Worth it or Not – Granola Bars

I am in the process of researching different breakfast possibilities. As always, I’m trying to find something nutritious, filling and inexpensive. Yes, I have considered eggs for breakfast. It’s by far the cheapest and most filling option. I’m always on the go in the mornings though. So, having something that I can grab and eat at my desk is my preference.

I normally eat some oatmeal, however two hours later I’m ravenous. The hungrier I am, the more likely I will nibble on many random bits of unhealthiness. So, I have been looking into alternatives. I found a great recipe for homemade granola bars. It uses mostly ingredients I already had at home. I modified the recipe slightly and LOVE it! The brilliance is that you can work with what you have in your pantry.

Making granola bars doesn’t take very long and they taste delicious. The first time I made these, mine were overcooked mostly because my oven tends to be overly opinionated. Ever since then, they have been soft and delicious and slightly crumbly. My husband loves them! They are the perfect, filling breakfast solution. My favorite part is that I make them ahead of time and am set for the week.

Onto the ultimate decision: is it worth it financially or not to make your own granola bars? I say it is definitely worth it! One box of granola bars is around $5.00 for 6-12 small bars that aren’t very filling. You can make an entire 9×13” pan of approximately 12 large granola bars for a lot less. The only things I had to purchase were oats and almonds. The oats cost $2.50 for a very large canister and around $5.00 for a pound of whole almonds. I use a small handfull of the almonds, break them up and save the rest for future recipes. I still save a lot of money using my own ingredients and actually feel full after I eat two bars. It’s a very nice change.

My alterations: I used Honey Nut Cheerios because that’s what we had instead of the Rice Krispies. I also put in a big scoop of peanut butter. I can’t help it. Peanut butter and chocolate are a perfect combination. I do like having the cup of almonds in the granola bars, however they are a slightly more expensive ingredient. This can be left out if you want to save a little more of your overall price.

 

Chewy Granola Bars

By Manda on food.com

Ingredients

    • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1/4-1/2 cup butter or 1/4-1/2 cup margarine, softened
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 large eggs
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/4 cups crisp rice cereal ( Rice Krispies)
    • 1 cup chopped almonds
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
    • raisins (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and lightly grease or spray 9 x 13 pan.
  2. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, sugar, and butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Blend in honey, vanilla and egg.
  4. In separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add flour mixture gradually to sugar mixture and beat until combined.
  6. By hand, stir in almonds, chocolate chips and oats until well mixed.
  7. Press mixture firmly in bottom of greased pan, and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden brown.
  8. Cool and cut into squares.
Advertisements

Worth it or Not – Introduction

Worth it or Not – the Madness Begins

Did you know that you can make your own candles, air fresheners, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies for less than half of what you would pay in the grocery store? It’s also true that some things might be cheaper to make at home, but aren’t worth the time and hassle. How do you know which projects are worth it or not?

My mission began over a month ago when my husband and I had to refigure our budget. I have followed every step on cutting my grocery bill. Yes, I tried coupons, but gave up after saving one dollar after an hour of searching on two-three products I didn’t really need. It’s not my cup of tea. I purchase things on sale, stock up on what we actually use and avoid end caps full of impulse purchases. I always have a shopping list and never shop when I’m hungry.

For some odd reason, all of my planning and analyzing still hasn’t helped. Yes, it’s made a small difference here and there, but then another sale rolls around and I’ve got to stock up on something else. It’s a never ending cycle that the grocery store knows I’ll buy into. So, I had to change my thinking on a lot of things. Did I really need those sale items? Was it really that great of a deal?

It started an avalanche of thoughts that I couldn’t stop. I knew people who made their own laundry detergent. What other products were there? Were there similar items that I had overlooked because I had always purchased them without another thought? Thus the challenge began.

I had a few priorities in mind:

1.)    The price difference vs. the effort had to be worth it.

2.)    The new product created had to be better for you – especially if it meant getting away from harsh chemicals and harmful preservatives.

3.)    It had to be something I actually used.

So, the mission began. I’ve researched, applied and analyzed once more. Perhaps this won’t just help me, but it could make a difference for you as well. I guess we’ll just have to see if it really is worth it or not.