You may have read a few months ago that I had formed a bad habit of purchasing frozen waffles for my kids’ breakfast. I loved the convenience, but wondered if I could save money by making them.
A couple of weeks later I found this guy for $3.00 at a yardsale:
Finally this past weekend, I decided to do some waffle research. Read on to discover my results.
COST (a.k.a. boring math calculations)
After lots of searching on the internet, I discovered that U.S. All Purpose flour has a density of 4.5 cups per pound, meaning that there are 22.5 cups of flour in a 5 lb bag. The cost of the flour that I purchased was $2.09, or $.09 per cup.
The milk was $3.29 per gallon, or $.20 per cup (16 cups in a gallon, so I divided $3.29 by sixteen). The eggs were $1.35 per dozen, so $.11 per egg.
The oil (I used extra virgin olive oil) was $5.50 for 32 ounces, or $1.40 per cup. You could make the waffles more cheaply by using cheaper oil, but I only use extra virgin olive oil, so I didn’t have anything else on hand.
Cost of Recipe:
3 cups flour=$.27
2 cups milk= $.40
2 eggs= $.22
1 cup oil= $1.40
$2.29 to make 14 large waffles or $.16 per large waffle
I spent about 45 minutes making the waffles. While this sounds like a long time, each waffle had to cook for 3 minutes and while it was cooking I spent the time cleaning my desk, checking email and doing various other kitchen chores (like prepping dinner for that night).
I would say that the time I spent directly making the waffles was around 15 minutes total to mix the batter and place it in the waffle iron. This time investment resulted in breakfast that day as well as one meal’s worth of waffles for the freezer.
To freeze the waffles individually, I placed them on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for a couple of hours.
I then placed them in a freezer zipper bag for breakfast later in the week.
Normally my children will eat 1 box of store bought waffles at breakfast, which I can purchase for $1.49 per box. When I made these homemade waffles they ate 2 each for a total of 6 costing $.96 (my gluten free daughter had gluten free pancakes).
By making the waffles at home I save $.53. If I add the waffle making to my weekend routine and we have waffles once a week during the year I will save $27.56 over the next 12 months, which may not sound like much, but every little bit adds up!
If you’re interested, here is the recipe I used:
- 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder (not soda!)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups milk + 1 cup water
- 1 cup light olive oil or preferred cooking oil
- Heat waffle iron and spray with oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
- Add milk, water and oil and beat until well combined.
- Add liquid to flour mixture.
- Stir until well combined but slightly lumpy.
- Pour approximately 1/2 cup of batter onto waffle iron (amount depends on the size of your iron).
- Cook for the recommended time for your waffle iron.
- Spray iron between waffles.
Click here for a gluten free recipe!
And click here for my easy DIY Waffle Syrup recipe!
What cheap and easy meals do you serve for breakfast? Share in the comments. 🙂
(Please don’t comment on the lack of nutrition in these waffles. I have at least eliminated the sugar and the harmful additives and chemicals in store bought waffles. I may experiment in the near future with substituting other ingredients–one step at a time. 🙂 )
I’m linking up at Tasty Tuesday!
Jenny Shannon says
I know I’m extremely late to this breakfast party, but I wondered if you ever tried this with powdered milk? We use almond milk for drinking and powdered milk for cooking. I see little reason to buy a whole gallon of milk for the little use it gets. My kids can’t drink cow’s milk, but they can have it baked in items.
Kimberlee Stokes says
Hi Jenny! Welcome to the party. 🙂 I have not tried powdered milk in this particular recipe but I have used it in the past in baked goods. I think it would work well. If you try it let me know. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
I bake the waffles and my picky kids will eat only 6 out of 14 I made. I really didn’t know what to do with the rest, it went just to waste. Why I didn’t I get this idea of freezing them before? Great ideas, Kim. I love your blog. I changed so much in my housekeeping. Thank you.
