Cheap Breakfast for Surviving Hard Times


For only 10-cents per serving, you could enjoy a healthy and inexpensive breakfast, or any meal, with a cracked grain cereal mix. Here’s how…


9 Grain Cracked Cereal Mix

You may be affected by hard times, or you are simply looking for ways to be more frugal with your food budget while searching for ways to squeeze a bit more out of your budget.

With rising food prices, even small changes in spending habits can add up to big savings over time. This particular cracked-grain cereal breakfast tip is one that you might consider. It tastes good, and it’s healthy!

9-grain cracked cereal is just that, a mixture of nine cracked grains (the kernel of the grain is literally cracked-split). There are many types, varieties, and brands available out there… One that I like is available from Honeyville (they are not an advertiser or affiliated with us). It contains Spring Wheat, Winter Wheat, Soft White Wheat, Corn Grits, Barley Grits, Steel-Cut Oats, Cracked Rye, Millet, and Flaxseed.

The most economical way to purchase this is in a 50 pound bag, which as of this post is priced at $51. As with anything, your money is stretched much further if you buy in bulk.

To calculate the cost per serving, which is 1/4 cup,

50 pounds = 800 ounces
1 cup of this mix weighs 6 ounces, so there are 133 cups in this 50 pound bag (800 / 6)
4 (servings per cup) x 133 (cups in this 50 pound bag) = 533 servings per 50 pound bag
$51 / 533 servings = $0.095 per serving – call it 10-cents

That’s right… just 10-cents!


9-Grain Recipe


Add 1/4 cup of nine-grain cracked cereal to 1 cup of water and heat slowly for about 20 minutes (or microwave for 2 minutes – let stand for a few more).

After cooking, you can add additional toppings for added flavor such as a pinch of salt, butter, sugar, or honey. My favorite is to simply add a tablespoon of honey.

Not only does it taste good, but this small quantity of grains will keep you feeling full for many hours (due to the fiber content) and entirely eliminate cravings.

One serving contains,

140 calories (add 60 for Tbsp of Honey)
10 fat calories – 1 gram
28 grams total carbohydrate
5 grams fiber
5 grams protein

This 9 grain mix is a great survival preparedness food to include in your food storage because it is easy to store, inexpensive, and has over 500 servings per 50 pound bag!


  1. simple / healthy / (cheap) suggestions like this are useful and interesting.
    quite often a person does not truly understand they can eat less expensively.

    one thing I have noticed, quite often the cheaper a meal is, the more “basic” (as unadulterated with chemicals and additives) and, the more nutritious it is.

  2. Reminds me of breakfast as a kid. Today I buy bulk oatmeal and add things like wheat germ, oat bran, flax seed and blueberries. The ingredients vary from time to time, but it is very satisfying and will hold me longer than any other breakfast item.

    1. There are a lot of things can be added to oatmeal for varying flavors, just to mix it up a little… they can vary from jellies, jams, preserves and molasses, maple syrup to high protein selections such as peanut butter or simple dehydrated fruits such as chopped dates, raisins, diced apples, peaches,cranberries, blueberries ..and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. Peanut Butter is not my favorite thing to add, ( DM loved hers that way)but I can eat it separately with my morning coffee and my blood sugar will remain stable when I eat the oatmeal…otherwise not so much…

  3. Hmm, I was buying 15 lb bags of 10 grain cereal for @ $12 at my local Cash & Carry a couple years ago. It was much finer grind than just cracked grain, so I gotta think it would be easier to consume for some. It was more the consistency of farina. Might make nutrients slightly easier to absorb due to finer grind. Also, should cook quicker.

    Looking at the only local source of bulk foods, I notice their 50 lb bag of 9 grain cereal is $43. Not bad for way up here in Alaska.

  4. I don’t know personally, just what heard on news, but aren’t some of those school breakfast programs two to three dollars per kid?

    give kids a bowl of this, if possible an apple, maybe a carrot because it too is bright and crunchy. Healthy. Seems much cheaper. etc

    1. …and deny them their bacon-egg-and-cheese grease burgers, lard soaked potato hash browns, and jelly donuts? How cruel… sarc/

      Having said that (somewhat sarcastic), and while tongue-in-cheek, it does seem that there is room to reduce cost while eating healthier…

  5. anyone have links to where i can buy this online? i’m disabled and cant easily make it to the supermarket.


