One food staple that is great for saving money is oats. I bought a ton of oats on sale last November when Kroger had a great deal for a couple of weeks.
Since then we have been using oats for all kinds of things to lower our food costs and make what we have stretch by making it more filling. Here are some ways to use oats in your kitchen to help save money on food.
Creative ways to use oatmeal
Bulk-up meals using ground meats: One of the most common and unconventional ways we use oats in our house is to mix oats into ground beef when we fry it up. The oats will soak up the juice and fat and blend right into the ground beef adding nutrition and making it stretch further for things like tacos.
Oatmeal for breakfast: A classic way to use oats is to make a warm and hearty bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. It’s a cheap and filling way to start your day. Kids love sweet oatmeal and they are very filling because of the high fiber content.
Overnight oats: Prep your oats the night before by soaking them in milk or yogurt and adding your favorite toppings for a convenient and delicious breakfast. Making overnight oats is a great way to meal prep to save money.
Oat milk: Make your own plant-based milk by blending oats with water and straining out the solids. It’s an inexpensive alternative to store-bought plant milks and can be a great way to save money as the cost of things like milk continues to rise.
Oat flour: Grind oats in a blender or food processor to make your own oat flour for baking. It’s a gluten-free and budget-friendly flour option. If you run out of flour you can easily make your own oat flour quick and easy.
Granola: Make your own granola by mixing oats with nuts, seeds, and sweeteners, then baking until crispy. It’s a great snack or topping for yogurt or oatmeal.
Energy balls: Combine oats with nut butter, honey, and other mix-ins to make healthy and filling energy balls for snacks or pre-workout fuel.
Smoothies: Add oats to your smoothies for a boost of fiber and nutrition. They blend up easily and add a subtle nutty flavor.
Oatmeal cookies: Whip up a batch of oatmeal cookies for a sweet treat. Oats add texture and flavor to classic cookie recipes.
Pancakes: Mix oats with eggs and bananas for a simple and gluten-free pancake batter. Top with fruit and maple syrup for a tasty and low-cost breakfast. I add a handful of oats to my favorite homemade pancakes.
Meatballs: Use oats as a binder in meatballs instead of breadcrumbs for a more affordable and nutritious option.
Veggie burgers: Combine oats with cooked vegetables and beans to make homemade veggie burgers. They’re cheaper and healthier than store-bought options.
Meatloaf: Use oats as a binder in meatloaf instead of breadcrumbs for a more affordable and nutritious option. The oats will soak up the fluid while acting as a binder and making your meal more filling.
Fried chicken coating: Mix oats with spices and use as a coating for fried chicken for a healthier and cheaper alternative to breadcrumbs. For a smother, coating blend your oats in a blender to make them into a flour substitute.
Oatmeal bars: Make your own oatmeal bars by combining oats with nut butter, honey, and mix-ins like chocolate chips or dried fruit.
Muffins: Mix oats into muffin batter for added fiber and nutrition. They work well in both sweet and savory muffin recipes.
Bread crumbs: Grind oats in a blender or food processor to make your own bread crumbs for a gluten-free and budget-friendly option.
Oatcakes: Make your own oatcakes by combining oats with butter, sugar, and flour. They’re a classic Scottish snack.
Oat risotto: Use oats instead of rice to make a creamy and filling risotto. They cook up similarly to rice and are cheaper than arborio rice.
Oatmeal bars: Make your own granola bars by combining oats with nut butter, honey, and mix-ins like chocolate chips or dried fruit.
Oatmeal smoothie bowls: Blend oats with yogurt and fruit for a thick and creamy. These are a great way to get more antioxidant packed fruit into your diet. If you don’t want smoothie bowls try tossing a handful of oats in your smoothies.
Granola: Make your own granola with oats, nuts, seeds, and sweetener. Bake in the oven and enjoy as a snack, topping for yogurt or ice cream, or as a breakfast cereal. Making homemade granola is easy to do.
Energy bites: Mix oats with nut butter, honey, and other ingredients to make energy bites. These are a great snack to keep on hand for a quick boost of energy.
Oatmeal cookies: Use oats in place of flour in cookie recipes to make a healthier version of this classic treat.
Oat flour: Make your own oat flour by blending oats in a food processor. Use it in place of flour in recipes for a gluten-free option.
Oatmeal face mask: Mix oats with honey, yogurt, or other ingredients to make a nourishing and exfoliating face mask. The oats will help to soothe and soften the skin, while the other ingredients provide additional benefits. Try adding to this avocado and activated charcoal face mask for healthy skin.