out amounts, 1.5 ounces raisins and the same dried cherries. It comes to a scant handful each. Put them in a coffee mug and top off with water. Heat in microwave for two minutes.

Put 2.7 oz oatmeal in a bowl (2, 1/3 cup measures) and then add hot water/fruit mix.


Put in microwave for an additional 30 seconds. The advantage of heating the water separately is that mixing everything together and then heating increases the risk of the mix boiling over and making a mess. The final re-heat is to add some more heat after the cold meal and bowl chill the hot water.

Let the oatmeal/water/fruit soak up the water for five minutes.

Then I add about a tablespoon of flax-seed oil. Flax-seed oil is low-inflammation and also can help stabilize moods. Adding any kind of fat (butter or bacon grease, for instance) to the oatmeal makes it stick to your ribs and you will not get hungry as quickly. I can make it to one-in-the-afternoon on this breakfast.

Finally, I add a drizzle of molasses. I started doing that because I was not used to the taste of the flax-seed oil. Molasses adds a lot of flavor with a minimum of additional calories.

It is a fool's errand to list prices because they change rapidly, but at the time of this writing 2.7 oz of house-brand oatmeal is about twenty-five cents. Three ounces of raisins adds another sixty cents. The flax-seed oil adds about twenty-five cents.

Key point: the oatmeal is about 25% of the cost of the meal and my princely meal can be economized even more if things get tough.


  1. I can only eat oatmeal with raisins.

  2. grits. Buttered grits, cheese grits, shrimp n' grits

  3. My favorite breakfast also. Except I add crushed walnuts and sweeten with Maple Syrup. Dried cranberries also make a good addition. I had a great uncle who immigrated from Scotland. One day he was eating his oatmeal for lunch and a couple friends came in. One said "in America we feed oats to horses".."Aye," Uncle said, " and that's why America is known for it's horses and Scotland is known for it's men". ---ken

  4. I buy 25 Kg (55 lb) bags, then spend a day repackaging into portions, with whichever freeze-dried fruits I have around the place - multiple different varieties to prevent the inevitable taste-boredom.
    Some with nuts etc. to make muesli's.

    In zip-lock baggies for normal daily use, small mylar pouches for when out and about, and some I make up then let set into 'biscuits' for on the go (they've become a favourite as easy, nutritious cold snacks - two and a cup of coffee and I can manage until PM most days).

    My Scots ancestors (meaning dad) may look askance at the including fruits but it's still the healthiest, most nutritious and calorie dense breakfast available.

  5. A strange recipe I've grown to love. Oatmeal, tuna envelope and cheese slice. Those envelopes of tuna which sell for about $1 - $1.50 apiece, have a decent amount of protein. Adding a slice of cheese to oatmeal and contents of tuna envelope cook in a microwave easily.

    I cook the oatmeal for 40 seconds, then add the cheese which has been folded into several pieces. Then add tuna, mixing it all together. If you want to add some salsa - go for it.

    The tuna taste (many different flavors) is not strong - downright tasty to me. Sounds weird, I will give it that.

    I like your recipe above - thanks for including it.

  6. I was in Ireland a couple of years back and the hotel I was staying at offered Irish cream on the porridge/oatmeal. Not a bad way to start the day.


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