Solving the Cheerios Conundrum

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Written By Colin Graves

Hey everyone!  For today’s post, I decided to pull a $1000 money hack right out of my 5-Day Email Course, aptly called “5 Money Hacks that will save you $1000 this year”.  I labelled this particular hack, “The Cheerios Conundrum”.  If you enjoy it, and are interested in receiving all 5 money hacks via email, I’ve included a link at the bottom of the post where you can subscribe.  The best part, it’s absolutely free!  Without further ado, I present “The Cheerios Conundrum”.  Enjoy! 

If you have even a couple of kids, you’re keenly aware how quickly your family can burn through the following common food items:  boxed cereal, and milk.

But have you considered how expensive they really are?

Recently, a friend of mine shared how solving the “Cheerios Conundrum” saved he and his wife well over $1000 in one year.  Here’s the story, in a nutshell:


A few years ago, friends of mine were struggling to make ends meet. They lived very frugally, and stuck to a strict budget.  Yet, with a few young kids and a limited income, money was still tight.

In an effort to try and find more room in the budget, they took a closer look at their grocery bill.  What they noticed was how often they found themselves running to the store to pick up cereal and milk.

When they added up the boxes of Cheerios and gallons of milk, they realized they were spending over $150 every month on these two items alone!  It sounds crazy, but easy to do if you have a large family.

To save money, they decided to substitute oatmeal for boxed cereal.  They then taught their older kids how to prepare oats in the morning, and together the whole family made the switch.

While they didn’t stop buying milk outright, the amount they consumed dropped drastically with their shift away from boxed cereal.

In short, this one change saved them well over $1000 year!


Let’s take a closer look at the numbers:

I pulled the following information from the box of Shreddies in the picture below.  Don’t ask me why I didn’t use the Cheerios.

boxed cereal


Based on a 1 cup serving size (55 grams) , a 550g box of Shreddies contains 10 servings.  If you have a family of 4 eating cereal every morning, they would consume 12 boxes of Shreddies every month.

Let’s do the math:

4 servings per day X 30 days = 120 bowls of Shreddies/month.

At 10 servings per box, this translates to buying 12 boxes of Shreddies every month.

Let’s assume a box of Shreddies costs $5 on average.  For the family of four, cereal alone will cost over $60/month.  Add milk to that, and the cost could easily exceed $100 each month.

Oatmeal, on the other hand, packs a lot more value, not to mention nutritional benefit.

Here’s another illustration, using oatmeal:

boxed cereal

I purchased the box of quick oats pictured above for $6.99 at Costco.  Using the suggested 30g single serving, this 5 kg box contains enough oats for 166 servings!  If the same family of 4 was to replace their daily Shreddies habit with a serving of oatmeal each morning, 1 box of oats would last 41 days, almost a month and a half!

That’s a cost of $5.11 over 30 days for a family of 4, compared to a cost of $60/month for Shreddies, not including the price of milk.

You can prepare oatmeal using milk, but I prefer water.  Sometimes, I will pour a very small amount of milk overtop of the oats once prepared, perhaps a few teaspoons worth.

The bottom line:  Not only is oatmeal nutritionally superior (high source of protein, fibre, and essential vitamins), but making the switch over from boxed cereal will save you a tonne of money.

For families with children, it’s a money hack that will save you $1000 or more per year!


Is solving “The Cheerios Conundrum” a money hack you’d be willing to try?  If so, please send me an email and let me know how it goes!

If you found this money hack helpful, you can get all 5 sent to your email inbox, by signing up here.

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Remember, if at anytime you no longer want to receive emails from me, you can unsubscribe with the click of a button.  In other words, you have nothing to lose!

So, what are you waiting for?  


8 thoughts on “Solving the Cheerios Conundrum”

    • They do indeed, Mr Fu (as do you!!!!)…. – I wish we could make this amazing saving but I already don’t buy in expensive cereal – porridge, value cornflakes and supermarket’s own weetabix (or branded if it’s on offer.) Definitely food for thought, though, for other grocery items …and I think we should join Costco!

      • Thanks for reading Mrs. Fu! I love Costco! We definitely save money shopping there, as long as we avoid putting all of the extra items in our kart. I think what I love the most is just the quality of most of their products. It’s good stuff. We tend to get most of our groceries at Costco, and whatever else we need we usually pick up at Walmart.

  1. I love this! I think the key to frugal living isn’t deprivation, but finding smarter substitutions. For example, instead of grabbing takeout on tough nights, I’ll cook a $2.50 pizza from Costco. It’s not ideal, but it still keeps the budget low and my sanity intact.

    • You can save so much money with that mindset. Really, what is the drop-off in satisfaction level with the example you used…I’d say it’s minimal. Thanks for reading, Mrs. P!

  2. Cereal is a disaster in my house. My husband has to be out the door very early in the morning and most days I am in the office as well so my kids eat cereal most weekday mornings. It bothers me so much but I just cannot cook and clean pots on a school morning. Sometimes they will have an english muffin or toast, but its mostly cereal. And half the time it is awful sugary cereal. But I love oatmeal and eat it for breakfast any day that I am home. Silver Palate makes a very high fiber oatmeal that is super chewy and delicious. I order 4 packs at a time on Amazon since none of my stores have it. Yes, a sprinkle of milk on top after its done is delicious, with bananas and walnuts and flaxseed and whatever else fun is lying around. My kids are not into it. Big life goal.

    • A few months ago, we tried cutting out cereal 100%, but it didn’t last. We have scaled back our consumption though. My wife and I have converted one child to oatmeal, so we’ll chalk that up as a small victory. I’ll top my oatmeal with fresh blueberries when they are in-season, otherwise, a teaspoon of 100% pure Canadian maple syrup adds all the flavour I need. : )


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