Tip #1 Buy Fruit at your local Farmer's market or orchard
Oftentimes the fruit is fresher and less costly than what you'll find at the grocery store. I find it's usually sweeter, too! There's only a $5 minimum fruit charge at our local orchard, which includes a wagon ride and free sample of fruit. So the picking experience pays for itself!
Tip #2 Use items that can be found in your pantry
One advantage to a home cooked breakfast is the high chance you already have the ingredients. In this Strawberry Muffins recipe I used everyday items such as flour, granulated sugar, and baking soda, which can stay fresh for 6 months when properly stored.
Tip #3 Make a little go a long way
While the muffins taste delicious right out of the oven, when properly stored in air tight containers they can stay moist for several days. If you find the tops are wet, place paper towels on the bottom of the container and over the tops of the muffins, in order to seal in the moisture. If you have any strawberries left after making these Strawberry Muffins, place them in a gallon size resealable bags. Store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Tip #4 Trim the fat
When it comes to buying butter, there's often a big price difference between brands. Usually store brand butters are less expensive, but sometimes name brands will be on sale and cost less. Butter is the one baking item that can be surprisingly costly-whether it's generic or not- so make sure you take the time to compare prices when shopping for this common breakfast baking ingredient.
Tip #5 Swap out ingredients for convenience
A common complaint during the pandemic is bare grocery shelves. But one advantage to baking breakfast recipes is you can make simple substitutions. For example, you can replace all-purpose flour with wheat flour in this Strawberry Muffin recipe. Oil can be replaced with a cup of plain vanilla yogurt or applesauce. If strawberries are not in season, swap them out for raspberries or sweet cherries so you don't have to pay for fruit that isn't fresh.
Tip #6 Be flexible in your routine
It may seem logical to cook breakfast in the morning, but the more rushed you are, the less likely you'll take the time to finish your meal. I actually prefer to make my breakfast in the evening, when the hustle and bustle of the day is behind me. Make a one-pan dish for dinner so you aren't overwhelmed with dishes. This way, you can take the time you need to prepare your breakfast for the following morning without feeling rushed.
Feeling motivated to make some breakfast muffins?! Let's do this! Here's how I made these Strawberry Muffins on a Budget:
Ingredients: 2 cups strawberries, rinsed and hulled and cut into slices; 1 and 1/2 cups flour; 1 cup sugar; 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder; 1/8 tsp. salt; 1/2 cup milk; 1 large egg; 1/2 stick butter; 1/4 cup oil; 1 tsp. almond extract
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Place the butter on the countertop to soften. Cut into cubes. Place in a medium size mixing bowl with the sugar. Use a hand mixer set on medium speed to cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, combine the honey, milk, eggs, oil, and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Gently stir until just combined. Batter will still be lumpy. Fold in the strawberries. Fill each liner 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serves 12.