The Peaceful Mom says
Yay! I’m so glad to help. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. 🙂
I’m going to try your recipe and add dried strawberries (the freeze dried kind). My kids love Eggo strawberry or blueberry waffles and I have to admit they are very convenient for school mornings. But there are 5 kids so a box of Eggos doesn’t last long and gets pricey very quickly! If I can find a cheaper, equally tasty, and healthier option I’ll be a happy mom. Thanks for posting your recipe. I’m going to give it a shot tonight!
That sounds yummy. Let me know how it goes.
The Peaceful Mom says
Yay! I’m so glad to help. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. 🙂
How do you make the freeze dried strawberries?
Making your own is also much healthier with far less chemicals and sodium. I also sub wheat flour for white, and use apple sauce instead of oil.
Thanks! We have the Belgian style waffle maker. I don’t have kids. My husband is still a student working on his PhD, so we try to live on a small budget too and I am so grateful for all the things you share. Loved the e-book and we did the breaking them up and toasting and they are as good as out of the maker!
Hi Trinity! Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed the e-book AND the waffles. 🙂
How do you reheat these? I’m new to freezing. I can’t wait to do this!
We have broken them in half and stuck them in the toaster or put them on a cookie sheet and reheated them in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. You can reheat them in the microwave but they are softer rather than crispy. Smaller size waffles will do better in the toaster, but my kids aren’t that picky.
Some GREAT ideas on here! I finally got a waffle maker 2 Christmas’s ago and we love it. I don’t get it out often enough though.
I want to find a good make-it-myself mix using dry milk. So I can have a ready-to go mix. I LOVE the thought of freezing them. Duh…Why didn’t I think of that, lol!
You just made me laugh Beth. 🙂
Hubby bought a waffle maker a year or so ago and we’ve used it once -_- Might be time to bust it out and make some waffles and freeze them! He’s the pancake king though and we love our weekend breakfasts of pancakes and eggs 🙂
I also sneak in a sprinkling of oat bran into the dry ingredients. My picky eaters don’t know it’s there, and I can feel better about something extra healthy to counteract all the syrup 🙂
On Pinterest I found out how to make waffles using the Pillsbury (or store brand) flaky layer biscuits in your waffle iron. They turn out great and cook in like a minute and a half. No getting together ingredients or spending money on all the ingredients. Next to no clean up except for the waffle iron! I loved this idea! Works great for the cinnamon rolls too!
Pillsbury biscuits are so expensive, though, even with a coupon I seldom can bear to spend that much money on them. I’d rather buy Bisquick if I’m feeling lazy and want to splurge, since it’s still cheaper and tastier than Pillsbury buscuits and I can use it for a variety of stuff (nice to have the recipe on the box, too, hey I like I said I’m lazy).
You can find DIY Bisquick recipes on pinterest too!
You get to control teh quality of ingredients & make organic if you choose. Here’s one I pinned,
What You Need
3 1/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
What To Do
Mix all the ingredients together well.
Enjoy! Use in replace of Bisquick
This post made me laugh!!!! We have homemade waffles at least once a week and my kids think I’m a regular Betty Crocker. The homemade are so much better for you than the store bought….BONUS!!!!
Yum! To make waffles more unhealthy we sometimes top ours in whipped cream (the real stuff) and berries (the berries add healthiness, right?)
Interesting information about the costs.
I really enjoy your site.
Yes Steph, we like to “ruin” them that way too. At least the berries are fruit, right? 🙂
My husband and I love eating eggritos for breakfast and they are inexpensive and delicious :). Scrambled egg and cheese in a tortilla topped with salsa (and ranch if your my husband) and you’re ready to go!
That sounds yummy Lauren.
I keep thinking I need to do this. My son loves frozen waffles but I don’t like the cost or the extra ingredients. Do you that/reheat them in the microwave or throw them in the toaster like store bought frozen waffles?