    1. Honeyville Farms has products on amazon in bulk 50 lb. bags. Shipping is normally inexpensive as well ($5 shipping fob Utah).

    2. Rainyday Foods is another good source, compare costs to ship to your door between all the providers. Typically rainyday comes in a bit cheaper, assuming no sales/coupons.

  6. All fine and good, but if shtf that means 20+ minutes of fire (Fuel)going, Once in a while when thing cool down

    1. Not necessary. A 5 minute boil using a rocket stove to get the water hot, put the water and cereal in a thermos or wrap the bowl up in a heavy thick towel and let it cook itself while you turn out the fire.

      This can also be done without fire during late spring to early fall using black painted water containers to heat up the water. Or use a cold frame during colder months.

      Or use mirrors to concentrate the sun to heat water.

      Fire is just one source of heat. :)

  7. Bruce, having a Rocket stove will cut down on the amount of fuel needed to cook this Meal..Also, maybe soaking grains might speed up the cooking…Just a thought…I’m still learning these things.

    1. Use a thermos. Boil a bit of water, add it to a thermos with the grain and close it up. I would make this at night with cracked wheat and by the morning I had a hot perfectly cooked bowl waiting for me.

  8. I think when shtf, the days of fast food are over, regardless of what you are cooking.

  9. you can cook a big batch all at once too it reheats easily and tastes just as good as if you cooked it fresh.

  10. Alternative Tip: Cook up a larger batch, put into a loaf pan, and chill overnight. Can be sliced up and fried like cornmeal mush. This also works with cooked oatmeal. Fry it up and top with butter and syrup.

    1. kdonat , that sounds like a real good idea. one could vary the final taste somewhat, by using different fats when frying. As well, if those school breakfast programs did this, I bet the kids would gobble those fried slices up,much like a cookie, or harvest crunch bar.

      also, now that I think of it, bet fried up, as per your suggestion, would make a darn good addition to a vehicle emergency pack,or even a road trip.

      also, pretty darn easy to add to the batch a few items to vary taste/ enrich protein/nutrition — nuts/dried fruit/coconut/etc.

      good stuff

      1. The panfried form is soft (think mushy) on the inside and crunchy/crispy on the outside. So I don’t think it would be a good choice for an emergency pack as it would spoil very quickly. Adding fruit/nuts/seasonings would be good for extra nutrition, but we eat ours simply with butter and maple syrup.

  11. Super article! I bought a 50lb bag and a bunch of one gallon mylar bags (cheap on ebay), I just tested sealing one with a household iron, as I learned from youtube, was skeptical but it works great! Turns out that in the 50lb bag it will last one year, but in mylar bags with o2 absorbers, like ten years!

  12. Nice low cost advice. I have bought from Honeyville before and they have good service. Thanks for the prep advice.

  13. @Billg, derpending on where you live is an awesome resource you can order single items or bulk and they deliver to different states in the West and South West monthly. We order from them all the time

  14. Extra Large Bag 50.00 lb $48.99
    The price has gone down. Now you get even better savings
    shipping (for me at least) is $4.99, still not bad.

  15. This post really got me thinking, not that I can afford to buy anything right now. The brand you mention doesn’t presently ship to Canada, but according to their website they plan on doing so in the future.

    I was surfing around and found that Walmart Canada sells Great Value One Minute Oats 1kg bags for $2.10 CAD. 24 bags would provide 24kg (52.9 pounds), and cost $50.40 CAD. As I understand it, this should qualify for free shipping as it is over the $50 CAD minimum, and weights less than 36kg. According to the package picture on the Walmart website, by stove they cook in 1-2 minutes in simmering water, so they wouldn’t be too bad on fuel consumption. Having multiple 1kg bags also gives the advantage of not having all your eggs in one basket or so the saying goes.

    For those of you in the USA reading this and trying to do the math, the current exchange rate is $1 CAD equals about $0.80 USD so $50.40 CAD would be $40.10 USD.

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