The Addiction: (The Wrong Kind of) Boxed Breakfast
Why It's Making You Poorer: Over the past five years, breakfast food sales have climbed by 20 percent in the United States. But the growth isn't because we’re all buying doughnuts on the way to work. It's because we're buying more packaged waffles and pancake mixes.
An individual box of Pop Tarts ($3.19) or a carton of Eggo Waffles ($3.69) may not seem like a splurge, but think of it this way: If people are spending 20 percent more on breakfast, that means they’re buying some kind of packaged breakfast food roughly one extra day per week. A family of four can easily go through a 10-piece box of Eggo Waffles in one breakfast, meaning that if they used to buy one box of waffles weekly, but now they’re buying two, they’re spending $7.38 per week on two days of breakfast alone. If they want cereal for the rest of the week, they still have to buy two boxes to have enough for the remaining 5 days of breakfast, spending $14.74 total. By contrast, a family that buys two 18 oz boxes of Cheerios for $3.68 a piece has enough cereal to get through the whole week, plus some extra for snacking, and spends a total of $7.36 for the week. The punch line? The family that buys no waffles saves around $384 per year on breakfast.
How to Stop: If cereal every day doesn’t sound like so much fun, may we suggest these unbelieveably delicious pumpkin waffles? They cost less than the store-bought version and (bonus!) your whole house will smell delicious after you make them. Or, if you’re pressed for time in the mornings, try making these homemade pop tarts, which reheat quickly in the morning.