Mine tended to fall apart when we put them in the toaster, but I think that is generally the best way to reheat them. If you have those wooden tongs to get the smaller pieces of waffle out you’d be in business. 🙂
I’ll have to try it! I’ve been making baked oatmeal in muffin pans lately for individual servings (saw it on Pinterest). I like it because you can do different mix ins/toppings in each little baked oatmeal muffin. My favorite is coconut and a few mini chocolate chips. This morning I tried an English muffin breakfast pizza where you dip the English muffin in egg then top it with whatever you want. Bake it at 400 for 15 min. Super yummy and fast. It was another Pinterest find and it also said you could freeze them after you bake them.
Yum Shelley. Those sound like two really good (and creative) ideas. Thanks!
I have a toaster oven we heat them in….works great and very fast for the grand kids….we love the syrup and butter too,sometimes they ask for peanut butter on them and I canned fresh strawberry syrup,this past year…..I never tried whole wheat flour…I will have to try and sneak that in and see how it goes….. <3 your blog!!!!!
I make my own pancake and waffle mix and then I have it on hand for quick breakfast in the morning and of course to make large batches to freeze.
I find that cooking with powdered milk is the cheapest way to go! I always have it on hand to cook with. We can’t taste the difference at all…. even in Mac and Cheese!
Our kids love pancakes & waffles, too, so for a couple of years, now, we’ve been making doubles batches & freezing what’s left over. Frozen pancakes/waffles make a very doable weekday breakfast! We usually make them on a weeknight, though, as a quick-ish supper. 🙂 Oh, and we use whole wheat flour (love it!)
I like oatmeal for a quick & hearty breakfast. I cook it in the microwave with skim milk in place of water. Low fat, more protein for me. For the kids, I add a little butter or margerine to their bowls to add a little fat (I have skinny kids). We serve it with brown sugar & cinnamon.
We make frozen waffles each week. I can’t tell you the last time I bought frozen waffles. We very much prefer the taste of homemade…and it’s still healthier than unpronounceable ingredients from the box. At least you know what you are getting with homemade. We don’t freeze ours on a cookie sheet first. Usually we just let them cool and layer wax paper in between. Then, if I forget about them, I don’t have a lot of freezer burned waffles:)
We also freeze pancakes. If you could find a gluten free flour (almond? or something) you could probably save a lot making those and freezing them too.
Rachel Ray has some good recipes on her site. She has done waffle week 2 times now. I haven’t been able to try any yet but hope to soon. They look good. Main dishes, breakfast, dessert, etc.
Lookinbg forward to trying your recipes-we love homemade waffles
I don’t have a waffle iron so making my own would not work, however my kiddos LOVE french toast, which if made with whole grain bread is actually pretty healthy for ya especially if you smother in strawberries or bananas and can (I don’t) eliminate the syrup and butter. Also, thank you for the flour density ratio I never knew that. 🙂
I’m still stuck on the part where you said you pay $3.29 a gallon for milk! LOL. I can’t remember when milk was that cheap. It’s between $4.79 and $5.99 a gallon here, depending on if you buy name brand or store brand.
These waffles look great. I thought about doing this with pancakes and putting them in the freezer.
We have frozen pancakes too Jinger. I purchased the milk at Save A Lot. Do you have one or an Aldi’s near you?
Where do you live? I can’t find anything as cheap as you do at the grocery store. But I live on Long Island, NY which is notoriously expensive.
I am in the south. Sometimes local ethnic markets and produce stands have better prices than grocery stores.
I like to make waffles and pancakes on the weekend and freeze them for breakfast during the week myself! Another one of my favorite breakfast recipes is Farmer’s Cheese Pancakes. It’s a South Beach Diet recipe, but I change it up a bit and just make it with Ricotta because it’s more readily available.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
1 Cup Skim Ricotta
1 tsp Sugar
Mix ingredients together until it forms a batter-like consistency, then pour on a griddle over medium heat. Flip like you would a pancake.
You can also add fruit toppings to this, like warm peaches or apple slices. I like to top it with sauteed apple slices tossed with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Thanks for the recipe Kelly!